[Writer, theorist and critic, b. 1944, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, lives in Rochester, New York.]
Through reproductive technology, postmodernist art dispenses with the aura. The fiction of the creating subject gives way to a frank confiscation, quotation, excerptation, accumulation, and repetition of already existing images. Notions of originality, authenticity, and presence... are undermined.
[Photographer, b. 1908, Mardin, Armenia, d. 2002, Boston, Massachusetts.]
I try to photograph people’s spirits and thoughts. As to the soul-taking by the photographer, I don’t feel I take away, but rather that the sitter and I give to each other. It becomes an act of mutual participation.
Subcommander Marcos (Rafael Sebastian Guillén Vicente)
[Professor and revolutionary, b. 1957, Tampico, Mexico, lives in Chiapas, Mexico.]
... the photographer is a thief who chooses what he steals (which, at this stage of the crisis, is a luxury) and does not “democratize” the image, that is to say, the photographer selects the pictures, a privilege which ought to be granted to the person being photographed.
[Photographer and artist, b. 1935, Niemegk, Germany, lives in Berlin.]
A snapshot steals life that it cannot return. A long exposure gives a form that never existed.
[Artist, b. 1938, Rutherford, New Jersey, d. 1973, Amarillo, Texas.]
A camera is wild in just about anybody’s hands, therefore one must set limits. But cameras have a life of their own. Cameras care nothing about cults or isms. They are indifferent mechanical eyes, ready to devour anything in sight. They are lenses of the unlimited reproduction.
[Film director, b. 1953, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, lives in New York.]
Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”
[Photographer, b. 1912, Gentilly, Val-de-Marne, France, d. 1994, Montrouge, France.]
A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there—even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity.
[Artist, b. 1944, Paris, lives in Paris.]
No, I never take photographs myself. I don’t feel like a photographer, more like a recycler.