In this lucid and concise essay, David Levi Strauss explores the relation between truth and photography. Based on the assumption that we only need to see in order to believe, Levi Strauss examines the figure of Saint Thomas in the Gospels, investigates the relation between faith and the Holy Shroud – considered by some scholars as the first proto-photographic image in history –, and discusses the contributions to the subject by critics and philosophers such as Walter Benjamin, John Berger and Roland Barthes.
A relevant portion of the book is dedicated to the writings of Vilém Flusser and to his “technical images” and to the intersection of magic and technology, while the last chapter is a reflection on contemporary times: in a world inhabited by deepfake, how has the relation between faith and photography evolved? Can we still believe images?
Translated by Federico Florian.