Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 A photograph is not only an image (as a painting is an image), an interpretation of the real; it is also a trace, something directly stenciled off the real, like a footprint or a death mask. 
 In some way I would suggest that photography is not so much an art as a meta-art. It’s an art which devours other art... photography takes the whole world as its subject, cannibalizes all art forms, and converts them into images. And in that sense it seems a peculiarly modern art form. 
 The vast maw of modernity has chewed up reality and spat the whole mess out as images. 
 By furnishing this already crowded world with a duplicate one of images, photography makes us feel that the world is more available than it really is. 
 The disconcerting ease with which photographs can be taken, the inevitable even when inadvertent authority of the results, suggest a very tenuous relation to knowing. 
 A photograph is supposed not to evoke but to show. That is why photographs, unlike handmade images, can count as evidence. But evidence of what? 
 There is no such thing as a bad photograph—only less interesting, less relevant, less mysterious ones. 
 Our very sense of situation is now articulated by the camera’s interventions. The omnipresence of cameras persuasively suggests that time consists of interesting events, events worth photographing. This, in turn, makes it easy to feel that any event, once underway, and whatever its moral character, should be allowed to complete itself—so that something else can be brought into the world, the photograph. 
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