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Journal Article

Neither Fish nor Flesh

John Tagg
History and Theory
Vol. 48, No. 4, Theme Issue 48: Photography and Historical Interpretation (Dec., 2009), pp. 77-81
Published by: Wiley for Wesleyan University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25621440
Page Count: 5
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Neither Fish nor Flesh
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Abstract

Against the notion of chance that Robin Kelsey proposes as the opening to a new conception of photography and its relationship to history, this response argues for attention to the apparatuses that strive to "cope with chance" and guarantee meaning—apparatuses whose effective purpose is precisely not to be undone by chance and not to be reminded of their contingent and arbitrary nature—in other words, of their historicity. This opens another kind of encounter with the historicity of the photographic image, as sliding from frame to frame, never quite fitting any of them, the photograph shows itself as an elusive opening, the ground of irreducibly heterogeneous and radically incommensurable stakes—never just one definitive and well-flagged stake driven into the ground at some singular moment in the past.

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