Tacita Dean
[Artist, b. 1960, Canterbury, England, lives in Berlin.]

 I do not want to give these images explanations—descriptions by the finder about how and where they were found, or guesses as to what stories they might or might not tell I want them to keep the silence of the fleamarket; the silence they had when I found them; the silence of the lost object. (On her found photographs of “Floh.”) 

James Agee
[Writer, b. 1909, Knoxville, Tennessee, d. 1955, New York.]

 It is probably well on the conservative side to estimate that during the past ten to fifteen years the camera has destroyed a thousand pairs of eyes, corrupted ten thousand, and seriously deceived a hundred thousand, for every one pair that it has opened, and taught. 

Sherrie Levine
[Artist, b. 1947, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 Instead of taking photographs of trees or nudes, I take photographs of photographs. I choose pictures that manifest the desire that nature and culture provide us with a sense of order and meaning. I appropriate these images to express my own simultaneous longing for the passion of engagement and the sublimity of aloofness. I hope that in my photographs of photographs an uneasy peace will be made between my attraction to the ideals these pictures exemplify and my desire to have no ideas or fetters whatsoever. It is my aspiration that my photographs, which contain their own contradiction, would represent the best of both worlds. 

James Agee
[Writer, b. 1909, Knoxville, Tennessee, d. 1955, New York.]

 It seems to me curious, not to say obscene and thoroughly terrifying, that it could occur to an association of human beings... drawn together through need and chance and for profit into a company, an organ of photojournalism, to pry intimately into the lives of an undefended and appallingly damaged group of human beings... for the purpose of parading the nakedness, disadvantage and humiliation of these lives before another group of human beings in the name of science of ‘honest journalism’. 

Cindy Sherman
[Artist, b. 1954, Glen Ridge, New Jersey, lives in New York.]

 The way I see it, as soon as I make a piece I’ve lost control of it. 

William Henry Fox Talbot
[Mathematician and pioneer of photography, b. 1800, Melbury, Dorset, England, d. 1877, Lacock Abbey, England.]

 The most transitory of things, a shadow, the proverbial emblem of all that is fleeting and momentary, may be fettered by the spells of our ‘natural magic’, and may be fixed forever in the position which seemed only destined for a single instant to occupy... Such is the fact, that we may receive on paper the fleeting shadow, arrest it there and in the space of a single minute fix it there so firmly as to be no more capable of change. (1839) 

Jacques-Henri Lartigue
[Photographer, b. 1894, Courbevoie, France, d. 1986, Nice, France.]

 My brother Zissou had a vivid intelligence and he invented so many things—wooden horses, crates on wheels, even a velodrome—but I was always the little boy, in a way, kept in the corner, dying to take part. This really grieved me until one day I said to myself, “Now I am going to catch all these beautiful things which they do.” And I invented my piége d'oeil, my eye-trap, which consisted in opening and shutting my eyes rapidly three times. This way I had the impression that I caught all of what was going on: the images, the sounds, the colors. All. 

Joel Meyerowitz
[Photographer, b. 1938, New York, lives in New York.]

 We all experience it. Those moments when we gasp and say, “Oh, look at that.” Maybe it’s nothing more than the way a shadow glides across a face, but in that split second, when you realize something truly remarkable is happening and disappearing right in front of you, if you can pass a camera before your eye, you’ll tear a piece of time out of the whole, and in a breath, rescue it and give it new meaning. 
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