up or down? In or out? 上也?下也?里也?外也?

(注:中文在英文下面)

For a long while, some believe photos can serve as great evidence and historical documents. Then it is recognized an art of expression. Some pictures may seem specific and clear.

Or so we think.

Yet, not really. Photography is actually one of the most ambiguous media. One image can stir many different interpretations, even arguments, some of which could be dangerous. Even one same person looks at one same image, yet at different times and in different situations, that person may have different feelings about this same image. If a group of still images are edited or sequenced in different ways, they could probably produce very different meanings to different people. This could be dangerous, too.

Recently I follow some discussions about documentary photography. At first I wanted to say something, then I hesitated, then I stopped. Because the more I thought, the more confused I got. And I am always cautious about over thinking, which could also be dangerous. If you know Chinese history well, you may realize some over thinking and over interpretations of images and words have imprisoned killed many innonent people.

So in this picture, what do you see? A girl? A woman? A boy? Is she/he climbing up, or down? Is she/he coming out from inside, or in from outside? You can’t really tell from one images, right?

Sometimes maybe it is better to let your readers guess than to give your answer or make a statement about/with an image. I always hesitate to make a statement.

近日看了一些关于摄影的讨论。参与者很热情,让人感动。本来也要参与的,后来犹豫了,然后打住了。

图片,貌似直观,所以常被用来当证据、当史料。后来才被当做艺术表达的一个媒介。有时候,有的图片看起来一目了然,其实不然。便是同一个人,在不同的时间和情景看同一张或一组图片,也可能会产生不同的看法和感情。即便是貌似一目了然简单图片,也会被误读,会引起争议。这里隐含了一些危险因子。一组静态图片,在不用的组合,很有可能产生很不一样的主观信息。这也有危险。如果您了解中国历史,您会发现,文字狱很可怕。图片狱同样可怕。把理论强加于简单而直观的图片上,也有危险。所以,我对于解读图片,越来越谨慎了。

此外,既然图片有模糊性的特点。有时候,让读者猜疑,或许比直白给出答案会更好些?像上面的图片,那是谁呢?女孩?男孩?女人?她/他是往上爬还是往下走?往里还是往外?图片的意图在作者那儿,还是在读者那儿?或者根本就没有任何意思?

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