The unbearable lightness of being

A Dick Fossbury phone call?
A Dick Fossbury phone call?

I remember being struck by certain photographic images, that were weird to the point of being unreal. It was like seeing life stepping out of its tracks. The title, borrowed from a known novel by Milan Kundera, underscores that sensation.

The two most famous examples, that come to my mind, are “Tree and Chicken” by Edouard Boubat, and “Boy, Valencia 1933” by Henri cartier Bresson. In reality, these photographs are a revenge of the photographer on the normalcy of the ordinary. In both cases, a passing illusion, or momentary coincidence,  has been served as if it was something making part of a special type of reality, reserved for the initiated few.

Boubat, has found a trick to transform two dimensions into three (or, maybe it was the other way round?), while HCB has shown us what looks like a  moment of clearvoyant ecstasy, but in reality was a boy following his ball in the air.

Is that legittimate? I don’t have doubts it is.  The importrant part of photography, is to show us how life looks like , when we have the time to actually analyze the image inch by inch, rather than get a pre processed message from our brain, which has categorized the image for us.

Struck by mourning?
Shot by paparazzi ?