Gilles Peress
[Photographer, b. 1946, Neuilly, France, lives in New York.]

 I don’t trust words. I trust pictures. 
 I don’t care so much anymore about “good photography,” I am gathering evidence for history. 
 How do you make the unseen seen? 
 I am bad at memory—this is why I shoot pictures. 
 [The photograph is] still a space to reorganize our thoughts about reality and our place in the world. How do you disentangle the surface of reality? 
 I think I’ve got a peculiar disease. I call it “the curse of history,” and it has to do with the fugitive absence/presence of both personal and collective memory. At first I thought it was a kind of personal illness, just related to time, private time, time that passes in one’s life. So I decided to forget and throw myself into the future. 
 We are entering into an age in which visual language is defined by a dialogue between photographers and audiences. This means not just the democratic posting of images but the democratic interpretation of images. 
 I’m proposing to you that photography is a language on its own, which is that when you look at images you do derive ideas; and I’m also proposing to you that you can derive ideas without going through words. So I’m forcing you to really look. And this process of looking, it’s like a new set of ideas that are being proposed to you. 
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