[Writer, b. 1930, Havana, Cuba, lives in New York.]
Images, the visual power of present-day capitalism, like the ritual constructions of ancient Egypt, are refined ways of inhibiting and crushing man.
The richness of our contemporary visual world must be seen as a danger. It is an overwhelming and oppressive world. A world that manifests itself fundamentally through the image is only a few steps from totalitarian manipulation.
Photographs are detonators. They explode in us. We are the gaze as well as the gazed-at. The observer and the observed.
Photography has fooled the world. There’s no more convincing fraud. Its images are nothing but the expression of the invisible man working behind the camera. They are not reality, they form part of the language of culture.
Photographs offer more than decisive moments. They are not alone, they add and subtract and change with time. They are metaphors for our lives... Even a static photograph can change in the blink of a day or decade.
The Latin American photographer has the possibility, and the means, for naming the things of our world, for demonstrating that there is another kind of beauty, that the faces of the First World are not the only ones. These Indian, black, plundered white and mestizo faces are the first element defining the demographic content of our photography.
...photography can lie as convincingly as literature or painting. The angle, the selected content, the assumed context.
Weston’s sensual texture or Cartier-Bresson’s implacable composition are apt to close over themselves, attaining the perfection of a certain sensual and harmonious bliss. We see textures, volumes, equilibrium—and reality, open and ragged, is lost and transcended.