Nostalgia as a sentiment cannot be associated with it, a photographer by presenting his past can give the viewer a non-committal or a partially sympathetic glance into his past, but unless the audience want to understand the photographer and his photograph they would be non-committal. The sense of pseudo participation that would be invoked would not be real participation, when it comes to nostalgia in photography.
Why burn a photograph? Why put it on a hotplate and let the paper slowly be consumed by heat? Why allow the image to go up in smoke so that perhaps another image must be printed before I can look at it again? Why engulf a photograph in flames and make it smoulder until there is nothing left, but a sort of crater in the middle, a temporary parenthesis, a respite, or a pit, for nostalgia (Duttman, 2012)?
It is true that the burning of the photograph is to create a public spectacle. Placing a photograph on the hotplate, narrating a story about the photograph, and then letting the photograph burn to a cinder even as one watches it is the scene from the movie of Frampton. Frampton tries to reel in the audience to his nostalgic moments. Firstly, the burning of the photograph is used to attract the audience. What would a normal person do when they did not want a photograph (assuming such a situation happens) or want to discard some paper? They would trash it. They would not want to burn it; instead they would just trash it. However, Frampton is not content with just trashing it, and he wants to burn it. This is dramatic and is drama created for the people who are watching it (Klacsmann, 2012). Something in the burning of the photograph, the way it has been placed on the hotplates and is allowed to burn to a cinder, even to the point that it has reduced to ashes and the remnants are flaying on the plates makes the audience watch it in wonder. It is not often that one watches something burning with the people nearby not being worried about it, especially something as important as a photographic memory from the past. Secondly, the act of burning itself helps the audience focus. It is like Frampton has purposefully used the trick of burning to help the audience focus on what was being said. In the first photograph, the audience is still being attuned to the process (Frampton, and Jenkins, 2009; Andre et al, 1980). They listen to how Frampton took his first photograph are understanding how this came to be, and how he felt on taking his first picture but even as they are processing this information, the burning of the picture begins.