Frederick Wiseman
[Filmmaker and Documentarian, b. 1930, Boston, Massachusetts, lives in Boston.]

 The effort to see and really to represent is no idle business in face of the constant force that makes for muddlement. The great thing is indeed that the muddled state too is one of the very sharpest of the realities, that it also has color and form and character, has often in fact a broad and rich comicality. 

Abigail Solomon-Godeau
[Writer and theorist, b. 1947, New York, lives in Santa Barbara, California.]

 “The thing itself” is never just out there in the world waiting to be framed by the photographer’s Leica; rather, it is something dynamically produced in the act of representation and reception and already subject to the grids of meaning imposed on it by culture, history, language, and so forth. 

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.) 

Dennis Oppenheim
[Artist, b. 1938, Electric City, Washington, d. 2011, New York.]

 You can’t understand how strange it was to be a sculptor who exhibited photographs. (On exhibitions of his “earthworks” and land art pieces.) 

Edward Said
[Writer and critic, b. 1935, Jerusalem, British-ruled Palestine, d. 2003, New York.]

 But I do not know whether the photograph can, or does, say things as they really are. Something has been lost. But the representation is all we have. 

Lee Friedlander
[Photographer, b. 1934, Aberdeen, Washington, lives in New York.]

 Photography doesn’t just give you the tree, it gives you every leaf on the tree. 

David Levi Strauss
[Writer and critic, b. 1953, Junction City, Kansas, lives in New York.]

 It’s not that we mistake photographs for reality; we prefer them to reality. 

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

 Every photograph is the result of a physical imprint transferred by light reflections onto a sensitive surface. The photograph is thus a type of icon, or visual likeness, which bears an indexical relationship to its object. 
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