Since 1839 the aesthetic grammar of contemporary society has been defined by photography as the democratic art of visible society. After the invention of photography, the anthropology of the imaginary, discovered in Plato’s cave, was later replaced by the mundane function of the image. The relationship between the “will to power”, possession and photography goes through a form of knowledge of the world, of the surrounding objects but especially of corporeality. The success of the photographic act also overlaps with the need of the contemporary man to demonstrate, to prove that in front of the illusory feeling some kind of reality is interposed, albeit distorted sometimes. Intrinsically photography has a relationship with reality that responds to a need for logical positivism.
Practiced en masse, especially as a form of “defense against anxiety”, it becomes the plastic form of alienation.
In 1977, Susan Sontag published the book On Photography, at the beginning of which she noted: “Recently, photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex or dancing – which means that, like every mass art form, photography is not practiced by most people as an art.”
44 years later we may claim that the famous American writer’s ideas were prophetic. Through the development of high-performance cameras embedded in mobile phones but especially through social networks photography has become a form of global entertainment, a form of “aggression” on everything that is visible.
Photo hysteria has become a global phenomenon, especially following the launch of Instagram in October 2010. Since then, according to the latest announcements of the parent company of Instagram, Facebook, the current known number of Instagram users is 1 billion monthly active users (MAU) and 500 million daily active users (DAU).
In this context of photographic inflation, a series of questions arise about the meaning, purpose and relevance of photography: Can photography still be included among the relevant arts? Can we still talk about a series of aesthetic criteria that differentiate the value of photographic products? After all, what does a photo (still) mean?
The exhibition “One Single Shot” aims to answer these questions only tangentially. It is more of an invitation, a journey, a challenge for both the invited photographers and the audience. In this cultural context of the dictatorship of images, can we capture – by one single shot – a topic that “represents an inexhaustible invitation to deduction, speculation and fantasy?”