TFTW #9: Azoulay on the photographic encounter


TFTW…thought for the week…some occasional quotes to inspire… The photograph…is never solely the realization of the preconceived plan or a vision of a single author, but is rather the outcome of an encounter. This encounter involves four protagonists at least – a camera, whoever stands behind the lens, whoever faces the lens, and whoever might … Continued

TFTW #8: Sekula on photographic meaning


TFTW…thought for the week…some quotes to inspire… The photograph, as it stands alone, presents merely the possibility of meaning. Only by its embeddedness in a concrete discourse situation can the photograph yield a clear semantic outcome. Alan Sekula, “On the Invention of Photographic Meaning,” in Thinking Photography, edited by Victor Burgin (London: Macmillan, 1982), p. … Continued

TFTW #7: Shapiro on photography and representation


TFTW…thought for the week…some quotes to inspire… Representations do not imitate reality but are practices through which things take on meaning and value; to the extent that a representation is regarded as realistic, it is because it is so familiar it operates transparently…photography is one of the representational practices that has become so naturalized. Michael … Continued

TFTW #6: Azoulay on the image as statement


TFTW…thought for the week…some quotes to inspire… A solitary image cannot testify to what is revealed through it, but must be attached to another image, another piece of information, another assertion or description, another grievance or piece of evidence, another broadcast, another transmitter. An image is only ever another statement in a regime of statements. … Continued

TFTW #5: Bolton on photography’s contradictions


TFTW…thought for the week…some quotes to inspire… It seems that wherever we look in photography, we find contradictory impulses and opposing aims. The wide range of photographic applications [from police surveillance to liberal documentary] raises the possibility that photography has no governing characteristics at all save adaptability. Certain practices preserve the status quo and others … Continued

TFTW #4: Barthes on subversive photography


TFTW…thought for the week…some quotes to inspire… Photography is subversive not when it frightens, repels, or even stigmatizes, but when it is pensive, when it thinks. Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, trans. By Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), p. 38. Thumbnail photo: Bill Gracey/Flickr.

TFTW #3: Ritchin on hyperphotography


TFTW…thought for the week…some quotes to inspire… Just as the novel, poetry, and the memoir have explored the permutations of memory, so too might the digital photograph evoke a more complex past. Rather than a single, inarguable reference point that is to thought to be truer than human recollection, it can serve as an element … Continued

TFTW #2: Ranciere on representation


TFTW…thought for the week…some quotes to inspire… Representation is not the act of producing a visible form, but the act of offering an equivalent – something that speech does just as much as photography. The image is not the duplicate of a thing. It is a complex set of relations between the visible and the … Continued

TFTW #1: Foucault on criticism


TFTW…thought for the week…some quotes to inspire… A critique is not a matter of saying that things are not right as they are. It is a matter of pointing out on what kinds of assumptions, what kinds of familiar, unchallenged, unconsidered modes of thought the practices that we accept rest…Criticism is a matter of flushing … Continued