Sally Mann
[Photographer, b. 1951, Lexington, Virginia, lives in Lexington.]

 The hardest part is setting the camera on the tripod, or making the decision to bring the camera out of the car, or just raising the camera to your face, believing, by those actions, that whatever you find before you, whatever you find there, is going to be good. 

John Heartfield (Helmut Franz Joseph Herzfeld)
[Artist, b. 1891, Munich, Germany, d. 1968, Berlin.]

 ... we used authentic shots of war, of the demobilization, of a parade of all the crowned heads of Europe, and the like. These shots brutally demonstrated the horror of war: flame thrower attacks, piles of mutilated bodies, burning cities; war films had not yet come into “fashion,” so these pictures were bound to have a more striking impact on the masses of the proletariat than a hundred lectures. 

Simon Norfolk
[Photographer, b. 1963, Lagos, Nigeria, lives in Brighton, England.]

 [My] pictures are about memory and forgetfulness. The evidence is dissolving. Bones crumble; human ash returns to soil; teeth, sandals, hair, bullets, axes disperse into atoms and molecules. Footprints in the snow will be erased by the next storm. The evidence of evil, like the evidence of good, obeys the universal laws of entropy. Heat cools, matter disintegrates, memories fade. If we let them. 

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. 

David Wojnarowicz
[Artist and activist, b. 1954, Redbank, New Jersey, d. 1990, New York.]

 I am all emptiness and futility. I am an empty stranger, a carbon copy of my form. I can no longer find what I’m looking for outside of myself. It doesn’t exist out there. Maybe it’s only in here, inside my head. But my head is glass and my eyes have stopped being cameras, the tape has run out and nobody’s words can touch me. 

Edmundo Desnoes
[Writer, b. 1930, Havana, Cuba, lives in New York.]

 The richness of our contemporary visual world must be seen as a danger. It is an overwhelming and oppressive world. A world that manifests itself fundamentally through the image is only a few steps from totalitarian manipulation. 

Nobuyoshi Araki
[Photographer, b. 1940, Tokyo, lives in Tokyo.]

 If I hadn’t documented [my wife’s] death, both the description of my state of mind and my declaration of love would have been incomplete. I found consolation in unmasking lust and loss, by staging a bitter confrontation between symbols. After Yoko’s death, I didn’t want to photograph anything but life—honestly. Yet every time I pressed the button, I ended up close to death, because to photograph is to stop time. I want to tell you something, listen closely: photography is murder. 

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. 
quotes 1-8 of 123
page 1 of 16 next page last page
display quotes