Photography: A Negative Manifesto

No storytelling making the image recount a fascinating tale. No photos like stills from a mystery movie whose plot we are forced to unravel.

No thesis, no demonstration, no conclusion. Do not convince, do not finalize, do not be zealous. No enunciation, no argumentation, no narrative. No pedagogy, no didactics, no proselytism.

Not politically correct, not morally correct, not ecologically correct, not aesthetically correct, not correct. Not well-meaning, not well-informed, not well-intentioned. No bad propaganda, no good propaganda, no propaganda. No photos of dystopian worlds populated by lonely multitudes under the control of all-seeing eyes. No denunciation of devious agents that spread the poisons of consumerism and the diseases of capitalist mythology. No snapshots of a world where happiness is dehumanized and foreshadows the apocalypse. No flight from the obfuscating noise, the leveling uniformity and the degrading well-being of urban society.

No emerging photographers determined to rank high above the crowd and set themselves apart from the rest. No photo competitions as opportunities to approach influent people who can establish a career. No impatient judges that you need to hook right away with killer shots. No producing a sequence of photography into stellar images. No putting in the frame everything that may boost the success of the product.

No depicting essential human truths. No photographers teaching us how to transcend the ordinary and the mundane. No works that put us in touch with the pulse of our age, but also make us far-reaching witnesses to history. No photos that endow us with the awareness needed to plunge into the course of time and fathom the secret of the world. No exploration of an unknown edge where intemporality and universality meet. No inspiring answers about subjection and freedom, having and being, scission and integrity.

No conceiving the camera as an extension of the artist’s soul. No skillful comprehension of parts to whole relationships intrinsic to a structure that enables an analytic/synthetic visual capability. No eliciting the vertigo and the nightmares of an introspective journey into the dark bottom of the sparkling world of appearances. No iconographic space where dreams can be real. No revealing the insuppressible ancestral fear and the constant threat of the irreversible. No glittering epiphanies disintegrating the imposed limits of knowledge. No images that hint at the continuity of matter, the discontinuity of time, and the persistence of fractals. No representations of a grievous chaos where photography activates a healing process.

No shots of disabled children, dying parents, naked wives, aging sisters-in-law. No portraits of inmates, mentally ill, drug addicts; of inmates, mentally ill and drug addicts in distant and poor countries; of mentally ill and drug addicted inmates in distant and poor countries. No homeless immortalized as Hollywood stars.

You don’t give voice to the voiceless. You speak just for yourself.