My question is: as a dissociating psyche protects itself from painful experience by means of a traumatic distancing, might photographic representations induce a kind of protective, distancing latency for the group psyche of the viewing public? Photographic processes cannot cause new relationships to events, to the real, but they may well induce them. A digital latency might erase the last vestiges of a claim to authenticity, challenging both the directness of one’s relationship to photographic technology (…) as well as the presumed presence of the image maker in the historical moment. (…)
In The Society of the Spectacle, Debord argues that in modern society ‘‘All that once was directly lived has become mere representation’’, and that authentic experience has been replaced with spectacle and image commodity: ‘‘Images detached from every aspect of life merge into a common stream, and the former unity of life is lost forever. Apprehended in a partial way, reality unfolds in a new generality as a pseudo-world apart’’.
In Lieberman, Jessica Catherine(2008) 'TRAUMATIC IMAGES', Photographies, 1: 1, 87 — 102
© Hugh Welch Diamond, Dr., Melancholia passing into Mania, c.1950
© Hugh Welch Diamond, Dr., Seated woman with bird, c.1955