[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1924, Zürich, Switzerland, lives in Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and New York.]
I have been frequently accused of deliberately twisting subject matter to my point of view. Above all, I know that life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference. Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism. But criticism can come out of love. It is important to see what is invisible to others—perhaps the look of hope or the look of sadness. Also it is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph.
The kind of photography I did is gone. It’s old. There’s no point in it anymore for me, and I get no satisfaction from trying to do it. There are too many pictures now. It’s overwhelming. A flood of images that passes by, and says, “Why should we remember anything?” There is too much to remember now, too much to take in.
[Taking photographs is] almost embarrassing, everyone does it, after all. And everyone has the pictures in their head already anyway, all more or less the same. (2002)
The truth is somewhere between the documentary and the fictional, and that is what I try to show. What is real one moment has become imaginary the next. You believe what you see now, and the next second you don’t anymore.
A message picture is something that’s simply too clear.
You can photograph anything now.
When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.
I envy [my wife’s] freedom to sit down in front of a blank page with no machine to get in the way. That is freedom. Photography is not freedom.