Catherine Opie
[Photographer, b. 1961, Sandusky, Ohio, lives in Los Angeles.]

 Language is a very complicated thing, and that’s one of the reasons why I like making photographs. 
 I’m glad there is a queer, out, dyke artist that’s being called an American photographer. 
 So much of my obsession with being a documentarian comes from this deep-seated sense of the loss of time, and of how things shift so quickly. 
 I do photograph things for people to look at 100 years from now. But we’re such a mediated society that things become historical the next day. 
 I wanted to push the whole realm of beauty and elegance, but also to make people scared out of their wits. 
 When we were kids, growing up in the sixties, the only images we had of ourselves were either still photographs or 8mm movies.... Now we have video, digital cameras, MP3s, and a million other ways to document ourselves. But the still photograph continues to hold a sense of mystery and awe to me. 
 I thought it was important, if I was going to document my [sadomasochistic] community, to document myself within that community. 
 I’m kind of a twisted social documentary photographer. 
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