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. 

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. 

Gerhard Richter
[Artist, b. 1932, Dresden, lives in Düsseldorf.]

 I had had enough of bloody painting, and painting from a photograph seemed to me the most moronic thing that anyone could do. 

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

 I observe with horror an anterior future of which death is the stake... In front of the photograph of my mother as a child, I tell myself she is going to die... Whether or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is this catastrophe. 

Dorothea Lange
[Photographer, b. 1895, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1965, San Francisco.]

 I am trying here to say something about the despised, the defeated, the alienated. About death and disaster, about the wounded, the crippled, the helpless, the rootless, the dislocated. About finality. About the last ditch. 

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. 

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. 

W. Eugene Smith
[Photographer, b. 1918, Wichita, Kansas, d. 1978, Tucson, Arizona.]

 Other than that, Icarus, how was the flight? (On his monumental, troubled Pittsburgh photo project “Labyrinthian Walk.”) 
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