"… those who value stability, who fear transience, uncertainly, change, have erected a powerful system of stigmas and taboos against rootlessness, that disruptive, anti-social force, so that we mostly conform, we pretend to be motivated by loyalties and solidarities we do not really feel, we hide our secret identities beneath the false skins of those identities which bear the belongers’ seal of approval."
"In the end, what we are looking at then is not clear. All that added uncertainty is what defines photography. This is why machines will never be able to produce real art (the relentless hype by today’s tech fetishists notwithstanding): Machines don’t do uncertainty."
"I am a woman who looks. Within traditional narratives, women who look, especially women who look unflinchingly at men, have been punished. Take poor Psyche, punished for all time for daring to lift the lantern to finally see her lover…I can think of numberless males, from Bonnard to Callahan, who have photographed their lovers and spouses, but I am having trouble finding parallel examples among my sister photographers. The act of looking appraisingly at a man, making eye contact on the street, asking to photograph him, studying his body, has always been a brazen venture for a woman, though, for a man, these acts are commonplace, even expected."
"To speak of reality becoming a spectacle is a breathtaking provincialism. It universalizes the viewing habits of a small, educated population living in the rich part of the world, where news has been converted into entertainment. […] It assumes that everyone is a spectator. It suggests, perversely, unseriously, that there is no real suffering in the world."
"Trauma is not just the result of major disasters. It does not happen to only some people. An undercurrent of trauma runs through ordinary life, shot through as it is with the poignancy of impermanence. I like to say that if we are not suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, we are suffering from pre-traumatic stress disorder."
"They wear alligator shoes, flashy suits, diamond rings, drive Cadillacs. And they sell you something you don’t need. The preacher says, “I know God a little bit better than you. If you pay me, I’ll hook you up.”"
"Yet we pretend to be here so that nobody will be able to say, “But I didn’t know what was happening in Syria.” When really we are here just to get an award, to gain visibility. We are here thwarting one another as if there were a Pulitzer within our grasp, when there’s absolutely nothing. We are squeezed between a regime that grants you a visa only if you are against the rebels, and rebels who, if you are with them, allow you to see only what they want you to see. The truth is, we are failures. Two years on, our readers barely remember where Damascus is, and the world instinctively describes what’s happening in Syria as “that mayhem,” because nobody understands anything about Syria—only blood, blood, blood. And that’s why the Syrians cannot stand us now."
"The most unsafe place to be, whether people are using rocks or bullets, is between the lines. You must choose a side, if for no other reason than to have a firm spot on which to stand and a moment’s peace to focus."
"The leadership has failed. Even so, the leadership can and must be recreated from the masses and out of the masses. The masses are the decisive element, they are the rock on which the final victory of the revolution will be built. The masses were on the heights; they have developed this ‘defeat’ into one of the historical defeats which are the pride and strength of international socialism. And that is why the future victory will bloom from this ‘defeat’.
‘Order reigns in Berlin!’ You stupid henchmen! Your ‘order’ is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will already ‘raise itself with a rattle’ and announce with fanfare, to your terror:
I was, I am, I shall be!"
"… how are we to explain why the poor, when forced out of their country, persist in facing death to return to a poverty they had left behind? There is something we forget in the rush to memorize the ringing slogans of the revolution: human dignity. My country is not always right, yet I cannot exercise genuine rights except in my homeland."
"I make art. I can’t help it. That’s what I do. All the time. I have to make art, or I’ll die. I’m like a shark. In a beret."
"Oddly, the international community seems less concerned by how many people the Syrian regime kills than by the methods it uses to kill them."
"Whales have been evolving for thirty million years. To our one million. A sperm whale’s brain is seven times the size of mine… The great size of his body has little to do with the great size of his brain, other than as a place to keep it. I have What If fantasies… What if the catalyst or the key to understanding creation lay somewhere in the immense mind of the whale? … Some species go for months without eating anything. Just completely idle.. So they have this incredible mental apparatus and no one has the least notion what they do with it. Lilly says that the most logical supposition, based on physiological and ecological evidence, is that they contemplate the universe… Suppose God came back from wherever it is he’s been and asked us smilingly if we’d figure it out yet. Suppose he wanted to know if it had finally occurred to us to ask the whale. And then he sort of looked around and he said, “By the way, where are the whales?”"
"Everybody’s born with some different thing at the core of their existence. And that thing, whatever it is, becomes like a heat source that runs each person from the inside. I have one too, of course. Like everybody else. But sometimes it gets out of hand. It swells or shrinks inside me, and it shakes me up. What I’d really like to do is find a way to communicate that feeling to another person. But I can’t seem to do it. They just don’t get it. Of course, the problem could be that I’m not explaining it very well, but I think it’s because they’re not listening very well. They pretend to be listening, but they’re not, really. So I get worked up sometimes, and I do some crazy things."