عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
Photograph always traces something form the past. The importance of its presence replacing the referent in the photo is absolutely derived from an understanding of it, questioning the sense of such a trace on the body of photograph. Communicating to a past which photograph as a being in-itself yearns its revelation, concerning present time which makes it visible, is supposed to be a latter action being comprehended by the photograph-oriented audience. Thus viewing the photograph, one is reading a past that its "presence" might not be studied so as document.In other words, what makes photography different from other forms of art is the unique presence of the referent in a very specific moment or period of time which its non-existence is unthinkable especially with the advent of photography. Painting might be created with no referent, being made out of the painter’s "fantasy and imagination". Verbal signs as well might represent a referent, but a one arising from delusion and illusions. In photography, however, there is always a trace. Referent in photography brings forth the permanent presence of the object there. In this notion, there is a combination of past - happened in front of the camera and gone in a blink of an eye - with present - the being-there presence of object and photo reference. By way of explanation, photographs in their semantic system yield a referent which "its turning back to the past reality" occurs in the first step of content analysis.It can be said that the "aliveness" which the photograph points out to, is among the inherent, specific and unique features of photograph. Photography, even facing a dead body, emphasizes the aliveness of the corpse as "there corpse" and points out to the presence of the corpse. As if it testifies that the corpse as the corpse is alive! Photograph always does not represent ‘where it has been" but showing us "that it is here" as the corpse. Facing any photograph, we think of life as superior to death and seeing the photographs of the dead, even not recognizing the subject, we are moved and shocked merely coming to know the subject is dead; even we might break into tears emphasizing that we are alive, crying for those whose death being demonstrated by the photo. Us being alive, they as dead, this is the difference. The photograph shows their aliveness in a specific time and there in order to repeat their temporary aliveness while knowing they are dead forever. Photograph sometimes highly emphasizes the temporal distance in past. Seeing the photograph of a living person, we might be overwhelmed since the photograph takes the aliveness as its reference which does not exist as it used to be in the "past". The existence of past time whit-in the photograph is associated with elements, containing a pre-understanding, for the audience, of whatever in his lost life bears meaning while emphasizing the temporariness of all objective and subjective assumptions, running between him and the surface of the photograph. Therefore, how does the eternal being-there of the referent and the perpetual bond between "reality and past" from which the "reference" of the photograph originates lay the foundation for the unification of the photo truth (the referent which presence is bound to the frame facing us) with photo reality ("that-has-been" of the referent which really existed before the camera)?
Thus, reference as the fundamental structure of photography, is supposed to be the purpose of the photograph. Whatever the photograph represents is a text remained from its audience’s past as its viewer that in fact is a reference to whatever he/she is done with. Such a reference is more than the certainty of photography documentation that we see in documentary photographs. Reference in personal photos leads to explore the reinterpretation of identity, ancestry, internal relationships of a family members and understanding of love and affection while concerning documentary photographs, the function of photograph reference to past is taken as a ‘witness’ for acknowledging a historical event. On reference as witness in documentary photography, some believe that photographic images are among the items being collected and organized by historians to explore the past. In 19th century and after the photography invention, gradually to emphasize the originality, the use of phrases such as ‘adopted from the original copy of photograph’ has become widespread and since then photograph has been used as a witness. Reading personal photographs, reference alone clarifies the past as an apparent, gone reality and astonishes the viewer with its knowledge of the era which has passed. ‘Witness’, here, means the privacy of the understanding process between the audience and the photograph. Roland Barthes in his last book, Camera Lucida, speaks of "reference" as the essence of the photograph; the reference to "that-has-been", existing as a present and acting element in the photograph. The paper studies the existentness of past time in the photo context while explaining the different features of "referring to the past" in private photos. It as well tries to explore how the audience’s reading, interpreting the photograph is affected by these "references" as the photograph being.