Edmundo Desnoes
[Writer, b. 1930, Havana, Cuba, lives in New York.]

 The existence of the photographic camera allows man’s intervention to be reduced to a minimum, but at the same time it forces him to impose his presence at the moment of creation, to establish a living relationship with the subject, and initiate a hand-to-hand struggle. He disappears behind the keyhole but he cannot separate himself from the door. 
 On emerging from the embrace of reality, photographs do not remain floating in a no-man’s land: they cross the frontier and surrender to the world of painting. They are perceived and analyzed within a sensibility refined by painting: texture, composition, equilibrium and spatial tension, eternal harmony. If painting is already this archetypal world of absolute and eternal truth, photography governs the field of the contingent, the temporal, the broken, and the scattered, the interrupted. 
 There is a kind of photography that has a refined presence in the history of images stolen from reality. It is the art photograph as a lie. It transcends fluid reality and creates a closed unity. When it achieves an aesthetic synthesis, it immediately attains static unity. Cartier-Bresson’s photographs taken in Indonesia, for example, have this paralysing effect. One is compelled to believe in the perfection of the original reality; the image is a harmonious entity in itself. “Do not change a single thing!” one feels inclined to exclaim, like a stupid tourist in any “exotic and primitive” country. 
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