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.
The ultimate wisdom of the photographic image is to say, ‘There is the surface. Now think – or rather feel, intuit – what is beyond it, what the reality must be like if it looks that way.
‘Photographs, which cannot themselves explain anything, are inexhaustible invitations to deduction, speculation, and fantasy… The very muteness of what is, hypothetically, comprehensible in photographs is what constitutes their attraction and provocativeness.
“La suprema saggezza dell’immagine fotografica consiste nel dire: “Questa è la superficie. Pensa adesso – o meglio intuisci – che cosa c’è di là da essa, che cosa deve essere la realtà se questo è il suo aspetto”. Le fotografie, che in quanto tali non possono spiegare niente, sono inviti inesauribili alla deduzione, alla speculazione e alla fantasia.”
“There is nothing as mysterious as a fact clearly described I like to think of photographing as a two way act of respect. Respect for the medium, by letting it do what it does best, describe. And respect for the subject, by describing it as it is. A photograph must be responsible to both.”