George Grosz
[Artist, b. 1893, Berlin, d. 1959, Berlin.]

 In 1916, when Johnny Heartfield and I invented photomontage in my studio at the south end of the town at five o’clock one May morning, we had no idea of the immense possibilities, or of the thorny but successful career, that awaited the new invention. On a piece of cardboard we pasted a mishmash of advertisements for hernia belts, student song books and dog food, labels from schnaps and wine bottles, and photographs from picture papers, cut up at will in such a way as to say, in pictures, what would have been banned by the censors if we had said it in words. 

Bill Viola
[Artist, b. 1951, New York City, lives in Los Angeles.]

 One day in 1425, Filippo Brunelleschi walked out onto the Piazza del Duomo in Florence, and standing at the main doors to the cathedral, facing the baptistery across the piazza, he set up a small wooden box on a stand... To a twentieth-century observer, the only interpretation of this scene could be that of a photographer demonstrating a new camera, and by expanding the definition of photography perhaps more than is acceptable, Brunelleschi’s box could be considered a crude camera. For a citizen of fifteenth-century Florence, the effects of looking into this device were as mind-boggling and astounding as if seeing an actual camera for the first time. Peering into the small hole, they first saw the direct monocular view of the baptistery across the way. Then, by the flip of a lever, a mirror was moved into position and a small painting of the baptistery appeared, exactly in line and proportional to the direct view. In fact, in regards to geometry and form, the two were barely distinguishable. Brunelleschi had made a sharp right-hand turn out of the Middle Ages. 

Aleksander Rodchenko
[Artist, designer, architect, b. 1891, St. Petersburg, d. 1956, Moscow.]

 It is said: Rodchenko’s photographs have become a bore: always looking down from above, looking up from below. But everyone has been photographing “from centre to centre” for years... They have taught us, through thousands of years of painting, to see according to the rules of our forefathers. Instead people should be encouraged to see from every point and with every type of lighting. 
 Only the camera seems to be really capable of describing modern life. 
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