Photography by Julian Lucas
From Camera Lucida, by Roland Barthes:
The Photograph does not necessarily say what is no longer, but only and for certain what has been. This distinction is decisive. In front of a photograph, our consciousness does not necessarily take the nostalgic path of memory (how many photographs are outside of individual time), but for every photograph existing in the world, the path of certainty: the Photograph’s essence is to ratify what it represents. One day I received from a photographer a picture of myself which I could not remember being taken, for all my efforts; I inspected the tie, the sweater, to discovery in what circumstances I had worn them; to no avail. And yet, because it was a photograph I could not deny that I had been there (even if I did not know where). This distortion between certainty and oblivion gave me a kind of vertigo, something of a “detective” anguish (the theme of Blow-Up was not far off); I went to the photographer’s show as to a police investigation, to learn at last what I no longer knew about myself.
No writing can give me this certainty. It is the misfortune (but also perhaps the voluptuous pleasure) of language not to be able to authenticate itself. The noeme of language is perhaps this impotence, or, to put it positively: language is, by nature, fictional; the attempt to render language unfictional requires an enormous apparatus of measurements: we convoke logic, or, lacking that, sworn oath; but the Photograph is indifferent to all intermediaries: it does not invent; it is authentication itself; the (rare) artifices it permits are not probative; they are, on the contrary, trick pictures: the photograph is laborious only when it fakes. It is a prophecy in reverse: like Cassandra, but eyes fixed on the past, Photography never lies: or rather, it can lie as to the meaning of the thing, being by nature tendentious, never as to its existence. Impotent with regard to general ideas (to fiction), its force is nonetheless superior to everything the human mind can or can have conceived to assure us of reality—but also this reality is never anything but a contingency (“so much, no more”).
Julian Lucas (b. 1974, Chicago) is an American photographer living in Los Angeles who has been photographing since the mid ’90s. Julian became interested in photography while studying sociology at Portland State University. His photographic works range from the fine art nude to an exploration of human behavior and challenging social norms. Julian is an inquisitive viewer and incisive photographer of the human condition. Fascinated by identities that exist within society, his portraits attempt to define an innocence of personalities. His most recent study, Apt #31, chronicles everyday life within an intimate interior of a one-bedroom apartment. The photographs featured here are from his series “Vanglorious” and “The Color of Deficiency.” Visit his website here.