Allan Sekula
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1951, Erie, Pennsylvania, d. 2013, Los Angeles.]

 Documentary photography has amassed mountains of evidence. And yet... the genre has simultaneously contributed much to spectacle, to retinal excitation, to voyeurism, to terror, envy and nostalgia, and only a little to the critical understanding of the social world. 
 The making of a human likeness on film is a political act. 
 Nothing could be more natural than... a man pulling a snapshot from his wallet and saying, “This is my dog.” 
 The photograph is an “incomplete” utterance, a message that depends on some external matrix of conditions and presuppositions for its readability. 
 Photography promises an enhanced mastery of nature, but photography also threatens conflagration and anarchy. 
 Documentary is thought to be art when it transcends its reference to the world, when the work can be regarded, first and foremost, as an act of self-expression on the part of the artist. 
 The only “objective” truth that photographs offer is the assertion that somebody or something... was somewhere and took a picture. 
 Black-and-white photos tell the truth. That’s why insurance companies use them. 
quotes 1-8 of 23
page 1 of 3 next page last page
display quotes