I find Susan Sontag’s words healing in some strange way, in this chapter she writes about photos of Arbus,
“According to Reich, the masochist’s taste for pain does not spring from a love of pain but from the hope of procuring, by means of pain, a strong sensation; those handicapped by emotional or sensory analgesia only prefer pain to not feeling anything at all.”
It could be argued that photographers seek connection to the world through their photos, great photographers often have had some traumatic event in some point of their lives, after which they find it difficult to connect to the world same way as other people can normally. Ordinary days feel so alien to us..
Photographs may become a way for people to feel something, but it’s at the same time, looking photographs also anesthetize.
Photography can be a way of ultimate cure, entire lifestyle which is built on supporting and protecting the artist’s soul. And at the same time, moments recorded on photographic paper turn into dust, photos themselves fade and disappear, and people forget them. Life is fragile like a piece of paper, other side being death, it takes a faint breeze of dust to flip it around, unexposed image becomes exposed.
Yet, recorded evidence of life makes somehow everything seem less painful, even though actually it might worsen the pain itself in form of nostalgia.