Peter Schjeldahl
[Writer and critic, b. 1942, Fargo, North Dakota, lives in New York.]

 Photography is the art of anticipation, not working with memories, but showing their formation. As such, it has relentlessly usurped imaginative and critical prerogatives of older, slower literature and handmade visual art. 
 There is an ineffable but fatal difference in attitude between people behaving naturally and people behaving naturally for a camera. 
 The dominant problem of pictorial art since the nineteen-fifties is photography, and, by extension, film and video. The basilisk eye of the camera has withered the pride of handworked mediums. Painting survives on a case-by-case basis, its successes amounting to special exemptions from a verdict of history. 
 A word is a thought, of course. But any image, including a photograph, may become an instrument of sufficiently lucid cogitation.