19th Century: in 1838, Louis Daguerre, with a camera and a 7 minutes exposure time, succeeded for the first time in imprinting on a plate the figure of a human being. It was the daguerreotype, an invention of the chemist and physicist Daguerre, that on the 7th of January 1939 was presented at the French Academy by the scholar and politician François Arago, establishing the official birth of photography.
In the image should have appeared many figures of human beings present at that moment in the Parisian avenue where the shot happened, but the necessarily long exposure time of the camera allowed only to stationary people in pose to appear in the photography where, in fact, we only see a shoeshine guy and his client.
20th Century: in 1911, the Bragaglia brothers published the “Futiristic Photodynamism”. Futurism often looked at progress and speed of movement, that’s why photography, freezing the subject in space-time, without leaving nothing to creativity, wasn’t considered Art. The Bragaglia brothers overturned futuristic theories with a series of photographic experiments with which they traced the trajectory of the movement in space, defining it as a purely creative and artistic act, the only possible reality for the photographic mean.
21th Century: Roberto Rosso, Professor of Photography at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, thank’s to digital technology, succeses in recording and taking a picture of the memory that an object leaves of its movement. Rosso freezes the instants when the matter, in motion between space and time, assumes different shapes not visible to a naked eye. A different reality, nevertheless real, a new object existing only in a given instant.
Each of the said photographers was, or is, in search of the truth expressed by the photographic mean, a reality that, in every case, remains a point of view on the world, one of the many. Photography means “drawing with light” and a point of view is, in the end, a drawing of the reality from which something is excluded in order of a personal representation of truth. Framing is a choice. A shadow and an angulation are enough to make an object look different than how we see it with the naked eye. But as the camera lens, also our look is nothing but a point of view on the world: the eye sees a portion of reality and from a very precise angulation. Our gaze is moreover filtered by our experience, our story, our ideas. How many times does it happen to look for an object, having it right under our nose, but not being able to find it? Our eyes see it, but our mind doesn’t. The same happens looking at a photo: we cannot grasp some details, we don’t notice them, our mind doesn’t record those.
So what is reality? And how can we really know its shape if our mind confuses us?
It’s useless, there’s not only one reality, each of us builds, lives and sees a personal portion of what surrounds us, filtering it basing on who we are and what we think.
The ability to maintain the critical sense compared to ours and someone elses’s truth, the non-superficial knowledge of the world, help us reflecting deeply on the reality that surrounds us, extending our observation to more points of view and defining clearer ourselves and everything, in order that what we see looks always more like who we are. Keeping in mind that it will inevitably be, even if more solid, complete and sustainable, a simple point of view between the other infinite existing realities.