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

 I suspect it is for one’s self-interest that one looks at one’s surroundings and one’s self. This search is personally born and is indeed my reason and motive for making photographs. The camera is not merely a reflecting pool and the photographs are not exactly the mirror, mirror on the wall that speaks with a twisted tongue. Witness is borne and puzzles come together at the photographic moment which is very simple and complete. The mind-finger presses the release on the silly machine and it stops time and holds what its jaws can encompass and what the light will stain. 

Alec Soth
[Photographer, b. 1969, Minneapolis, Minnesota, lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.]

 Whether you are Minor White or Robert Frank, almost every photograph starts with an act of pure description—a window. But every now and then you catch a glimpse of the photographer’s reflection. The mirror is just another function of the window. 

Victor Burgin
[Artist and writer, b. 1941, Sheffield, England, lives in London.]

 Counter to the nineteenth-century aesthetics which still dominates most teaching of photography, and most writings on photography, work in semiotics has shown that a photograph is not to be reduced to ‘pure form’, nor ‘window on the world’, nor is it a gangway to the presence of an author. A fact of primary social importance is that the photograph is a place of work, a structured and structuring space within which the reader deploys, and is deployed by, what codes he or she is familiar with in order to make sense. 

Jeff Wall
[Photographer, b. 1946, Vancouver, Canada, lives in Vancouver.]

 Every picture-constructing advantage accumulated over centuries is given up to the jittery flow of events as they unfold. The rectangle of the viewfinder and the speed of the shutter, photography’s “window of equipment,” is all that remains of the great craft-complex of composition. 

Eikoh Hosoe
[Photographer, b. 1933, Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, lives in Tokyo.]

 To me, a photograph is both a record and a testimony, mirror and window... in which inside and outside are as one, ever-changing... The camera is generally assumed to be unable to depict that which is not visible to the eye. And yet the photographer who wields it well can depict what lies unseen in his memory. 

Rineke Dijkstra
[Photographer, b. 1959, Sittard, The Netherlands, lives in Amsterdam.]

 I felt that the beach portraits were all self-portraits. That moment of unease, that attempt to find a pose, it was all about me. 

Christian Boltanski
[Artist, b. 1944, Paris, lives in Paris.]

 The more you work, the less you exist. I believe (at least, I used to believe, because I no longer think this is entirely true) that the artist is like someone carrying a mirror in which everyone can look and recognize themselves, so that the person who carries the mirror ends up being nothing. 

Jo Ann Callis
[Photographer, b. 1940, Cincinnati, Ohio, lives in Los Angeles.]

 I photographed models, but all of them, female or male, are me. It’s coming from me. My insecurities, my revenge, my disappointment. 
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