Fotografiets dagligtale
The Ordinary Language of Photography (2021)
Kunst og Kultur, 1/2021 (volum 104)

Private photo, 1939

"Twenty-four years ago, I experienced what most people experience during their lives, namely that my father died. It happened suddenly and far too soon, he was only 59 years old. Not long after, I became a mother for the first time. There were some years where life and death unfolded very concretely around me. These events led me to study family photos with a more inquisitive eye, while I began to fill my own photo albums with children's photos."


The essay The Ordinary Language of Photography argues that family pictures must be studied with regards to their embeddedness within the family context to grasp their complexity. Using among others Stanley Cavell’s reflections on photography, scepticism, and self-knowledge as a point of departure, the text demonstrates how family photography, despite being a genre governed by a number of limitations, also has great potential for expressing individuality. The article also shows how this is a capacity that it has in common with ordinary language.