Pro-photographic Gestures

Leister, Wiebke and Anderson, Joel (2019) Pro-photographic Gestures. Photography and Culture, 11 (2). pp. 237-243. ISSN 1751-4517


It could be said that both Roland Barthes and Vilém Flusser were interested in accounts of the “pro-photographic” – those acts that are occurring in the slice of the world that is placed in front of the camera eye before it becomes “image.” Its mise en scène. This practically refers to everything that appears before the camera and how it is arranged, including composition, sets, props, actors, costumes, lighting. Protagonists and their actions constitute a pro-photographic event in front of the camera in a pro-photographic space that can be seen from the camera, while the position and angle of the camera determine the perspective and point of view of the audience of what eventually appears in the image. While the camera alters how we perceive the photographed scene, it turns the actor into a character by splitting the image from its referent in the world.


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