david han


'Anoesia' is a reflection on my attempt to understand a photograph from my family's past. My desire to understand started from a lack of knowledge (about these previously unknown photo albums; about my parent's past; and about my relationship to my parent's past and this one particular photograph). I chose to fulfill this desire by attempting to analyze one photograph. By re-building this photo I hoped to pinpoint the allure it held for me. In this, I was unsuccessful. In deconstructing the photo, my desire to understand went unsatisfied. Only the entire image, appearing briefly, provoked that initial "prick" - the punctum. And yet I am still left with no explanation or understanding of it.

Perhaps it is this want of understanding, this Anoesia, which lies at the root of Barthes' notion of punctum. "What I can name cannot really prick me. The incapacity to name is a good symptom of disturbance... The effect is certain but unlocatable, it does not find its sign, its name; it is sharp and yet lands in a vague zone of myself; it is acute yet muffled, it cries out in silence." (Barthes, Camera Lucida, 51-53)

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'Anoesia'. 2008. Flash animation.