Monday, February 26, 2007

Silently Stealing The World

Robert Capa, born Endre Ernö Friedmann (1913-1954) - Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936

'To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed. It means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge - and, therefore, like power. A now notorious first fall into alienation, habituating people to abstract the world into printed words, is supposed to have engendered that surplus of Faustian energy and psychic damage needed to build modern, inorganic societies. But print seems a less treacherous form of leaching out the world, of turning it into a mental object, than photographic images, which now provide most of the knowledge people have about the look of the past and the reach of the present. What is written about a person or an event is frankly an interpretation, as are handsome visual statements, like paintings and drawings. Photographed images do not seem to be statements about the world so much as pieces of it, miniatures of reality . . . '

From On Photography by Susan Sontag