Susan Sontag “On Photography”

December 29, 2011

Unlike the fine-art objects of pre-democratic eras, photographs don’t seem deeply beholden to the intentions of an artist.  Rather, they owe their existence to a loose cooperation (quasi-magical, quasi-accidental) between photographer and subject — mediated by an ever simpler and more automated machine, which is tireless, and which even when capricious can produce a result that is interesting and never entirely wrong.  (The sales pitch for the first Kodak, in 1888, was: ” You press the button, we do the rest.” The purchaser was guaranteed that the picture would be “without any mistake.” ) In the fairy tale of photography the magic box insures veracity and banishes error, compensates for inexperience and rewards innocence. ”  1973, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, p. 53.

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2 Responses to “Susan Sontag “On Photography””


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