In Godard’s Les Carabinieres (1963), Michel-Ange and Ulysse triumphantly bring home a suitcase of booty, which turns out to contain only picture postcards, hundreds of them, of monuments, department stores, mammals, wonders of nature, works of art, and other classified treasures from around the globe.
Godard’s gag vividly parodies the equivocal magic of the photographic image. Photographs are perhaps the most mysterious of all the objects that make up, and thicken, the environment we recognize as modern.
Photographs really are experience captured.
To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed.