John Berger
[Writer and critic, b. 1926, London, d. 2017, Paris.]

 A photograph, whilst recording what has been seen, always and by its nature refers to what is not seen. 
 What served in the place of the photograph, before the camera’s invention? The expected answer is the engraving, the drawing, the painting. The more revealing answer might be: memory. 
 Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. 
 If the public photograph contributes to a memory, it is to the memory of an unknowable and total stranger. 
 It is because the photographs carry no certain meaning in themselves, because they are like images in the memory of a total stranger, that they lend themselves to any use. 
 The camera which isolates a moment of agony isolates no more violently than the experience of that moment isolates itself. The word trigger, applied to the rifle and camera, reflects a correspondence which does not stop at the purely mechanical. The image seized by the camera is doubly violent... 
 …hundreds of millions of photographs, fragile images, often carried next to the heart or placed by the side of the bed, are used to refer to that which historical time has no right to destroy. 
 A photograph is static because it has stopped time. A painting or drawing is static because it encompasses time. 
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