Uta Barth
[Photographer, b. 1958, Berlin, lives in Los Angeles.]

 Everything is pointing to one’s own activity of looking, to an awareness and sort of hyper-consciousness of visual perception. The only way I know how to invite this experience is by removing the other things (i.e., subject matter) for you to think about. 

Barbara Kasten
[Photographer, b. 1936, Chicago, Illinois, lives in Chicago.]

 The question is: Can I make a photograph that is truly abstract, or must photographs always be representational as reality is there at their core?  

Edward Weston
[Photographer, b. 1886, Highland Park, Illinois, d. 1958, Wildcat Hill, California.]

 I shall let no chance pass to record interesting abstractions, but I feel definite in my belief that the approach to photography is through realism—and its most difficult approach. (1924) 

Annette Messager
[Artist, b. 1943, Berck-sur-Mer, France, lives in Paris.]

 I never take a picture of a face because a face is somebody, an arm is not recognizable as somebody. When you take a photograph of someone’s face, it identifies it as somebody, but if you take just a fragment, it’s everybody. It’s not one person. 

Barbara Kasten
[Photographer, b. 1936, Chicago, Illinois, lives in Chicago.]

 I am asking the question “can a photograph be an abstraction?” simply because it seemed almost impossible. A camera has to have something to record... Can I make a photograph that is based in something that is not tangible? 

Tristan Tzara (Sami Rosenstock)
[Writer and artist, b. 1896, Moineti, Bacu, Romania, d. 1963, Paris.]

 Is it a spiral of water in the tragic gleam of a revolver, an egg, a glistening arc or the floodgate of reason, a keen ear attuned to a mineral hiss, or a turbine of algebraic formulas? (On Man Ray’s first photograms, 1921.) 

Minor White
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1908, Minneapolis, Minnesota, d. 1976, Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 The spring-tight line between reality and photography has been stretched relentlessly, but it has not been broken. These abstractions... have not left the world of appearances; for to do so is to break the camera’s strongest point—its authenticity. 

Robert Irwin
[Artist, b. 1928, Long Beach, California, lives in San Diego, California.]

 No artist worth their salt has ever made their work really abstract. All wanted to make it as real as possible. So the question is what do we mean by reality? 
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