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By: Roland Barthes

In: Stardom and Celebrity: A Reader

Chapter : ‘That-Has-Been’; the Pose; the Luminous Rays, Colour; Amazement; Authentification

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‘That-Has-Been’; the Pose; the Luminous Rays, Colour; Amazement; Authentification
‘That-has-been’; the pose; the luminous rays, colour; amazement; authentification
RolandBarthes

First of all I had to conceive, and therefore if possible express properly (even if it is a simple thing) how Photography's Referent is not the same as the referent of other systems of representation. I call ‘photographic referent’ not the optionally real thing to which an image or a sign refers but the necessarily real thing which has been placed before the lens, without which there would be no photograph. Painting can feign reality without having seen it. Discourse combines signs which have referents, of course, but these referents can be and are most often ‘chimeras.’ Contrary to these imitations, in Photography I can never deny that ...

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