Images '97

The French writer Roland Barthes used to argue that every truly moving photograph has a single absorbing spot, a place that calls forth feeling. He called it the punctum, Latin for puncture or point. It could be something as simple as the little smudge that is the comet Hale-Bopp, which was for a while the world's most celebrated dot. Since it was an ancient dot, and one that got around a lot, it shed an astral glamour wherever it appeared. Like the President or Sharon Stone, it made everything, even whole mountain ranges, look more consequential beside it. So we nominate...

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