It’s difficult to see it in the image, but the picture at the bottom in the photo is La Gioconda or Mona Lisa of Leonardo da Vinci, in the Louvre Museum. A crowd is taking pictures of La Gioconda with their cell phones. I wonder if someone is looking at La Gioconda.
There are thousands of photographs that anyone can get from internet, and surely much better. The purpose of visiting the Louvre shouldn’t be to take one or two dozens of poor photos on Mona Lisa and other famous pictures, but to look at the works. This was obvious years ago, when we hadn’t mobiles. Then, people used to visit museums to get close to the works, examining up them closely during minutes. Now the purpose seems to claim “I was there”, with these poor pictures taken with mobiles. The priority isn’t the work of art and appreciate its beauty, but “I” and to show “I was there”.
Of course I’m not talking about photography in general. I like photography, and it’s art as well; with better or worse fortune according to the case, but it’s art when it’s done with the purpose of getting an image that can be appreciated for its beauty or emotional power (definition of art that I did read in some site). I’m talking about the compulsive habit of taking pictures on every event on our lifes, instead of living that events. The people in the picture simply is spoiling a good moment that they could have lived in the museum.
I remember when I had the chance of watching the Guernica of Pablo Picasso. It was a school journey, I was 17 years old then (a long long time ago), and my schoolmates and I weren’t experts in art (neither I am now, decades later). But most of us stayed there, in front of the work, during a long time, trying to catch each detail. It’s a huge work, 349 x 776 cm (137,4 x 305,5 in, and really impressive when you are in front of it.
I’m not saying that my generation is better. We all are, in part, product of the times in which we live. Luckily we hadn’t cell phones in that year, or I would have done the same that these people in the picture above: to take one or two photos of the Guernica, maybe a selfie to show my acquaintances I was there, and then run to take a picture of another famous work.
Now I haven’t the photo, but the memory, and it was worth.