Marilyn Monroe by Bert Stern, 1962.
Photograph of Mills College Office (1880s), detail.
"I can’t say that the college-bred woman is the most contented woman. The broader her mind the more she understands the unequal conditions between men and women, the more she chafes under a government that tolerates it." — Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. suffragist.
"Here I am: Dr. Guil-laume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne, known as Duchenne de Boulogne, medical doctor, scientist, member of the Societe de medecine in Paris, specialist in the field of electrophysiology, and at this moment, conducting precisely the experiment with which I hope to change both the history of medicine and of photography." (1806-1875)
“19TH CENTURY INDUSTRIAL EUROPE WAS AMNESIAC– devaluing, erasing and forgetting the past that it did not need. At the same time it was turning History into a bourgeois discipline, in which the past could be selectively recruited to prop up the dominant order of the present. Benjamin sought a revolutionary history, one that he hoped would help to shatter the false continuum of history and emancipate the present. In Atget he saw if not an emblem of that counter-history then a path towards it. Photography was the child of modern progress yet its nature as record condemned it to look backward, to document ‘what is’ but to present it as ‘what was’. In this sense photography could leave behind facts but no interpretation of them. It could acknowledge the existence of particular things but it could not guarantee a particular knowledge of them. Detective work would be needed to rescue the images from picturesque nostalgia and make them meaningful.”
Eugene Atget “…’those dead-end streets in the outlying neighborhoods, those peripheral districts that his lens recorded, constituted the natural theatre for violent death, for melodrama, and they were so inseparable from such matters that [film diretor] Louis Feuillade… and his disciples – employed them as settings for their serials.’
The projection of narrative – criminal or otherwise – is a way of taming the anxiety produced by Atget’s unpopulated pictures… Turning them into backdrops for actions they do not show is a way of refusing to accept the unsettling temporality at the heart of so many of these images.”