What is reality and is it possible to take her picture? How true stays a photograph when you zoom in and all forms and shapes slowly become indistinct?
The theme of Michelangelo Antonioni’s masterpiece became one of the most important fields of interest concerning photography to me. To capture/record the moment, to make it indefinite and therefore timeless is without any doubt a desire that most of us know well. People are usually very flattered when asked being portraited.. wishfully dreaming that their portrait will show somebody who is beautiful. The photograph as proof of facts. Don’t look at me, look at my picture! And it will still be there and – most important – the same, long after the photographed subject/object has already disappeared. Scary.
The photographer Thomas, main character of the movie Blow-up (who’s name is never mentioned in the movie, neither is the name of his antagonist Jane), is aware of photography’s immanent hollowness, but uses the medium for his purposes. It’s just a matter of surface. He leaves this level of conception when he starts to suspect having photographed a murder. He forsakes the two-dimensional frame of this miserable flysheet* to finally enter the picture. And there he is. Driven by the sensual component of cognition and power. The photographer as disciple, but also as adept of the image.
Before linearity struck the world, the perception of images was different. And so is the imaginative tennis match as last scene of the movie kind of consolatory. The photographer is able to abstract the so-called reality and thus able to act (and react) as an individual.. even if still in an absurdly indifferent environment.
* cf. Vilém Flusser (translation by the author) : This Miserable Flysheet – To explain the difference between the photograph (the photographic paper), that can be easily distributed, copied, destroyed etc. and that therefore is worthless, and the information that is put on its surface.