Exit#76 – Fischer – Joyce – english

“Interior monologue”

On receiving the invitation to select a photograph for the EXIT anniversary edition, the first image that sprang from my subconscious to rise before my mind’s eye was this portrait of James Joyce by Gisèle Freund. Perhaps this was the case because I associate a personal story with it?
In the early 1980s, when I lived in Paris to organize my first conceptual series of portraits entitled “Nuns and Monks”, I once visited Gisèle Freund in her flat near Denfert-Rochereau. There, above the couch, hung that portrait of James Joyce. So we talked, among other things, about the author, who was one of my “heroes” and whose “Ulysses” I already knew fairly well. When the conversation turned to the technique of the so-called “interior monologue”, which I supposed was pioneered by Joyce, Gisèle Freund corrected my false assumption, pointing me to Édouard Dujardin, who, in his “Les lauriers sont coupés“, had introduced this stylistic device thirty years earlier.
At any rate, for me this portrait has always been somehow pictorially synonymous with or a visualization of the idea of an interior monologue.
It ingeniously captures and pictures the author’s momentary, yet complete withdrawal into his inner world while contemplating a poem through the double filter of his thick glasses and an additional magnifying glass. Moreover, we, as beholders, have to pass another filter, namely the view through the photographer’s camera. Nothing epitomizes more aptly the complex path through various subjective realities that a photograph normally traverses before it becomes an “image,” before it finally finds its very own kind of reality in the form of a “print on the wall.”
And perhaps one might describe the global image stream generated by billions of photographs as a kind of collective, if visual, interior monologue of the world?

Roland Fischer, September 2019 (english by Volker Ellerbeck)

published in:
EXIT #76 „Your favourite photograph“
November 2019
Language: Spanish / English
Pages 164
Format Rustic
ISSN 1577-2721
Reference: 9771577272008-76