Towards a Critical Review

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I am collecting some of the most inspirational and appropriate quotes from my research, as used in various CRJ posts over the past 15 months, with the references or web links.

I’ll be updating the page as my writing proceeds.


Alessandro Giovannelli – Goodman’s Aesthetics (2005)

‘Indeed, to Goodman, aesthetics is but a branch of epistemology. Paintings, sculptures, musical sonatas, dance pieces, etc. are all made of symbols, which possess different functions and bear different relations with the worlds they refer to. Hence, artworks require interpretation, and interpreting them amounts to understanding what they refer to, in which way, and within which systems of rules’. (Section 3).

Judy Glickman Lauder – Beyond the Shadows (2018)

‘In the darkroom, if the negative itself expressed more of what I was seeing and feeling, we created a print in which the light and darks were reversed’. (pg. 149).

‘I felt that infrared film gave my images a feeling of timelessness’. (pg. 149).


Sophie Ristelhueber – Interview with Cheryl Brutvan (2001)

‘I have these obsessions … with the deep mark, with the ruptured surface, with scars and traces, traces that human beings are leaving on the earth. It is not a comment on the environment … it is metaphysical’.

Natalie Herschdorfer – Afterwards (2011)

Can peaceful, seemingly ordinary places evoke experiences of horror and death? Do the scars of history leave a permanent imprint on a landscape’? (pg. 14).


John Szarkowski – The Photographer’s Eye (1966)

My summary:

  • The Thing Itself – the subject of the image. Szarkowski takes the view that photographic images are grounded in some kind of reality, whether they mirror the subject or reflect the photographer’s thoughts and emotions.
  • Detail – being ‘tied to the facts of things’, the photographer should be exploring things which otherwise might be missed, in an effort to make things ‘real’ for the viewer.
  • Frame – what is missing from the image, defined and bounded by its edges, creates juxtapositions of interest.
  • Time – ‘immobilising thin slices of time’ is fundamental to photography. Szarkowski comments that Henri Cartier Bresson’s ‘Decisive Moment’ is misunderstood. It is not about a dramatic climax caught on film, but a dramatic image – ‘not a story, but a picture’.
  • Vantage Point – the photographer’s position gives a sense of the scene.

Susan Sontag – On Photography (1970)

‘Such [photographic] images are indeed able to usurp reality because first of all a photograph is not only an image, an interpretation of the real; it is also a trace, something directly stenciled off the real’. (Image World, pg. 151).

Roland Barthes – Image  Music  text (1977)

My summary:

  1. Trick effects: Photographs can be faked.
  2. Pose: How a photographer poses the subject influences how the viewer interprets it.
  3. Objects: How objects are positioned in the image also influences how an audience might consider the main subject (environmental portraiture, perhaps?).
  4. Photogenia: By this, Barthes means that images are embellished with changes in lighting, exposure, printing and so on.
  5. Aestheticism: This describes the process by which a photographer uses methods borrowed or bluntly appropriated from other art forms.
  6. Syntax. Here, Barthes notes that the combination of photographs into a series can tell a more complex story. This would apply in the creation of the images, as well as curation, editing and exhibition. (pg. 21 – 25)

Roland Barthes – Camera Lucida (1980)

It is by studium that I am interested in so many photographs, whether I receive them as political testimony or enjoy them as good historical scenes; for it is culturally .. that I participate in the figures, the faces, the gestures, the settings, the actions’. (pg. 26).

‘The second element [Punctum] will break (or punctuate) the studium. This time it is not I who seek it out (as I invest in the field of studium with my sovereign consciousness, it is the element which rises from the scene, shoots out like an arrow, and pierces me’. (pg. 26).

‘I call photographic referent not the optionally real thing to which an image or sign refers but the necessarily real thing that has been placed before the lens, without which there would be no photograph’. (pg. 76).

‘The realists, of whom I am one … do not take the photograph for a ‘copy’ of reality, but for an emanation of past reality: a magic, not an art’. (pg. 88).

‘All those young photographers who are at work in the world, determined upon the capture of actuality, do not know they are agents of Death’. (pg. 92).

Stephen Shore – The Nature of Photography (2007)

‘The world is three-dimensional; a photographic image is two-dimensional. … The picture plane is a field upon which the lens’s image is projected. A photographic image can rest on this picture plane and, at the same time, contain an illusion of deep space’.  (pg. 40).

James Elkins – What Photography Is (2011)

‘Formal analysis is:

  • Taken to be effectively neutral – ‘It does not distort a picture’s meanings, and so it is fairly unproblematic as a starting point’.
  • Appropriate for elementary pedagogy – ‘It is the stock in trade for ‘art appreciation’ .. encouraging students to articulate what they see’.
  • Bureaucratic – ‘ Because it is systematic and thorough .. it labels and classifies everything in sight’.
  • Effectively noninvasive – ‘It does not disturb the artwork’s emotional, aesthetic or intellectual power‘.
  • Cold – ‘It forecloses empathy, suppressing a full and open encounter with the subject of the image’.
  • Dissective – ‘Visual dissection is strictly analogous to actual dissection’.
  • Provides the illusion of control – ‘My desire to possess the image, to understand it, is regimented and kept in check by the incremental progresso the analysis’.
  • Increases the pain of looking at the image – ‘The pain of interpretation is inseparable from the pleasure the image is expected to yield‘. (pg. 207).

Vilém Flusser – Towards a Philosophy of Photography (1983)

‘ …  photographers … play with symbols; they are active in the ‘tertiary sector’, interested in information; they create things without [physical] value. In spite of this they consider their activity to be anything but absurd and think that they are acting freely’. (pg. 80).

‘The essential thing is that the photograph, with each switch-over to another channel, takes on a new significance: The scientific significance crosses over into the political, the political into the commercial, the commercial into the artistic. In this respect, the division of photographs into channels is in no way simply a mechanical process but rather an encoding one: The distribution apparatuses impregnate the photograph with the decisive significance for its reception. (pg. 54).

‘This gives photography critics the task of decoding these two interweaving codes in any photograph. Photographers encode their concepts as photographic images so as to give others information, so as to produce models for them and thereby to become immortal in the memory of others. The camera [technologically] encodes the concepts programmed into it as images in order to program society to act as a feedback mechanism in the interests of progressive camera improvement. If photographic criticism succeeds in unravelling these two intentions of photographs, then the photographic messages will be decoded. If photography critics do not succeed in this task, photographs remain undecoded and appear to be representations of states of things in the world out there, just as if they reflected ‘themselves’ onto a surface’. (pg. 48).


Nobuo Ina – Return to Photography (1932)

‘Having said that photographic art is young and has little tradition, it is not subsidiary to other arts.  On the contrary, in our modern industrial and technological society, photography is particularly appropriate for recording social life, nature, broadcasting, analyzing and criticizing’. (pg. 13).


Susie Linfield – The Cruel Radiance (2010)

Sontag, more than anyone else, was responsible for establishing a tone of suspicion and distrust in photography criticism, and for teaching us that to be smart about photographs means to disparage them’. (pg. XIV).

‘I believe we need to respond to and learn from photographs rather than simply disassemble them; unlike these critics, I believe we need to look at, and into, what James Agee called “the cruel radiance of what is’. (pg. XV).

W. Eugene Smith – Best of Life (1973)

The belief, the try, a camera and some film – the fragile weapons of my good intentions. With these I fought war’. (pg. 165).

Bill Jay – Occam’s Razor (1992)

‘I have tried to indicate that disturbing images are inevitable – and that they are always healthy. Even those that fill us with disgust and abhorrence can indicate we care about moral values, that we are part of an upsurge in human consciousness. They act, paradoxically, as indicators of the state of our society’. (pg. 43).

‘While images still have the capacity to disturb us, I have hopes for both the human race and the medium of photography’. (pg .43).


David Hume – On the Standard of Taste (1757)

‘Beauty is no quality in things themselves : It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty’. (Selected Essays, pg. 136).

David Hume – On the Delicacy of Taste and Passion (1757)

There is a  delicacy of taste observable in some men, which very much resembles this delicacy of passion, and produces the same sensibility to beauty and deformity every kind‘. (Selected Essays, p4. 10).

Immanuel Kant – The Critique of Judgment – Part I, Critique of Aesthetic Judgment (1790, 1987 Edition)

‘The beautiful and the sublime are similar in some respects. We like both for their own sake, and both presuppose that we make a judgment of reflection rather than either a judgment of sense or a logically determinative one’ (pg. 97).

‘So it seems that we regard the beautiful as the exhibition of an indeterminate concept of the understanding, and the sublime as the exhibition of an indeterminate concept of reason’. (pg. 98).


John Berger – Ways of Seeing (1972)

‘A reproduction, as well as making its own references to the image of its original, becomes itself the reference point for other images. The meaning of an image is changed according to what one sees immediately beside it or what comes immediately after it. Such authority as it retains, is distributed over the whole context in which it appears’. (pg 29).

Brown and Power – Exhibits in Libraries (2005)

Captions are labels that refer to a specific object or image on display. They describe something about the object that the visitor can see and explain its significance or put it in context. Captions are often the only labels people will read in an exhibit and they will only read the captions of the objects that catch their eye’. (pg. 107).


David Levi-Strauss – Between the Eyes (2003)

‘The photographer operates as a distanced, superior, ‘objective’ witness to war, poverty, labour and exotic cultural practices in other parts of the world. Photographs taken from this position may elicit pity, sorrow or guilt in their viewers but they will never provide information for change’. (pg 45).

Chris Argyris and Donald Schön – Theory in Practice: Increasing Professional Effectiveness (1974)

‘When someone is asked how he would behave under certain circumstances, the answer he usually gives is his espoused theory of action for that situation. This is the theory of action to which he gives allegiance, and which, upon request, he communicates to others. However, the theory that actually governs his actions is … theory-in-use’. (pg. 6-7).

Chris Argyris and Donald Schön – Organizational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective(1978)

When the error detected and corrected permits the organization to carry on its present policies or achieve its presents objectives, then that error-and-correction process is single-loop learning. Single-loop learning is like a thermostat that learns when it is too hot or too cold and turns the heat on or off. The thermostat can perform this task because it can receive information (the temperature of the room) and take corrective action. Double-loop learning occurs when error is detected and corrected in ways that involve the modification of an organization’s underlying norms, policies and objectives‘. (pg. 2-3).

Gilles Deleuze – Difference and Repetition (1958)

‘It is best for our actions to connect with all the things that have brought them about and that they can bring about’. (pg. 167).


Craig Wright – Contested National Tragedies, in The Darker Side of Travel (2009)

‘Tourism activity offers a rare, observable form of ethical behaviour. Tourists ‘vote with their feet’, and, as such, demonstrate in visiting ‘dark’ heritage sites that these are morally acceptable spaces to occupy. (pg. 143).

Richard Sharpley – Dark Tourism and Political Ideology: Towards a Governance Model, in The Darker Side of Travel (2009)

  • First, it is largely untouched and has not been developed – hence the focus on the process of imprisonment and torture rather than the victims individually.
  • Second, it was opened by the Vietnamese, after their invasion – as a justification for that invasion.
  • Third, has been little evidence of concerted official moves towards justice and remembrance.


Susan Sontag – On Photography (1970)

‘To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them that they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. Just as a camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a subliminal murder – a soft murder, appropriate to a sad, frightened time’. (In Plato’s cave, pg. 14).

Martha Rosler – Decoys and Disruptions (2004)

‘Perhaps a radical documentary can be brought into existence. But the common acceptance of the idea that documentary preceded, supplants, transcends, or cures full, substantive social activism is an indicator that we do not yet have a real documentary’. (pg. 196).

Ariella Azoulay – The Civil Contract of Photography (2008)

‘The exercise of photography in such [disaster] situations is actually the exercise of citizenship – not citizenship imprinted with the seal of ‘belonging’ to a sovereign, but citizenship as a partnership of a governed person taking up their duty as citizens and utilising their position for one another, rather than a sovereign’ (pg. 104).

‘ … a photograph is never merely a product of material in the hands of an individual creator. A photograph is the space of appearance in which an encounter has been recorded between human beings, an encounter neither concluded nor determined at the moment it was being photographed’. (pg. 252).

‘Even when the photograph does not show people, the area in which it was taken is always an environment created by human beings to be dwelt in. The photograph by itself is not political but the space among people, where it takes place, can potentially become political’. (pg. 253).


Susie Linfield – The Cruel Radiance (2010)

‘Photojournalists are responsible for the ethics of showing, but we are responsible for the ethics of seeing. (pg. 60).


James Elkins – What Photography Is (2011)

If a photograph produces any degree of pain, my looking becomes regimented. I flinch, and when I look again I am tense. … I see O’Sullivan’s stones and Edgerton’s atomic explosions the same way I see the delirious face of the man being cut to pieces‘. (pg 210)

What you are seeing may be just the bare minimum you need in order to get on with whatever themes interest you: art, history, gender, philosophy, digitisation, post-modernism, social functions, love, memory. I think photography is more difficult than all of that‘. (213)

 Liz Wells – Photography: A Critical Introduction (2015)

‘The very ubiquity of the medium has meant that photographs have always circulated in contexts for which they were not made. It is also important to remember that there is no single, intrinsic, aboriginal meaning locked up within them. 

Rather, there are many ways in which photographs can be read and understood, but in ‘reading’ photographs we rely on many contextual clues which lie outside the photography itself’. (pg. 70).

John Berger – Ways of Seeing (1970).

Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognises before it can speak’. (pg. 7).

The way we see things is affected by what we know or believe’. (pg. 8)

The camera showed that the notion of time passing was inseparable from the experience of the visual (except in paintings)’. (pg. 18).

The uniqueness of every painting was once part of the uniqueness of the place where it resided’. (pg. 19).

‘[Pictures of the poor] assert two things: that the poor are happy. and that the better-off are a source of hope for the world‘. (pg. 104).

Martika Sturken and Lisa Cartwright – Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture (2009)

The gaze, whether institutional or individual,  .. helps to establish relationships of power. The act of looking is commonly regarded as awarding more power to the person who is looking than to the person who is the object of the look’. (pg. 111).


Michelle Caswell – Archiving the Unspeakable (2014)

The taking of mug shots at Tuol Sleng and the photograph’s ability to transform suspects into criminal enemies of the state were part and parcel of this larger Khmer Rouge obsession with classifying the population in an effort to create a purely Cambodian agrarian society’. (pg. 52).

Stephanie Benzaquen

While one focuses on the 17,000 victims of Tuol Sleng one forgets about the other two million dead who left no trace … the vast majority of the dead remain silent’. (Caswell, 2014, pg. 134)

Michel-Rolph Trouillot

The production of traces is always the production of silences’. (pg. 135).

Marianne Hirsch – Surviving Images: Holocaust Photograph and the Work of Post-Memory,  in Visual Culture and the Holocaust(2001)

Unbearably, the viewer is positioned in the place identical with that of the weapon of destruction: our look, like the photographer’s, is in the place of the executioner’. (Zelizer, 2001, pg. 232.)


David Bate – Photography: The Key Concepts (2016)

“Globalization” is a term now commonly used and abused in a variety of contexts. The “global” can be found used as much in corporate strategy documents as in critical literature on the arts, culture, and discussions on the impact of social media on our lives. So we can also find wildly divergent meanings and values attached to the notion of the global”. (Intro).

Susan Buck-Morss –Visual Studies in Global Imagination, in Politics of Imagination (2011)

The complaint that [global] images are taken out of context (cultural context, artistic intention, previous contexts of any sort) is not valid. To struggle to bind them again to their source is not only impossible (as it actually produces a new meaning); it is to miss what is powerful about them, their capacity to generate meaning, and not merely to transmit it ‘.

Melanie Bühler – Online Image Behaviour, Where Photographs Live Today (2015)

Whereas the relation between reality and representation was a key concern of classical photography, now, as photography has become digital, the focus has shifted from this single relation to a multiplicity of relations that extend from a photograph. Value is no longer primarily derived from the special relation between the object in front of the lens and the way it is depicted in the photograph, but it is generated by the multiplicities of image visualizations and variations branching off from the initial moment of capture‘. (pg. 1).


To be continued …


David Hume. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1827, 1962 Edition)

A picture naturally leads our thoughts to the original: the mention of one apartment in a building naturally introduces an enquiry or discourse concerning the others: and if we think of a wound, we can scarcely forbear reflecting on the pain which follows it‘. (pg. 24).

NOTHING is more free than the imagination of man; and though it cannot exceed that original stock of ideas furnished by the internal and external senses, it has unlimited power of mixing, compounding, separating, and dividing these ideas, in all the varieties of fiction and vision‘. (pg. 47).

‘… belief is nothing more but a  vivid, lively, forcible, firm steady conception of an object, that what the imagination alone is ever able to attain‘. (pg. 49).

The imagination has the command over all its ideas, and can join and mix and vary them, in all the ways possible. It may conceive fictitious objects with all the circumstances of place and time. It may set them, in a manner, before our eyes, in their true colours, just as they might have existed’. (pg. 49).

Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Biographia Literaria (1817, 1984 Ed.)

[The human faculties] I would arrange under the different senses and powers; as the eye, the ear, the touch etc.; the imitative power, voluntary and automatic; the imagination, or shaping and modifying power; the fancy, or the aggregating and associative power; the understanding, or the regulative, substantiating and realizing power; the speculative reason – vis theoretical et scientifica [the capacity for scientific thought], or the power by which we produce, or aim to produce unity, necessity, and universality in all our knowledge by means of principles a priori; or practical reason, the faculty of choice … and (distinct both from the moral will and the choice) the sensation of volition, which I have found reason to include under the head of single and double touch‘. (pg. 306).

… Imagination I hold to be the living power and prime perception of all human perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation. …

The Fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order of time and space, and blended with, and modified by that empirical phenomenon of the will, which we express by the word choice‘. (pg. 313).

‘... our fancy, always the ape, and too often the adulterator and counterfeiter of our memory …‘. (pg. 473).

… it is Fancy, or the aggregating faculty of the mind – not imagination, or the modifying, or coadunating Faculty‘. (pg 514).

Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites – The Public Image (2016)

Imagination is the vital ability of the mind to see its way into new perceptions, new creations, new syntheses; it is the human ability to create ideas, images, and relationships that had never existed before, and to do so in away that brings us closer to the real nature of things. … Fancy, by contrast, is merely the mind at play with things it already knows: it is the mechanism by which we assemble and reassemble memories without regard for reality in order to pander to our desires’. (pg. 71).


John Berger – Understanding a Photograph (1967)

‘When we find a photograph meaningful, we are lending it a past and a future. … Yet unlike the storyteller or painter or actor, the photographer only really makes, in any one photograph, a single constitutive choice: the choice of the instant to be photographed. The photograph, compared with other means of communication, is therefore weak in intentionality’. (Appearances, pg. 64 – 65).

Don McCullin – Website Biography

Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures’?

Don McCullin – Beirut: A City in Crisis (1983)

The photographic equipment I take on an assignment is my head and my eyes and my heart. I could take the poorest equipment and still take the same photographs’.  (pg. 11)

Robert Frank – A Statement (1958)

 ‘Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference … and it is important to see what is invisible to others’.

John Szarkowski – William Eggleston’s Guide (1976)

The ambitious photographer … seeks those pictures that have a visceral relation to his own self and his own privileged knowledge, those that belong to him by genetic right, in which form matches not only content but intent‘. (pg. 13).

Vilém Flusser – Towards a Philosophy of Photography (1983)

‘ … photographs are concepts encoded as states of things, including photographers’ concepts [intentions]


Paul Seawright – Discussion with Colin Darke (2013)

‘My work … recognises the unstable nature of the relationship between place and identity and time and truth’.


Ludwig Wittgenstein – Philosophical Investigations (1953)

The meaning of a word is its use in the language‘. (Sec. 43, pg. 20).

Koji Taki, Takuma Nakahira, Takahiko Okada, and Yutaka Takanashi – Provoke Manifesto (1969) in Parr & Badger (2004)

Visual images are not ideological themselves. They cannot represent the totality of an idea, nor are they interchangeable like words. However, their irreversible materiality – fragments of reality snapped by the camera – belongs to the obverse side of the world of language. photographic images, therefore, often unexpectedly provoke language and ideas. Thus, ethical photographic language can transcend itself and become an idea, resulting in a new language and new meanings’. (pg. 270).

James Elkins – What Photography Is (2011)

All the writing through death [in Barthes] can be understood … as a brilliant self-deception, a way of avoiding thinking about what photography “itself” continues to show us‘. (pg. 215).

Photography is a camera dolorosa (from dolor, discomfort or pain): a compound of displeasure, each of them hidden by the very things Barthes loves: a smirking face by Kertész, a skipping boy in Eisenstadt, steam on horses’ backs by Stieglizt‘. (pg 219).


Ludwig Wittgenstein – Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921)

The world is the totality of facts, not of things’. (pg. 7. )

Jean Baudrillard – Simulacra and Simulation (1981)

‘Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory – precession of simulacra—that engenders the territory’. (pg. 1).

‘It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real’. (pg.2)

Vilém Flusser – Into the Universe of Technical Images (1985)

‘In the historical world, sun rise is the cause of the cock’s crowing; in the magical one, sunrise signifies crowing and crowing signifies sunrise. The significance of images is magical’. (pg. 9)

The difference between traditional and technical images … would be this: the first are observations of objects, the second, computations of concepts’. (pg. 10).

Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites – The Public Image (2016)

Photography is defined as a medium by its relationship to reality, and as an art by its relationship to the imagination’. (pg. 57).

‘[Siegfried] Kracauer [1960] defined photography as being shaped by two generative principles: “there is on the one side a tendency toward realism culminating in records of nature, and on the other a formative tendency aiming at artistic creations’. (pg. 57).

As he also noted, this tension generated the aesthetic problems for the medium. He could have added that it offers one explanation for the conventional division between documentary photography and fine art photography, as each side emphasized one media capability or the other while trying to avoid compromises that could undermine either ethical integrity or artistic innovation‘. (pg. 57).


Wassily Kandinsky – Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1911)

‘Every work of art is the child of its age and, in many cases, the mother of our emotions. It follows that each period of culture produces an art of its own which can never be repeated. (pg. 7).


Charles Sanders Peirce – On A New List of Categories (1868)

A reference to a ground may also be such that it cannot be prescinded from a reference to an interpretant. In this case it may be termed an imputed quality. If the reference of a relate to its ground can be prescinded from reference to an interpretant, its relation to its correlate is a mere concurrence or community in the possession of a quality, and therefore the reference to a correlate can be prescinded from reference to an interpretant.

It follows that there are three kinds of representations.

First. Those whose relation to their objects is a mere community in some quality, and these representations may be termed Likenesses. Second. Those whose relation to their objects consists in a correspondence in fact, and these may be termed Indices or Signs. Third. Those the ground of whose relation to their objects is an imputed character, which are the same as general signs, and these may be termed Symbols’. (Sec. 14).

E.H. Gombrich – Icones Symbolicae (1948)

We are used to making a clear distinction between two functions of the visual image – that of representation and that of symbolisation. A painting may represent an object of the visible world, a woman holding a balance, or lion. It may also symbolise an idea. To those conversant with the conventional meanings attached to these images the woman with the balance will symbolise Justice, the lion Courage, or the British Empire, or any other concept conventionally linked in our symbolic lore with the King of Animals‘. (pg .31).


Hiroshi Sugimoto – Bleached Journal (2003, in Setting Sun)

‘What is truly beautiful is something that has withstood time. Time, advancing, with its unforgiving power to rot, intends to return everything to the soil. True beauty is that which has survived time and persevered in color and form. Man-made things are weak, and so, successively, with time, become exterminated.

Some things are lost to war, some to earthquakes, some to weather, some are sunk, and some are preserved and shut up in the storehouses of museums’. (pg. 81).

Mak Remissa – Left 3 Days artist statement (2014)

‘The story of the genocide … has faded gradually away from people’s mind, like smoke being blown away by the wind’.


Masahisa Fukase – Family (1991)

Looking back, I realise that experience was what changed me from a photography technician to a photographer’. (pg. 69).

Ken Domon – Photographic Realism and the Salon Picture (1953)

Realism is not found in the cold, square device we call the camera. The person who shoots, his (sic) view of the world, and his method of expression are what contains Realism’. (pg. 26).

John Szarkowski – William Eggleston’s Guide (1976)

‘Photography is a system of visual editing. At bottom, it is a matter of surrounding with a frame a portion of one’s cone of vision, while stand­ing in the right place at the right time. Like chess, or writing, it is a matter of choosing from among given possibilities, but in the case of photography the number of possibilities is not finite but infinite’ . (pg. 6).

Vilém Flusser – Towards a Philosophy of Photography (1983)

‘Amateur photographers’ clubs are places where one gets high on the structural complexities of cameras, where one goes on a photograph-trip – post-industrial Opium Dens’. (pg. 58).

‘[A photograph is] an image created and distributed automatically by programmed apparatuses in the course of a game necessarily based on chance, an image of a magic state of things whose symbols inform its receivers how to act in an improbable fashion’. (pg. 76).

‘Almost everyone today has a camera and takes snaps. Just as almost everyone has learned to write and produce texts. Anyone who is able to write can also read. But anyone who can take snaps does not necessarily have to be able to decode photographs’. (pg. 57).

‘ …  photographers … play with symbols; they are active in the ‘tertiary sector’, interested in information; they create things without [physical] value. In spite of this they consider their activity to be anything but absurd and think that they are acting freely’. (pg. 80).

Bill Jay – Occam’s Razor (1992)

… all good photographers have a deep commitment to, and involvement with, their subjects, and through photography they are communicating their understanding and passion to others.’ (pg. 18).

… a body of work by a photographer begins to reflect back to the viewer the author’s relationship not only to the subject but also to a unique life-attitude.’ (pg. 19).



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