Judith Butler
[Philosopher and theorist, b. 1956, Cleveland, Ohio, lives in Berkeley, California.]

 The critical image... must not only fail to capture its referent, but show its failure. 

Yve Lomax
[Artist and theorist, b. 1952, Dorset, lives in London.]

 Just when it is thought that we have progressed to the zenith of our modern world, a sudden wind picks up at midday: the sound of the signifier becomes a howl, an endless reverberation; we fear that the world has become hollow. We fear there is no central core. There is no presence immediate unto itself, no thing-in-itself. Nothing comes before, everything comes after. We are living in a ‘post’ world. A world without a fixed reference point. A world without origin. 

Vik Muniz
[Artist, b. 1961, Sao Paulo, Brazil, lives in New York.]

 I have failed so much that I now stand on failure itself. It has become my work place and where I harvest my best ideas. 

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

 In horror stories or in fairy tales, the fascination with the morbid is also, at least for me, a way to prepare for the unthinkable... That’s why it’s very important for me to show the artificiality of it all, because the real horrors of the world are unmatchable, and they’re too profound. 

Arno Rafael Minkkinen
[Photographer, b. 1945, Helsinki, Finland, lives in Andover, Massachusetts.]

 I think photography piles up the limitations more than any other medium I know… To outwit the calamities, I have learned to formulate a partnership with spontaneity. 

Lewis Baltz
[Photographer, b. 1945, Newport Beach, California, d. 2014, Paris.]

 I never did [understand L.A.], really: I always believed that God would destroy L.A. for its sins. Finally I realized that He had already destroyed it, and then left it around as a warning. 

Alexander Gardner
[Photographer, b. 1821, Paisley, Scotland, d. 1882, Washington, D.C.]

 Such a picture [A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg battlefield, July, 1863] conveys a useful moral: It shows the blank horror and reality of war, in opposition to the pageantry. Here are the dreadful details! Let them aid in preventing such another calamity falling upon the nation. (1866) 

Bill Jay
[Photographer, writer, and curator, b. 1940, Maidenhead, England, d. 2009, Samara, Costa Rica.]

 Making a photograph is as difficult as finding a particularly frisky cat in a dark room. Making a great photograph is as chancy as trying to catch a frisky cat in a black room in which there is no cat. 
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