Roland Barthes
[Writer, critic, and theorist, b. 1915, Cherbourg, d. 1980, Paris.]

 In an initial period, photography, in order to surprise, photographs the notable; but soon, by a familiar reversal, it decrees notable whatever it photographs. 

André Breton
[Artist, writer, editor, and critic, b. 1896, Tinchebray, France, d. 1966, Paris, France.]

 It will in the end, be admitted that everything, in effect is an image and that the least object which has no symbolic role assigned to it is capable of standing for absolutely anything. 

William J. T. Mitchell
[Writer, theorist, and architect, b. 1944, Melbourne, Australia, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 We are surrounded by pictures; we have an abundance of theories about them, but it doesn’t seem to do us any good. Knowing what pictures are doing, understanding them, doesn’t seem necessarily to give us power over them. 

Martha Rosler
[Artist, b. 1943, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New York.]

 Photography [can] be seen as a system of representation that you bring to bear on other systems. 

Paul Virilio
[Writer and theorist, b. 1932, Paris, lives in La Rochelle, France.]

 Images contaminate us like viruses. 

Douglas Crimp
[Writer, theorist and critic, b. 1944, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, lives in Rochester, New York.]

 ...a great number of [photographic modes]... have to do with reproduction, with copies, and with copies of copies. The peculiar presence of this work is effected through absence, through its unbridgeable distance from the original, from even the possibility of an original. 

Andy Grundberg
[Critic, curator, and educator, lives in Washington, D.C.]

 [Postmodern photography] implies the exhaustion of the image universe: it suggests that a photographer can find more than enough images already existing in the world without the bother of making new ones. 

Geoffrey Batchen
[Photohistorian, b. 1956, Australia, lives in Wellington, New Zealand.]

 Most importantly, postmodernism comes down on the side of photography and power, not photography as power. As a consequence, photography continues to be conceived as an inconsequential vehicle or passage for “real” powers that always originate elsewhere. 
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