Marcel Giró


Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante newsletter

"Literatura? Nããão! Fotografia!"
Marcel Giró
October 1968

Literature? No-o-o! Photography!
Marcel Giró 

The editor of this newsletter came to see me full of enormous enthusiasm and a dreadful resolve (dreadful for one in my situation) and then, later, phoned me again and again asking me to “do” an article to publish in this month’s newsletter. Needless to say, I wanted to satisfy his wishes, but... what can I talk about? 

The topic is, necessarily: Photography. My forte isn’t precisely literature; and proof of this is that when I was at school, my worst exam results were in that subject. Well, I believe I am like many amateur photographers when asked for an article, on whatever topic, without thought for the consequences that this lack of ability to express oneself with words − or rather with the pen − would have. If, on the other hand, we could use a camera, that would be another thing! 

At the same time, there are some people − luckily very few − who artistically and photographically speaking leave much to be desired, since at bottom they are vain and totally preoccupied with seeing their name in print, above any article, however immensely vacuous the content. 

The results of this approach are patently obvious. Pick up a few magazines and newsletters, leaf through them and you will arrive at a greyish sort of conclusion. And indeed this only gets worse in the discussions, all too often mediocre ones, that will drag on for months. Little by little the enthusiasm that you might feel waiting for your magazine to come out ebbs away until you finally you just leaf through listlessly and superficially on the off chance that there may be an article or photographic reproduction of interest. This is the sad truth of the matter and believe me I should like to be mistaken. 

What is the solution then to this problem? Simply: seek the collaboration of talented people and systematically refuse any article that does not speak to problems with current relevance. And if we do not have anyone to hand who would like to help and is able to do so, we will have to look for them abroad. Translate articles in good foreign magazines that will be of interest to amateurs, since it is not possible for all those who would like to have access to these magazines, or translate them. 

Looking through pages that deal with technical matters that are of minority interest − and a small minority at that − is wearying. What we need to know is what the great photographers of our day are thinking, photographers like Man Ray, Ortiz Echagüe, Steinert, Adams, Steichen, etc. I know what I am now going to say is a sacrilege, but I’m not interested in knowing how a lens is made, much less know the chemical composition of the materials used to make it, and similarly there is nothing interesting about developers which have long been public knowledge. At present, what is needed is to live and experience photography in the purest sense of the word and become familiar with the works. 

If the minorities that I mention above want to keep abreast of purely technical developments in the photography industry, they can nd longer and more detailed accounts than any magazine article in print. 

Arguing in public over whether this lens is better than that one I found appallingly ridiculous. ese sorts of problems have to be solved by big companies, with all their powerful means, both technical and economic. 

We amateurs know and love Photography as an Art. Let the technicians and the industry do the work on their side, and we, if we can, will strive to create real, authentic photography, which is and has to be our aim.