Rankin (John Rankin Waddell)
[Photographer, b. 1966, Glasgow, Scotland, lives in London.]
At the end of the day, it’s only a photograph and if someone is going to get really upset about a photograph, then they have a lot of issues. I just roll with it and see what happens.
[Writer and theorist, b. 1947, New York, lives in Santa Barbara, California.]
That erotic and pornographic photographs were produced almost from the medium’s inception should come as no surprise. That it does so is a testimonial only to the near-total elision of this fact from the standard histories in the field... Indeed, it seems reasonable to assume that almost as soon as there were viable daguerreotypes, there were pornographic ones.
[Photographer, b. 1931, Denver, d. 2006, Albuquerque, New Mexico.]
I was never in a school situation where someone said, “This is the way a photograph is supposed to look.” I was completely open to cut them up, or do anything like that. I think if I had been in touch with people earlier, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing that. It would have been too bizarre.
God (Judeo-Christian Version)
[Omnipotent artist, critic, creator and destroyer, before time, lives everywhere and nowhere.]
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or likeness of any thing that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them; nor serve them... (Judeo-Christian version of God; Exodus 20:4)
[Photographer, b. 1931, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New York.]
If you’re just going to meet consumer or clients’ demands, you might as well be a plumber—the work will be more frequently available.
[Politician and U.S. senator, b. 1921, Monroe, North Carolina, d. 2008, Raleigh, North Carolina.]
I do not know Mr. Andres Serrano, and I hope I never meet him. Because he is not an artist, he is a jerk. Let us examine exactly what this bird did to get $15,000 of the taxpayers’ money through the so-called National Endowment for the Arts. If they have no more judgment than that, it ought to be abolished and all funds returned to the taxpayer. What this Serrano fellow did, he filled a bottle with his own urine and then stuck a crucifix down there—Jesus Christ on a cross. He set it up on a table and took a picture of it. (1989)
[Photographer, artist, and curator, b. 1947, d. 2014, Chicago, Illinois.]
I am attempting to move away from the exclusionary practices of feminist theory, particularly anti-pornography rhetoric, in order to amplify the discussion about the complexity of pleasure for women.
[Writer, feminist, and activist, b. 1958, Arlington, Virginia, lives in Santa Cruz, California.]
Photographs have always been the tar baby of censors and obscenity laws. Literature can certainly (if it’s any good) conjure up the most pornographic imagination. But photographs dare to be “real.” No matter how contrived or constructed they are, there’s that damn body staring you in the face.