White Night

But if Photography seems to me closer to the Theater, it is by way of a singular intermediary : by way of Death.
We know the original relation of the theater and the cult of the Dead : the first actors separated themselves from the community by playing the role of the Dead : to make oneself up was to designate oneself as a body simultaneously living and dead : the whitened bust of the totemic theater, the man with the painted face in the Chinese theater, the rice-paste makeup of the Indian Katha Kali, the Japanese No mask…
Now it is this same relation which I find in the Photograph; however « lifelike » we strive to make it, Photography is a kind of primitive theater, a kind of Tableau Vivant, a figuration of the motionless and made-up face beneath which we see the dead.

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, Reflections on Photography