Paper Graveyards

An excellent lecture by Eduardo Cadava, regarding photographer Nadar. Of particular interest is the (mis)conception presented by Balzac, that a picture was actually lifting a layer of essence from a person, and that perhaps one’s essence could be exhausted through the continual photographing of it. This is of course untrue in a scientific sense, but brilliantly predicts the effect of overexposure on a person, or place. Some views on earth have become so polluted with over photography that the importance of going there has been lost entirely. Perhaps this fact alone can allow for the rebirth of such a place; as the spectacular element, ever present and dominant, gives way to the mundane and overtly banal. This is perhaps related to Roland Barthe’s famous retelling of Maupussant, who despite his despise of the Eiffel tower often had lunch there. The reason being, that it was the one place in Paris that you didn’t have to see the tower.


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