[Writer, b. 1931, Richmond, Virginia, lives in New York.]
It was the unspoken curse of the medium, which went: “Photography is not really creative.” Naturally no painter would be so gauche as to say publicly that photography was not an art form. Nevertheless, there was an unuttered axiom: “Painters create, photographers select.” Not all the enlightened lip service in the world could change that feeling. The condescension with which the most insignificant painter could look down upon an Ansel Adams, a Steichen, or a Stieglitz was absolutely breathtaking. If sneers gave off heat, Alfred Stieglitz himself would have ended up about the size and shape of a smoked oyster.
[Photographer, b. 1948, Syracuse, New York, lives in New York.]
The flow of reality has contours and dimensions much like the flow of a river. The characteristics of the current depend on the channel, whether it is a product of history or geology. Documentary photography has similar properties. The images I create are a confluence of what is in front of me and what is inside of me. They are objective and subjective at the same time, and they must be seen that way by the viewer in order to be convincing.
William S. Burroughs
[Writer, b. 1914, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1997, Lawrence, Kansas.]
Open your mind and let the pictures out.
[Photographer, b. 1958, Zell, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf, Germany.]
You cannot explain the whole world in one photograph. Photography pretends. You can see everything that’s in front of the camera, but there’s always something beside it.
[Photographer, b. 1912, Gentilly, Val-de-Marne, France, d. 1994, Montrouge, France.]
Photography is very subjective. Photography is not a document on which a report can be made. It is a subjective document. Photography is a false witness, a lie.
[Writer, b. 1905, Budapest, Hungary, d. 1983, London, England.]
The “innocent eye” is a fiction, based on the absurd notion that what we perceive in the present can be isolated in the mind from the influence of past experience There is no perception of “pure form” but meaning seeps in, and settles on the image.
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1951, Erie, Pennsylvania, d. 2013, Los Angeles.]
...the hidden imperatives of photographic culture drag us in two contradictory directions: “science” and a myth of “objective truth” on the one hand, and toward “art” and a cult of “subjective experience” on the other. This dualism haunts photography, lending a certain goofy inconsistency to the most commonplace assertions about the medium.
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1924, Zürich, Switzerland, lives in Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and New York.]
The truth is somewhere between the documentary and the fictional, and that is what I try to show. What is real one moment has become imaginary the next. You believe what you see now, and the next second you don’t anymore.