Glossary Entry – 1/23/17

Advenience/adventure: According to Barthes, advenience or adventure is “the attraction certain photographs exert” (19). A picture that advenes has adventure and is what makes photography “exist.” In other words, if a photograph does not move onlookers in any significant way, whether through its aesthetic appeal or something on the inside that ignites curiosity or interests to explore that photograph’s depth, there is no photograph. This attraction that Barthes says causes a specific photograph to move past being an image but fluctuates between objects and persons is caused by its animation, “the attraction that makes it exist” (20). [JW]

Referent: A photographs referent is “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” (Barthes, 76). This notion of a photographs referent is contrasted with a painting, which can impose reality, never being seen by the artist. A photographs referent interjects that the thing has been there (76) whether that be the objects, humans, or event that is captured. [JW]