[Writer and theorist, b. 1911, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, d. 1980, Toronto, Canada.]
Photography turns people into things and their image into a mass consumer product.
Art is anything you can get away with.
[Cameras] tend to turn people into things and the photograph extends and multiplies the human image to the proportions of mass-produced merchandise and, [in the age of photography] the world itself becomes a sort of museum of objects that have been encountered before in some other museum and to say that “the camera cannot lie” is merely to underline the multiple deceits that are now practiced in its name.
The movie stars and matinee idols are put into the public domain by photography. They become dreams that money can buy. They can be bought and thumbed more easily than public prostitutes.
Nobody can commit photography alone.
...the logic of the photograph is neither verbal nor syntactical, a condition which renders literary culture quite helpless to cope with the photograph.
Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don’t really have any rights left.
Positively, the effect of speeding up temporal sequence is to abolish time, much as the telegraph and cable abolished space. Of course, the photograph does both.