Aaron Siskind
[Photographer, b. 1903, New York, d. 1991, Providence, Rhode Island.]

 To me documentary photography means making a picture so that the viewer doesn’t think about the man who made the picture. 
 It is no longer a matter of expressing reality, but of expressing what one feels about reality. 
 There are two forces operating in my work: pleasure and terror. 
 We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there. We have been conditioned to expect... but, as photographers, we must learn to relax our beliefs. 
 When I make a photograph, I want it to be an altogether new object, complete and self-contained, whose basic condition is order—(unlike the world of events and actions whose permanent condition is change and disorder). 
 For some reason or other there was in me the desire to see the world clean and fresh and alive, as primitive things are clean and fresh and alive. The so-called documentary picture left me wanting something. 
 I care only for people—I’m interested only in human destiny. It just happens that I work symbolically—not directly with people as subjects. 
 The only other things I got from the abstract expressionists is the absolute belief that this canvas is the complete total area of struggle, this is the arena, this is where the fight is taking place, the battle. Everybody believes that, but you have to really believe that and work that way. 
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