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Jean Baudrillard.
Palazzo delle Esposizioni
27th march '99 - 19th april '99
Francesca Romana Orlando
ISSN 1127-4883     BTA - Telematic Bulletin of Art, April 17th, n. 176

The french philosopher, known for his studies about mass comunication and consumism, presents at the Palazzo of Esposizioni in Rome his photographs made in the last two years. They are "philosophical photos" such as scientific demonstrations about the object an the human perception of it.

The photos do not mean to have an aesthetic value, because according to Baudrillard today we can not have an aesthetic experience. We live in the post-Duchamp age (the french artist makes a desplacemement of the object that denies any difference between art and life) and moreover, we are in the age of mass media, of advertising, that produce powerful images much more than art can do. Our only possible visual experince is seduction, that is to say that objects have the power of becoming symbols, signs. The contemporary perception of objects is, in fact, not real, concrete, but is symbolical, sending into another reality.

Baudrillard's photos are a kind of experimentation (and not simply an experience, since we do not know the results of it) meant to rescue the objects from their disappeareance from reality: "The intensity of an image is the measure of the disappeareance of reality and of the invention of another scene. To transform an object into an image means to sign out one by one all its dimensions: weight, shapes, smell, depth, time, continuity, sense. By this cancelling, the image reaches a sort of power of fascination, it becomes the medium of pure objectivity ... ". According to Giuliano Compagno, the professor who organized the exhibion, "If we do not have an aesthetic eye we can hope to find a complicity with the object. this new relationship wants the experimentation of the real behind th erepresentation. Behind this concept there is the platonic idea that the image is the encounter of two lights, the one of the object and the one of the observer" (Prof. Giuliano Compagno).

"In the act of making a photo we do not see anything, because is the camera that sees what we are doing while what you have on the photo is what has remained when you went away. The object desappears, as if it died symbolically, while we never talk about the desappeareance of the subjectc, who desappears any time we make a photo. In fact, both the terms desapperar. There is complicity. This interactivity with the image is dangerous to me because when the photographer want to take a picture of someone, they usually smile to him. Everybody smile but the object refuses to do so. This is why I adore objects."

To talk about photography, after all, is just a way to talk about the images and "reality" behind them. "This problem is as old as the world. We know that the relationship between reality and images has always been in conflict because it deals with theology. There is the problem of the representation of God. This problem has been very important in many cultures..."

Baudrillard provoked his audience pushing them to find the instruments to get in conctact with reality through new modalities ("We don't know the rules of the game"), as long as "we resist to the viragos of the visual, of the too much visible ... We should stop and watch an image, feel its time, its silence, its eyes on us, all elements that virtual and commercial images do not have. to find the image means to conserve the real shape of it without developing into a uninterrupted flux of the visual. To take a picture does not mean to show a face, an history, but to find the real quality of an image, by looking into the objects. I could find it in the objects and not in the faces or human figures, or landscapes. My aim was to go against the mortuary profusione of images made by television."

The quotations are from the meeting "Reality and Tele-visions", held at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, on the 29th march 99.



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