Richard Misrach
[Photographer, b. 1949, Los Angeles, lives in San Francisco.]

 I am not unaware that I have the mindset, as contradictory as it may sound, to discover in the world what I am in fact looking for. Perhaps the best pictures are a seamless hybrid of discovery and construction. 
 The very act of representation has been so thoroughly challenged in recent years by postmodern theories that it is impossible not to see the flaws everywhere, in any practice of photography. Traditional genres in particular—journalism, documentary studies, and fine-art photography—have become shells, or forms emptied of meaning. 
 In spite of recent trends towards fabricating photographic narratives, I find, more than ever, traditional photographic capture—the “discovery” of found narratives—deeply compelling. 
 Every photograph is a measure of time. Perhaps each can even be considered a metaphysical time-stamp of sorts. 
 I love the fact that a photograph is always open to interpretation—there is no fixed meaning. 
 Whatever else a photograph may be about, it is always about time. 
 To me, the work I do is a means of interpreting unsettling truths, of bearing witness, and of sounding an alarm. The beauty of formal representation both carries an affirmation of life and subversively brings us face to face with news from our besieged world. 
 I’m not interested in victim photography. Photographing people suffering and putting it on a museum wall is too weird. 
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