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Harmony Hidden in Chaos

In this photo from the arrivals terminal of the Paris Charles-de-Gaulle airport, there is a symmetric structure, formed by the central axis of the modern bench and the two women sitting back to back, both with dark hair and wearing a light coloured shirt.

But what is so evident in this black and white print was really not so obvious in colour. Still now there is a lot of “chaos” all around – people and elements which seem to occupy a random place, in what seems to be a scene of disorder.

With colour, there is simply more noise, more distraction, and the central symmetry – or harmony – is less obvious. Maybe this is why Vilém Flusser (1920-1991) in his book “Towards a Philosophy of Photography” maintains that black and white photographs are more “real” than colour photographs. Colour is sometimes too much of a distraction and only adds to the veil of illusion.