Gilles Peress
[Photographer, b. 1946, Neuilly, France, lives in New York.]

 How do you make the unseen seen? 
 I don’t trust words. I trust pictures. 
 I don’t care so much anymore about “good photography,” I am gathering evidence for history. 
 I am bad at memory—this is why I shoot pictures. 
 I’m proposing to you that photography is a language on its own, which is that when you look at images you do derive ideas; and I’m also proposing to you that you can derive ideas without going through words. So I’m forcing you to really look. And this process of looking, it’s like a new set of ideas that are being proposed to you. 
 [The photograph is] still a space to reorganize our thoughts about reality and our place in the world. How do you disentangle the surface of reality? 
 We are entering into an age in which visual language is defined by a dialogue between photographers and audiences. This means not just the democratic posting of images but the democratic interpretation of images. 
 I think I’ve got a peculiar disease. I call it “the curse of history,” and it has to do with the fugitive absence/presence of both personal and collective memory. At first I thought it was a kind of personal illness, just related to time, private time, time that passes in one’s life. So I decided to forget and throw myself into the future. 
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