David Levi Strauss
[Writer and critic, b. 1953, Junction City, Kansas, lives in New York.]

 One terrible truth about photographs is that they can only ever show us what happened, never what is happening or will happen. They are always about something that is gone, and so are in league with death. 

John Updike
[Writer, b. 1932, Shillington, Pennsylvania, d. 2009, Boston, Massachusetts.]

 A photograph offers us a glimpse into the abyss of time. 

Siegfried Kracauer
[Media critic and sociologist, b. 1889, Frankfurt, Germany, d. 1966, New York.]

 ...the world has become a photographable present, and the photographed present has been entirely eternalized. Seemingly ripped from the clutch of death, in reality it has succumbed to it. 

Joel-Peter Witkin
[Photographer, b. 1939, Brooklyn, New York, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.]

 I wanted my photographs to be as powerful as the last thing a person sees or remembers before death. 

Peter Conrad
[Critic, b. 1948, Hobart, Tasmania, lives in Oxford, England.]

 The camera is a killing chamber, which speeds up the time it claims to be conserving. Like coffins exhumed and prised open, the photographs put on show what we were and what we will be again. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. 

Dennis Stock
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, d. 2010, Sarasota, Florida.]

 The similarity between Van Gogh, Haiku poetry, and good photography is the concern for mortality. That things are very fleeting, that there are people who are more sensitive to death than others. The threat of time is of great concern to them. And the camera is a very appropriate instrument for many. 

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

 When we look at a photograph of ourselves or of others, we are really looking at the return of the dead. 
quotes 1-8 of 195
page 1 of 25 next page last page
display quotes