• “What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially. In the Photograph, the event is never transcended for the sake of something else: the Photograph always leads the corpus I need back to the body I see . . .” (4). Indexicality. [cf the Lacanian Real] “The antihon of ‘Look’.”
  • Photographs are “never distinguished from [their] referent[s]”; always tautological, always recursive (5). “In short, the referent adheres” (6).
  • “What does my body know of Photography?” Three practices: “to do, to undergo, to look.” Operator, Spectator, Spectrum [thing photographed, “the target, the referent, a kind of little simulacrum”] (9).
  • Under observation, “I constitute myself in the process of ‘posing,’ I instantaneously make another body for myself, I transform myself in advance into an image” (10).
  • “This disturbance [“that faint uneasiness” of encountering the self in the photograph] is ultimately one of ownership. Law has expressed it in its way: to whom does the photograph belong? Is landscape itself only a kind of loan made by the owner of the terrain?” (13).
  • Studium/punctum—the field of interest and the thing that punctuates/breaks it (25–26).
  • “For the rest, with regard to the heterogeneity of ‘good’ photographs, all we can say is that the object speaks, it induces us, vaguely to think. . . . Ultimately, Photography is subversive not when it frightens, repels, or even stigmatizes, but when it is pensive, when it thinks” (38).
  • “Certain details may ‘prick’ me. If they do not, it is doubtless because the photographer has put them there intentionally” (47). Punctum must attest only to the “she was there,” and can’t be part of the designed studium. (So what then of the posed photograph?)
  • “History is hysterical: it is constituted only if we consider it, only if we look at it—and in order to look at it, we must be excluded from it” (65).
  • Perception is fragmentary; truth constituted in the spaces in between (66–67).
  • “The Winter Garden Photograph was my Ariadne, not because it would help me discover a secret thing (monster or treasure), but because it would tell me what constituted that thread which drew me toward Photography” (73).
  • “I call ‘photographic referent’ not the optionally real thing to which an image or sign refers but the necessarily real thing which has been placed before the lens, without which there would be no photograph . . . in Photography I can never deny that the thing has been there. There is a superimposition here: of reality and of the past” (76).
  • ”. . . what I see has been there, in this place which extends between infinity and the subject . . .; it has been here, and yet immediately separated; it has been absolutely, irrefutably present, and yet already deferred” (77). [Think here about the distinction b/t photography and painting for discussion of Velasquez]
  • The “pose” is the heart of Photography and the reason it’s distinct from cinema, which only has a “passage” (78). “For the photograph’s immobility is somehow the result of a perverse confusion between two concepts: the Real and the Live: by attesting that the object has been real, the photograph surreptitiously induces belief that it is alive . . .” (79).
  • Reflected light: “What matters to me is not the photograph’s ‘life’ (a purely ideological notion) but the certainty that the photographed body touches me with its own rays and not with a superadded light” (81).
  • “Photography never lies: or rather, it can lie as to the meaning of the thing . . . never as to its existence” (87).
  • Question: does Photoshop annihilate these arguments?
  • The Photograph returns restlessly to death: “The only way I can transform the Photograph is into refuse: either the drawer or the wastebasket” (93).
  • “I cannot penetrate, cannot reach into the Photograph. I can only sweep it with my glance, like a smooth surface. The Photograph is flat . . .” (106). Camera lucida.
  • “The Photograph then becomes a bizarre medium, a new form of hallucination: falst on the level of perception, true on the level of time: a temporal hallucination, so to speak, a modest, shared hallucination . . .: a mad image, chafed by reality” (115).
  • Society tames Photography by making it art (117); and by generalizing it (118).