Jeff Wall
[Photographer, b. 1946, Vancouver, Canada, lives in Vancouver.]

 In some way [my photographs] claim to be a plausible account of, or a report on, what the events depicted are like, or were like, when they passed without being photographed. (On his “near documentary” images.) 
 I like photographs that don’t look altogether the way photographs are supposed to look. We don’t really know how photographs are “supposed to look.” 
 We haven’t progressed beyond where we were when the medium was new, and we won’t. Photography is what its first practitioners said it was—pictures created by the controlled actions of nature, of light reflected from surfaces. 
 ...electronic image traffic has become present in the relation between the photographer and the picture he or she sees in a viewfinder. 
 Digital photography provides certain obvious technical advantages and allows you the freedom to do photography either as it has always been done or to do it in rather different ways, and to still be practicing photography. 
 [Near documentary] means that they are pictures whose subjects were suggested by my direct experience, and ones in which I tried to recollect that experience as precisely as I could, and to reconstruct and represent it precisely and accurately. 
 Reportage, or the spontaneous, fleeting aspect of the photographic image, appear simultaneously with the pictorial, tableau-like aspect at the origins of photography; its traces can be seen in the blurred elements of Daguerre’s first scenes. Reportage evolves in the pursuit of the blurred parts of the pictures. 
 I don’t find my own experiences very interesting. I find my observations interesting. Maybe that’s why I’m a photographer. Maybe an observation is an experience that means more to you than other experiences. 
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