Eleanor Antin
[Artist, b. 1935, New York, lives in San Diego, California.]

 I adore [photography’s] uneasy mix of fact and fiction—its dubious claim to truth—its status as history. 

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

 If photographs are our connection to the past, it’s a very peculiar, fragile, sentimental connection. You take a photograph before you destroy something. The photograph is its posthumous existence. 

Walt Whitman
[Writer and poet, b. 1819, South Huntington, Long Island, New York, d. 1892, Camden, New Jersey.]

 [Mathew Brady and I] had many a talk together: the point was, how much better it would often be, rather than having a lot of contradictory records by witnesses or historians—say of Caesar, Socrates, Epictetus, others—if we could have three or four or half a dozen portraits—very accurate—of the men: that would be history—the best history—a history from which there could be no appeal. (1889) 

Philip Jones Griffiths
[Photojournalist, b. 1936, Rhuddian, Wales, d. 2008, London.]

 When Bill Gates started Corbis we were told that he needed images to fill those “digital picture frames” in his home, and many found this plausible. But now it’s pretty clear that he’s set out to control the visual history of the twentieth century. 

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

 The Western memory museum is now mostly a visual one. 

Matthew Brady
[Photographer, b. 1823, Warren County, New York, d. 1896, New York.]

 The camera is the eye of history. 

Peter Bunnell
[Writer and photo historian, b. 1937, Poughkeepsie, New York, lives in Princeton, New Jersey.]

 Each image suggests an inner reality, a kind of scar of the past, a reflection of an act or an event once lived. 

Umberto Eco
[Writer, semiotician, and philosopher, b. 1932, Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy, d. 2016, Milan.]

 The vicissitudes of our century have been summed up in a few exemplary photographs that have proved epoch-making: the unruly crowd pouring into the square during the “ten days that shook the world;” Robert Capa’s dying miliciano; the marines planting the flag on Iwo Jima; the Vietnamese prisoner being executed with a shot in the temple; Che Guevara’s tortured body on a plank in a barracks. Each of these images has become a myth and has condensed numerous speeches. It has surpassed the individual circumstance that produced it; it no longer speaks of that single character or of those characters, but expresses concepts. 
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