[Writer, critic, and theorist, b. 1915, Cherbourg, d. 1980, Paris.]
Formerly, the image illustrated the text (made it clearer); today, the text loads the image, burdening it with a culture, a moral, an imagination.
I passed beyond the unreality of the thing represented, I entered crazily into the spectacle, into the image, taking into my arms what is dead, what is going to die...
When we look at a photograph of ourselves or of others, we are really looking at the return of the dead.
Not only is the Photograph never, in essence, a memory... but it actually blocks memory, quickly becomes a counter-memory.
A photograph is always invisible, it is not it that we see.
In an initial period, photography, in order to surprise, photographs the notable; but soon, by a familiar reversal, it decrees notable whatever it photographs.
The photographic referent [is] not the optionally real thing to which an image or a sign refers but the necessarily real thing which has been placed before the lens, without which there would be no photograph.
As Spectator I wanted to explore photography not as a question (a theme) but as a wound.