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

 Photography would seem to preserve our past and make it invulnerable to the distortions of repeated memorial superimpositions, but I think that is a fallacy: photographs supplant and corrupt the past, all the while creating their own memories. 

Robert Frank
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1924, Zürich, Switzerland, lives in Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and New York.]

 It’s nice how film survives. It’s not the way photographs are. It’s still alive. A photograph is just a memory. 

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

 The Western memory museum is now mostly a visual one. 

Roman Vishniac
[Photographer, b. 1897, Pavlovsk, Russia, d. 1990, New York.]

 I was living in Germany in the thirties, and I knew that Hitler had made it his mission to exterminate all Jews, especially the children and the women who could bear children in the future. I was unable to save my people, only their memory. 

Stephen Shore
[Photographer, b. 1947, New York, lives in New York.]

 It’s the bane of my existence that I see photography not as a way of recording personal experience particularly, but as this process of exploring the world and the medium. I have to be reminded, “It’s your son’s birthday party. Bring a camera.” And then, when I’m there, “Take a picture,” because it doesn’t occur to me to use it as this memorializing thing. 

Robert Frank
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1924, Zürich, Switzerland, lives in Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and New York.]

 The kind of photography I did is gone. It’s old. There’s no point in it anymore for me, and I get no satisfaction from trying to do it. There are too many pictures now. It’s overwhelming. A flood of images that passes by, and says, “Why should we remember anything?” There is too much to remember now, too much to take in. 

Christian Boltanski
[Artist, b. 1944, Paris, lives in Paris.]

 The photo replaces the memory. When someone dies, after a while you can’t visualize them anymore, you only remember them through their pictures. 

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

 The flood of photos sweeps away the dams of memory. Never before has a period known so little about itself. In the hands of the ruling society, the invention of illustrated magazines is one of the most powerful means of organizing a strike against understanding… The ‘image-idea’ drives away the idea. 
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