Representation, then, is not - nor can it be - neutral; it is an act - indeed the founding act - of power in our culture.
Photographs are but one link in a potentially endless chain of reduplication; themselves duplicates (of both their objects and, in a sense, their negatives), they are also subject to further duplication, either through the procedures of printing or as objects of still other photographs.
As an allegorical art, then, photography would represent our desire to fix the transitory, the ephemeral, in a stable and stabilizing image.
The postmodernist critique of representation undermines the referential status of visual imagery, its claim to represent reality as it really is - either the appearance of things or some ideal order behind or beyond appearance.
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