Joan Fontcuberta

The performativity of images

From Plato to Sartre, the problem of the image for philosophy does not come from an ontology of being and essence. In different ways, both representation and the imaginary are fed by a ‘lack of being’ of images” (Vauday, 2008). Our intention is to distance ourselves from the import of this quote, which is why we are interested in analysing images from a standpoint that is not about understanding them as imitations, reflections of existing realities, sentimental projections or expressions. It is not, then, an analysis which asks why images exist, rather it delves mainly into the ways they are constructed, the self-problematisations that this force field creates. Hence we say “the performativity of images” because we think that their meanings are shaped by their ways of doing, that they build themselves while building the scene in order to appear in it. Basically because images only exist in interaction, which is why they cannot be defined in an abstract manner. In contrast to the figurative dimension which favours form, this interstitial understanding of images seeks to focus on pictorial, photographic and cinematographic practices, on the creation of images, on their poiesis. The image as a crack which emerges in the anarchy of what represents us.

The first stage of this research was conducted in 2017 alongside the projects Imperi del Mig (Empire of the Middle) by Oriol Fontdevila and Arxivar (File) by Jorge Blasco.

Andrea Soto Calderón

Participants: Marie-José Mondzain, Nadia Yala Kisukidi, Jacques Rancière, Joan Fontcuberta and Laboratorio Contravisiones (Iván Pintor, Marta Dahó, Pilar Monsell, Felipe Oyarzun and Andrea Soto Calderón)