Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
[Writer, b. 1835, Hannibal, Missouri, d. 1910, Redding, Connecticut.]

 My dear Sir, I thank you very much for your letter and your photograph. In my opinion you are more like me than any other of my numerous doubles. I may even say that you resemble me more closely than I do myself. In fact, I intend to use your picture to shave by. Yours thankfully, S. Clemens. (Reply to a man who sent him a photograph and claimed to be his double.) 

Thomas Ruff
[Photographer, b. 1958, Zell, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf, Germany.]

 The people have to know what my portraits are like in order to behave in such a way that the result is one of my portraits. 

Rosalind Krauss
[Writer, critic, and historian, b. 1941, Washington, D.C., lives in New York.]

 ... photography is an imprint or transfer off the real; it is a photochemically processed trace causally connected to the thing in the world to which it refers in a manner parallel to fingerprints or footprints or the rings of water that cold glasses leave on tables. The photograph is thus generically distinct from painting or sculpture or drawing. On the family tree of images it is closer to palm prints, death masks, the Shroud of Turin, or the tracks of gulls on beaches. 

Simone de Beauvoir
[Writer and philosopher, b. 1908, Paris, d. 1986, Paris.]

 Representation of the world like the world itself is the work of men, they describe it from their point of view which they confuse with absolute truth. 

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

 To collect photography is to collect the world. 

Gerhard Richter
[Artist, b. 1932, Dresden, lives in Düsseldorf.]

 Photography altered ways of seeing and thinking. Photographs were regarded as true, paintings as artificial. The painted picture was no longer credible; its representation froze into immobility, because it was not authentic but invented. 

Craig Owens
[Writer and critic, b. 1950, d. 1990.]

 Representation, then, is not—nor can it be—neutral; it is an act—indeed the founding act—of power in our culture. 

Steve Edwards
[Writer and photohistorian, lives in London.]

 There is nothing any more but surface. Representation is all there is and can ever be. There, simply, can be no outside to this endless round of meaningless meaning. What we experience as reality is, in reality, the reality effect. The age of a life beyond the image has gone forever. Now, all we can know are media projections, the beams of flickering images, and the whirr of tape heads. 
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