Archive

Quote

By the 1950s, Jones and his wife were still living in Lincolnshire with no electricity or running water. He was a Victorian outcast who could not reconcile himself to the realities of living in the modern age. His children were shocked to find that for many years he did not claim his rightful old age pension. Always a proud man, he considered it charity. He died at age 92 on November 15, 1959. These would be the salient events of a seemingly solid, unassuming, yet useful life except for a discovery made twenty-two years later.

Robert Flynn Johnson
Introduction to Plant Kingdoms: The Photographs of Charles Jones

In the 19th century, the portrait resembled a small, private stage play. The subject of the portrait got ready, dressed appropriately, and set off the photographer’s. Once there, he entered the studio — which, with its plethora of props and necessary items such as chairs, armchairs, drapes, pictures and statuettes was reminiscent of a small stage — and was fitted into this grid of accessories. The background and furnishings were chosen, the pose and attitude rehearsed — “Wouldn’t you like to be holding a book in your hands?” — and finally the lighting was set up.

Urs Stahel
Afterwards: “After the climax” as a focal element in Rineke Dijkstra’a portrait photography

Richard Throssel was not only a contemporary of Curtis he was also a native: Cree to be exact, adopted by the Crow. His photograph of Bull Over the Hill’s home, titled “The Old and the New” which shows a log house with a tipi in the background, and his 1910 photograph “Interior of the best Indian Kitchen on the Crow Reservation” which shows an Indian family dressed in traditional clothing, sitting at an elegantly set table, in their very contemporary house, having tea, suggests that native people could negotiate the past and the present with relative ease. His untitled camp scene that juxtaposes traditional tipis with contemporary buggies and a family of pigs – rather than the unshod ponies and prerequisite herd of buffalo, suggests, at least to my contemporary sensibilities, that Throssel has a penchant for satiric play. But I’m probably imagining the humour, Throssel was, after all, a serious photographer trying to capture a moment, perhaps not realizing that tripping the shutter captures nothing; that everything on the ground glass changes before the light hits the film plane. What the camera allows you to do – is invent. To create. That’s really what photographs are: not records of moments, but rather, imaginative acts.

Thomas King
The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative (the 2003 Massey Lectures)

From its beginnings, photography has lived in persistent conflict with the nature of its being and those elements which can define it. This conflict arises over whether it is the representation of truth or a mechanism for metaphors. Photography is the most painful reiteration of what we are and what we don’t want to be. It is the truth constructed with pieces of truth and pieces of lies. It is what anyone wants it to be … With photography, there is always a mystery, a veil which does not allow us to have the clarity we desire.

Jorge Gutiérrez. Director 1990 to 1994 Museo de Artes Visuales Alejandro Otero, Cararas.
Image and Memory: Photography from Latin America.

If the history of creative photography is considered as a whole, the publishing and dissemination of photographer’s work in book form has been more crucial and far-reaching than the showing of photographs in galleries.

The Photobook: A History, Volume I,
Martin Parr and Gerry Badger