Jean Baudrillard
[Writer and theorist, b. 1929, Reims, France, d. 2007, Paris.]

 Photography is obsessive, temperamental, ecstatic and narcissistic in character. It is a solitary activity. The photographic image is discontinuous, selective, unpredictable and irreparable, like the state of things at any given moment. Any touching up, second thoughts or staging assumes an abominably aesthetic character. 
 Whatever the noise and violence around them, photographs return objects to a state of stillness and silence. In the midst of urban hustle and bustle, they recreate the equivalent of the desert, a phenomenal isolation. They are the only ways of passing through cities in silence, of moving through the world in silence. 
 …the photograph that has become digital [is] liberated at a single stroke from both the negative and the real world. 
 The image is not a medium for which we have to find the proper use. It is what it is and it is beyond all our moral considerations. It is by its essence immoral, and the world’s becoming-image is an immoral process. 
 …the digital photo is in real time and bears witness to something that did not take place, but whose absence signifies nothing. 
 For me, the photography, in its purest form, is a variant of the fable. Another way of saving the appearances—a way of signifying, through this fabulous capture, that this supposed “real” world is always about to lose its meaning and its reality... 
 There is great affection in ascribing meaning to the photographic image. To do so is to make objects strike a pose. 
 The desire to take photographs may perhaps arise from the following observation: looked at in general, from the angle of meaning, the world is distinctly disappointing. In detail, taken unawares, it is always perfectly self-evident. 
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