Sherrie Levine
[Artist, b. 1947, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 Maybe I should see things as they really are and not as I want them to be. 
 A picture is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centers of culture. 
 The world is filled to suffocating. Man has placed his token on every stone. Every word, every image, is leased and mortgaged. We know that a picture is but a space in which a variety of images, none of them original, blend and clash. 
 I wanted to make pictures that contradicted themselves. I wanted to put one picture on top of another so that there were times when both pictures disappear and other times when they were both manifest. That vibration is basically what the work was about for me—that space in the middle where there is no picture, rather an emptiness, an oblivion. 
 Instead of taking photographs of trees or nudes, I take photographs of photographs. I choose pictures that manifest the desire that nature and culture provide us with a sense of order and meaning. I appropriate these images to express my own simultaneous longing for the passion of engagement and the sublimity of aloofness. I hope that in my photographs of photographs an uneasy peace will be made between my attraction to the ideals these pictures exemplify and my desire to have no ideas or fetters whatsoever. It is my aspiration that my photographs, which contain their own contradiction, would represent the best of both worlds.