Which are more powerful, words or pictures? Which are more expressive, evident, objective, and transformative? A range of controversial questions, like those, are not only asked by painters and men of letters; lay people are, sometimes, torn between the desire to watch a film or to read a book, take a photograph or produce an article, paint a board or write a story. Undoubtedly, answers to such questions have been hurting to artists and funs, especially when the evidence is drawn from history and reality.
Never do I, personally speaking, aim at proving the superiority of one artistic genre to another; unless history and reality, I mentioned, push me to do so. Now, would you look back into the little remote history of human productions, such as the Greek epics and Arab masterpieces? You will inevitably find letters dominance over pictures. Some time in history, you unfold nothing but vestiges of writers, poets, philosophers, and their companions in a world of words. The leaders of troops used to drive their soldiers into merciless battles through a mere oration, or a few verses excerpted from a pride poem. Limited, documented scripts of sayings were expressive enough to make historical turnings in term of human values and behaviors.
Though Da Vinci and Van Gogh attempted, at some enlightened periods, to refute what history had confirmed before they were born, they did vainly. For the power of words had been irresistible. However, since the Lumière brothers, pictures set out to win a great amount of power they had never had before. Some still say that paintings have been cryptic messages, but there is no escaping the timeless artistic, pictorial pieces, the ones which words stand mute in their presence. None can deny that pictures nowadays are scorching, wide-spreading, and long-lived.
The additional value of pictures comes not from the weakness of words, because words have never been weak for their readers, but from the modern qualities into which technology incorporates. People, in present of virtual knowledge, electronic networking and the like, seek easy paths to information and entertainment. Pictures –and motion picture recently, are then more capable of offering such services than words; a thousand words can be summed up in a painted or photographic posture. Needless to prove this in reality due to the fact that number of visitors of picture festivals is extremely incomparable to word fairs.
Whoever spends a little time contemplating human achievements in art would never voice his disagreements to a part of what I have written, nor could he show his agreements. But he inevitably can do so if he considered the whole written, since it is the sum of words; especially the one who considers that at the time of contemplation.