Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
[Photographer, b. 1889, Brassó, Transylvania, Hungary (now Romania), d. 1984, Eze, Alpes-Maritimes, France.]

 Photography in our time leaves us with a grave responsibility. While we are playing in our studios with broken flowerpots, oranges, nude studies and still lifes, one day we know that we will be brought to account: life is passing before our eyes without our ever having seen a thing. 

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. 

Gilles Peress
[Photographer, b. 1946, Neuilly, France, lives in New York.]

 I don’t care so much anymore about “good photography,” I am gathering evidence for history. 

Bill Eppridge
[Photographer, b. 1938, Buenos Aires, d. 2013, Danbury, Connecticut.]

 You are not just a photojournalist, you’re a historian. 

W.G Sebald
[Writer, b. 1944, Bavaria, Germany, d. 2001, East Anglia, England.]

 One has the impression that something is stirring inside [photographs]—it is as if one can hear little cries of despair, gémissements de désespoir... as if the photographs themselves had a memory and were remembering us and how we, the surviving, and those who preceded us, once were. 

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. 

Walter Benjamin
[Philosopher, critic, and theorist, b. 1892, Berlin, d. 1940, Port Bou, France.]

 History breaks down into images, not into stories. 
 The true picture of the past flits by. The past can be seized only as an image that flashes up at the instant when it can be recognized and is never seen again. 
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