train your gaze
DARKNESS
THERE IS A STORY ABOUT JOHN CAGE VISITING a sound-free laboratory at MIT According to the story, he mentioned to his guide that he heard two sounds, one of which he recognized as the sound of his heart beating. But what, he inquired, was the other sound? His guide is said to have told him that it was the sound of his nervous system. "So," Cage replied, "this is reassuring. This means there will always be music."
2007
By Roswell Angier
Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark

"'Imagine an underground chamber like a cave, with a tong entrance open to the daylight and as wide as the cave. In this chamber are men who have been prisoners there since they were children, their legs and necks being so fastened that they can only look straight ahead of them and cannot turn their heads. Some way off, behind and higher up, a fire is burning, and between the fire and the prisoners and above them runs a road, in front of which a curtain-wall has been built, like the screen at puppet shows between the operators and their audience, above which they show their puppets.

"I see.'"

PLATO | The Republic

We can apply this anecdote to the presence of light. It is easy to imagine an environment that is completely dark: a room without windows, with a door that can be sealed (in other words, a darkroom). But the fact is, in the overwhelming majority of situations, there is always enough ambient light to take a picture. For all practical purposes, photography is always possible. The crucial consideration is what you want your picture to look like, not whether or not it is possible to make a picture. Correct exposure in low-light situations without a flash, while always possible, does require special care. You will probably want to use a tripod to hold the camera steady during a long exposure.

There are also certain tools that you may want to avoid using. One of these is a digital camera. Even though you can increase the ISO setting on most digital cameras, thereby allowing you to make relatively short exposures in dim light, the results can be unsatisfying, because of the "noise" that the CCD image sensor creates, particularly in the shadows. Using a slow shutter speed is often not an option, because digital cameras can produce random spots of light (known as "dark current") at exposures longer than 1/2 sec.i For these reasons, it will be assumed that a film camera will be used for the assignments in this chapter.

If you want to make photographs in extremely low light, and at the same time retain the texture and feel of darkness, you may not want to even think about using a flash, or any other kind of supplemental light. You should be aware of the fact that, in order to correctly expose your film, you may be placing demands on your camera's metering system that it cannot meet. As ambient light levels decrease, in-camera metering systems become increasingly unreliable. While some of these systems are more accurate than others in extreme conditions, you are nonetheless likely to encounter a situation in which you will want to use an external, hand-held light meter. It is an extremely useful tool, because it allows you to determine an exposure that will result in perfectly exposed shadows, even in the most demanding situations. (For a detailed discussion of hand-held meters and how to use them, see Appendix B.)
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i. If you want to test the limits of your digital camera in this regard, try making a series of increasingly long exposures, with the camera set on Manual, starting with 1/2 second. Keep the lens cap on, in order to ensure that no light reaches the sensor. At some point in your series of exposures, the camera will produce dark current. It will look like a star pattern. Another thing that is important in low-light situations is the type of film you choose. Most lowlight scenes present conditions of very high subject contrast, due to the combination of extremely dark shadows and very bright point sources of light (such as outdoor street lights, or even ordinary indoor tungsten lamps). The brightness range of almost all night-time scenes—the difference between the highest and the lowest reflected light values—is extreme. Since fine-grain black-and-white film emulsions (those with low ISO ratings) tend to produce high contrast negatives, they are usually inappropriate for use in low-light photography. It is better to use faster films, such as Tri-X (ISO 400), because these emulsions tend to de-emphasize subject contrast. (Notable exceptions to this rule are T-MAX 3200 and Kodak Recording Film. Both are extremely fast, but they behave like slower films in terms of their tonal values, yielding negatives that are high in contrast.)

Brassaï, who was the first photographer to systematically explore the city at night, calculated his exposures intuitively, without the aid of a light meter, and without a wide range of films at his disposal. For the photographs in his book, Paris le nuit (i933), it was said that he exposed very dark urban scenes for the length of time that it took him to smoke a densely packed, expensive cigarette. For slightly lighter nocturnal landscapes, he smoked a Gauloise, a cheaper brand that incorporated an oxidizer to promote faster burning of the tobacco. He used a 6 x 9 cm plate camera, mounted on a tripod. Since the camera lacked an optical viewfinder, he had to calculate focus by eye, or by stretching a length of rope, knotted at regular intervals for ease of measurement, from the camera to the subject. His human subjects, such as the woman pictured in the well-known "Streetwalker Near the Place d'Italie," had to stand very still, and had to be situated directly under a streetlamp in order for the exposure time to be under ten seconds.

Today, it is hard to imagine making portraits with long exposure times as anything other than an irritating constraint, a holdover from photography's early history, when daguerreotype studios were equipped with neck braces to hold the sitters' heads in place. Yet Gary Schneider, a contemporary photographer who also has an affinity for darkness, has actively embraced this procedure, using really long exposure times as an integral part of his photographic practice. His early work grew out of an interest in 19th-century portraiture. From an archive of small collodion plate glass negatives, anonymous portraits of young women which he discovered at a New York flea market, he made a series of nine greatly enlarged, life-size silver prints, titled "Carte de Visite." As he says of the work,

"These portraits seen in a large format unveil a previously undetectable exposure of the subject. They're totally unveiled; they are presenting themselves."1

Schneider was struck by the paradoxical sense of openness communicated by these stiffly posed women, which was due in part to their lack of familiarity with the process of being photographed. They had not yet learned camera behavior.

The quality of the source images for Carte de Visite" made Schneider search for ways to undermine the tendency of contemporary portrait subjects to instinctively put on their camera face. His solution, although grounded in 19th-century procedures, is startlingly innovative as well as simple.

"Schneider found an essential model in Julia Margaret Cameron's unorthodox search for the essence of her subjects by making closely framed portraits with exposures lasting up to eight minutes. He greatly exaggerates her technique, expanding the length of his exposures to more than an hour for each portrait. Rather than clamping his sitters in place to keep them still, as was the practice in the nineteenth century, Schneider positions his subjects on pads and pillows on the floor of his studio, and has them look up at a camera suspended a few feet above. After adjusting the framing and focus of the portrait on the camera's ground glass [he uses an 8 x 10 inch view camera], Schneider turns off the studio lights, opens the aperture, and in the pitch dark moves to within a few inches of the subject to begin the painstaking process of illuminating the face segment by segment with a small flashlight—an adaptation of o standard commercial technique for photographing still lifes that he learned from Peter Hujar."2

Schneider's portraits begin with the basic agreement that the subject will pose. The long exposure time required by these portraits intensifies this collaborative commitment. The pose then assumes the dimensions of a real performance. Some aspects of the performance are scripted (the photographer determines the composition and directs the beam of light), but it is mostly improvisational. The photographer gropes around, modeling the features of his subject with his penlight. It must be a little like being blind, tracing the features of a face with your hand.

Finally, the performance that occurs within the hour-long exposure is compressed into a still image. The effect is uncanny. There is no way we could see, in real time, the spectral woman who is the subject of "Shirley, 1991" (reproduced on page 132) as she appears in Schneider's photograph. Even though her features were faithfully traced in the dark by the photographer's penlight (or so we presume), the resulting portrait is nothing like a likeness, or an approximation of a wakeful encounter. It is an alarmingly intimate and unstable event. Her face is so close, so in our face, it might be a mirror reflection. Because of the durational dimension of the image, it is a composite picture, a montage. The subject is not a unitary, single person, although she is represented by a single image. Different versions of her collapse into the beguiling but deceptive framework of a fixed angle of view. Schneider, who photographs only those people he knows well (his partner, his friends, his family), is fully conscious of the paradoxical nature of this enterprise.

"When I'm working with someone's face that I really know, what I'm doing to it is so extreme, I ask myself is it really them still or is it just all me? I want to believe that it is the accumulation of the secretion of all the expressions that they were making during the exposure—what they were thinking, what they were feeling or what they were projecting. But, of course, there is so much interpretation going on in the camera and in the printing." 3

When Schneider was enlarging the 19th-century glass negatives for the "Carte de Visite" series, he used his darkroom expertise to exaggerate the lighting on the subjects' eyes-in order, he said, "to have the eyes really make contact with you." 4 One of the first things we notice about "Shirley, 1991" is the specular brightness of the subject's right eyeglass lens, which reflects back at us a myriad of bright shapes that look like free-floating eyeballs. These shapes may in fact be reflections of the photographer's probing penlight, but a suggestive question is posed by the appearance of these shapes: who is looking at whom? "Shirley, 2001" has a similar effect, but on a grander scale. It is part of a series of color portrait heads that are designed to be printed five feet high. As you look at the image, you can see the actual tracery patterns of the penlight, like miniature vascular systems, reflected in the subject's eyeglasses.

Although his method remains essentially the same as it was for the earlier durational portraits, Schneider's color series differs from his black-and-white work in some important respects. In addition to being larger in scale, the color portrait heads are resolutely situated in, and surrounded by, total darkness. Also, even though he has managed to reduce the total exposure time from one hour to ten minutes, there is more evidence of movement than there is in the earlier work. As you scan the surface of "Shirley, 2001" (loosely imitating the progress of the penlight that progressively illuminated the subject's features), you can see a double image, caused by her head moving during the progressive exposure, of her eyeglass frame on the bridge of her nose. For the same reason, the frame of her left lens displays a slight amount of ghosting, although, strangely, her left eyebrow retains perfectly sharp focus. Throughout the photograph, differing degrees of motion-induced ghost images, as well as blurring (the left side of her nose and cheek), alternate with isolated areas of sharp focus (her lower lip and her forehead).

The impression created by these extreme variations in optical definition (or lack of definition) depends on whether you are looking at the original image displayed at its intended exhibition size (60 x 48 inches) or at a small reproduction in the exhibition catalog (83/4 x 73/4 inches). In the latter case, where you can take in the whole image almost at a glance, the effect is of motion and rest condensed into an impossible instant. When looking at the work as the larger print, the experience is much different. In this case, the accumulation of glances that constitute the whole must be scrutinized bit by bit, pieced together out of the dark.

"In fact, Schneider deliberately enlarges the color portraits to the point where artifacts of the process begin to become visible. When we stand before these oversize heads, passages of color and form open up as if they were vast stretches of landscape... The viewer becomes entranced by the cinematic expanses held in the interstices of these epic portraits, and by the illusion that the pulsating heads alternately advance and recede in space." 5

A group called Seeing With Photography (SWP), based in New York, has made pictures that are similar in their method to Schneider's. Some of their work has been published in a book, Shooting Blind: Photographs by the Visually Impaired (Aperture, 2002). They employed Polaroid materials to photograph each other, as well as sighted subjects, using flashlights in a darkened room. One essential difference between their work and Schneider's is that the method of progressive exposure, with its pockets of extreme darkness, punctuated by milky bursts of light, really is an accurate mirror of their everyday optical experience. Insofar as the method reproduces this experience, it gives their work a consistently self-referential, and sometimes humorous dimension. The built-in reference to protective eyewear in "John with Welder's Goggles" is a case in point. It is a mixed metaphor with a great deal of poignancy. While the goggles may be functionally useless to someone who is already nearly blind, the blank look of the lenses is a perfect image for the eyes that lie behind them.

Stephen Dominguez's portrait of Jose Femandez.—a legally blind friend of Dominguez—"Devil, Dogs and Vodka," almost looks like an oddly lit, but otherwise conventionally confrontational portrait. But if you look closely, you can see that the sitter's right eye has drifted off to the left, toward the bridge of his nose, and he is not engaging the camera with a direct gaze (in fact, he has glaucoma and cataracts, and has no vision in this eye). The classical portrait pose, which revolves around the ceremony of the photographer and subject exchanging gazes, is not what it first appears to be. Its usual solemnity is disrupted by the comically discordant note that is struck by the title of the image.

Blind people cannot look back at the camera. The proof of the subject's consent, the eye contact that is the usual underpinning of formal portraits, is missing. This has interesting implications. According to Rebecca Solnit:

"Portraits of the blind are largely portraits without poses. Usually in a photograph the implicit center of attention is the photographer, at whom the subject looks or from whom the subject turns away, for whom the subject poses. In portraits of the blind, however, the face is a completely different organ of sense, one that points according to a different set of rules; the straight-on gaze is never encountered. Thus the photographer, and by extension the image and its viewers, are never acknowledged." 6

Solnit points out that an awful lot of recent critical theory has focused on the activity of looking and its association with power and pleasure. Blind people, she says:

"...are subjects who shift the power of [the] gaze. They remind us of a desire to be seen and acknowledged, and they remind us by its very absence. The absence we see in these images is not in their world but in ours. This is, among other things, a way of looking at the blind less as victims, in terms of their lack, but rather as different, a perspective that underscores the fragility and contingency of our own vision. These images suggest too why the blind make us uncomfortable. It is popularly supposed that we feel pity for their exclusion from our ocular world, but these images propose instead that the blind somehow intimate that our world doesn't necessarily exist. It is our own condition, not theirs, about which we are anxious." 7

The presence of a sighted child in the Mary Ellen Mark photograph, "Blind Children with Sighted Baby at the Special School for Blind Children" proves this point. Looking at it, our eyes seize on this child first, and return to her again for reassurance after we have inspected the rest of the image. She belongs to our world. She is one of us. Mark has composed the entire image around her. She sits dead center in the frame, like a bull's eye. Because of strong emphasis on her placement in the frame, she becomes the primary subject of the picture. To use the analogy of the human eyeball itself, the photographer has put her in the middle of the macula, the fovea centrails. This is the area with the heaviest concentration of cones, the receptors responsible for the perception of color and fine detail. The blind children are situated off to the side, in the retinal region with the heaviest concentration of rods. These are the receptors responsible for motion detection and peripheral vision. It is the area where people with macular degeneration and other serious visual impairments can still see, albeit darkly, out of the sides of their eyes. What we experience, looking at Mark's photograph, is all macular. Everyone is sharp. There is no blur. She has made no attempt to mimic, reproduce, or directly empathize with the point of view of a blind person.


300I-010-15A
Blind Children with Sighted Baby at the Special School for Blind Children No.5, Kiev, Ukraine USSR, 1987 (from "A Day in the Life of the USSR")

In Mary Ellen Mark's picture, there is no real point of sensory contact between photographer and subject. She is very much the observer, and her subjects very much the observed. The boundary line between the two is strictly maintained. In a series of portraits taken at the Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts, Nicholas Nixon attempts to cross over this line. He tries to connect with his subjects by describing some of the non-visual ways they experience the world, through tactile experiences of touch, hearing, and smell. All these sensory activities take place strictly inside the frame of the image. There are no reciprocated gazes in sight. One of the most intriguing of these images is the portrait of Gary Moukon, reproduced on the previous page. Divided into equal quadrants, with the subject sitting perfectly plumb in the center of the frame, it is a meticulously composed picture (it was taken with an 8 x 10-inch view camera, so this would have been no mean feat). A splash of daylight from a window strikes the subject on the hand and on the side of his face. At first, this detail might seem a heavy-handed reminder of Gary's sensory deprivation. What could be more poignant than a blind boy sitting in the path of a poetic burst of light? But this is not what the picture is about. Look at the boy's open mouth and the tilt of his head. He is leaning slightly into the spot of daylight, feeling its touch. He is also listening, intently, and he is either singing or talking in response. The photograph depicts a synesthetic moment, a blind person's experience of light translated into touch and sound. The fastidiously crafted composition, which is purely visual and therefore outside the ken of Gary Moulton's experience, is a bridge between his darkness and our sighted world. But it is a one-way bridge, for our benefit alone.

The darkness in Joel-Peter Witkin's photographs is of a different order. It manifests itself, not primarily as a scarcity of light or optical deprivation, but as a condition of being, a matter of ontology. To begin with, his subject matter is in itself consistently shocking: naked amputees, Siamese twins joined at the head, cadavers, severed genitalia, dwarves, and hermaphrodites, to name but a few conspicuous examples.

"A perverse, morbid and dynamic eroticism ...underlies [his] imagery of desecration, contact with the agonized and the dead and the excremental. Joel-Peter has said that he is a portraitist and that his portraits are conditions of being. Of being what is the critical question." 8

Consider "Leda." Its central figure, a deformed and naked anorexic figure with small female breasts, a penis, and bowed legs, holds the neck of a seated swan. The swan seems limp, perhaps dead, or merely exhausted. A large open eggshell lies on the ground. In front of it are two babies. It is hard to tell if they are alive or dead. One of them, face down on the ground, a grotesque cherub, has a pair of bird's wings perched on its back. The other baby, a girl, lies on her back with her legs splayed out wide. No one in this picture can see. The Leda figure is wearing the kind of dark glasses given to people with damaged eyes. The babies are blindfolded. The setting of this tableau is murky, which has more to do with the lack of environmental detail than with an absence of light. It seems to be an artist's studio, or some other kind of location that has been prepared for the staging of a ritual. A rumpled sheet or large piece of canvas covers the wall and floor. The only prop, a large black object that resembles an oversized ottoman, supports the body of the spent bird. The negative from which the print was made is mottled and scratched. Some of the scratches are black. Others are white, suggesting small stabbing shafts of light. Random stains, like the residue of bodily fluids, dot the image. It feels like an atrocity exhibition, or the aftermath of a disaster. It is a hard picture to look at.

The title refers to a Greek myth. Zeus, the greatest of the gods, disguised himself as a swan, and raped Leda, the wife of the king of Sparta. From this union were born Castor and Pollux, as well as Helen and Clytemnestra. From the Renaissance to the 18th century, the story served as the basis for numerous paintings and sculptures. In most of them, the swan was depicted as menacing or aggressive, as he was in Yeats's poem:

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl...

He was hardly the docile and deflated creature he has become in this photograph. In fact, Witkin has completely redirected the emphasis of the original story. Leda becomes the protagonist, partly by means of her central position in the frame, and partly by means of the way she is seen holding the swan. It looks like its head would fall if she let go. She is posing for the camera with her trophy. She may be the only one who is still alive here. Witkin's photograph attempts to recreate the power of myth by redefining the actors—giving them back their standing as monsters, restoring the original shock value of the old stories. At the end of The Gods of Earth and Heaven, he includes an afterword that is in effect a casting call for a new mythology.

"The request for models in my 1985 monograph resulted in many of the photographs in this volume. Therefore, I ask again for a photograph, telephone number and brief letter to be sent to me at my publisher's address, by all people, including anatomists (this is an ongoing request). Models and sources of the completed work receive a finished print made by me as payment. I need physical marvels—a person, thing, or act so extraordinary as to inspire wonder: someone with wings, horns, tails, fins, claws, reversed feet, head, hands. Anyone with additional arms, legs, eyes, breasts, genitals, ears, nose, lips, head. Anyone without a face. Pinheads, dwarfs, giants, Satyrs. A woman with one breast (center); a woman with breasts so large as to require Daliesque supports; women whose faces are covered with hair or large skin lesions and willing to pose in evening gowns. Active and retired sideshow performers, contortionists (erotic), anyone with a parasitic twin, people who live as comic book heroes. Boot, corset, and bondage fetishists, a beautiful woman with functional appendages in place of arms, anorexics (preferably bald), the romantic and criminally insane (nude only). All manner of extreme visual perversions. A young blonde girl with two faces. Hermaphrodites and taratoids (alive and dead). Beings from other planets. Anyone bearing the wounds of Christ. Anyone claiming to be God. God." 9

A Note on Camera Behavior

The optical behavior of the camera is always a determining factor in the way photographs look, and consequently it has a profound effect on what they signify. In his book The Keepers of Light, William Crawford uses the word "syntax" to describe this phenomenon. He starts by referring to William Ivins's discussion of pictorial syntax:

"...which Ivins defined as the 'conventions or systems of linear structure' used in the preparation of a drawn image. In other words, syntax is the system of organization used in putting lines together to form pictures that can stand as representations of particular objects... Ivins showed that the syntax of printmaking must operate within the physical limits of the printmaking process used. Certain processes can allow only certain kinds of lines or tones built from lines." 10

In defining the principle of photographic syntax, Crawford says:

"...it comes, not from the photographer, but from the chemical, optical, and mechanical relationships that make photography possible. My argument is that the photographer can only do what the technology available at the time permits him to do. All sorts of artistic conventions and personal yearnings may influence a photographer—but only as far as the technology allows. At bottom, photography is a running battle between vision and technology. Genius is constantly frustrated—and tempered—by the machine. ...Contemporary sensibility puts so much emphasis on photography as a 'creative' activity that we can forget that what photographers really do—whether creative or not—is contend with a medium that forces them to look, to respond, and to record the world in a technologically structured and restricted way. I think that this point is essential to an understanding of photography." 11

He provides an example of one of the particular effects, among many, of camera syntax. In this case, it relates to the daguerreotype portrait.

"Long exposure times were needed and poses had to be held, sometimes for uncomfortable periods. In the studio this heroic immobility was usually encouraged by clamping the subject's head from behind with an iron brace out of sight of the camera. Subjects in early daguerreotypes frequently sit with one hand supporting the chin. They look like deep thinkers. They were actually concentrating on not moving their heads." 12

This has very much to do with our discussion of darkness. One of the reasons why daguerreotype portraits look the way they do is because of the relative insensitivity of the daguerreotype emulsion to light. However we may interpret their regard, the subjects of these portraits, by holding still, were simply doing their part to combat the potential darkness of an underexposed image. The architectural solidity of Brassaï's streetwalker, mentioned earlier in this chapter, is also due in part to the necessity to hold still for slow film. Gary Schneider's portraits present a more complex case.
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ii. For example, using a large-format camera with the lens wide open produces extraordinarily shallow depth of field. The only crisply focused details in "Shirley, 1991" are the leading edges and lenses of her eyeglasses. Everything else is a blur.

iii. One could cite myriad examples of the way camera syntax has determined the way photographs look, first out of blind necessity and then out of choice. The hand appearing at the edge of the frame in Jacob Riis's "Police Station Lodgers," discussed in Chapter 3, is a case in point. The hand belongs to the photographer, who had just ignited a magnesium flash to illuminate the scene. He couldn't see it, and get it out of the way, at the moment of exposure, because his camera had no viewfinder. As discussed in Chapter 3, later photographers would deliberately build their compositions around the edges of the frame.

His starting point was a desire to recreate one aspect of this daguerrotype "look," the gaze of the technologically innocent subject, who hadn't yet developed a repertory of learned responses to the camera. His solution, while it depended very much on how a camera behaves in low-light situations,ii required him to develop a new procedure, proving once again that necessity (in the form of severe technological constraints) can be the mother of invention. iii

There is no such thing as a photograph that does not display symptoms of camera and camera-related behavior. Much of the time, this behavior (such as lens coverage, sharpness, depth of field, tonal alternation, color balance and contrast) is simply an incidental and elementary part of the support system for the image. But the syntax is never invisible. Sometimes it becomes a significant part of what the image is about. A case in point is the slightly lurid color cast of Schneider's color portraits, which is the result of the way color values shift and cease to be accurate when using long exposure times (reciprocity failure). Another is the grainy and high-contrast quality of Merry Alpern's excursions into voyeurism (discussed in Chapter 5).

Joel-Peter Witkin's work, which is also edgy, plays with photographic syntax in a different and more elaborate way. His work is layered with references to art history and mythology. In his complicated printing process, he uses tissue paper to filter the light from the enlarger, mounts the images on aluminum and applies pigments before applying beeswax and polish to the surface. For an artist who is so aware of the potentially precious attributes of such an object, the vocabulary of his best work remains remarkably raw.

Consider the scratch marks and blob-like stains that appear in "Leda" (as well as in many of his other portraits). They may remind you of the erasures and damaged emulsion surfaces that are a conspicuous element in Bellocq's portraits (discussed in Chapter 2). In Witkin's pictures, these marks are no accidents. They are violations of photographic syntax at the root level, where the camera image is presumed to speak as a mechanically produced object, something that is "clean," with none of the messy residue of human (or chemical) contact.

Witkin's apparent quarrel with photographic syntax, it should be noted, has nothing to do with optics per se, or with the way the camera itself captures an image. His interventions occur after the fact, in the darkroom, where the negative acquires its distinctive veneer of abrasions, striations, and bruises. A question is posed by this practice of working on the physical surface of the image itself, after it has been formed by the camera lens and chemically processed. Is it simply a textural diversion, a matter of an add-on "effect," like the fuzzy sheen of many turn-of-the-century pictorialist photographs, which were simply trying to disguise themselves as something they were not (like aquatints)? Or is the enveloping patina of damage an integral part of the vision?

SOURCES

1. Quoted in Deborah Martin Kao, "The Obsession of Looking at Things Up Close," in Gary Schneider—Portraits,
exhibition catalog, Harvard University Art Museums, 2004, p. 8

2. ibid., pp. 8-9
3. ibid., p. 54
4. Quoted in Vincent Katz, "Gary Schneider: An Interview," Print Collector's Newsletter, 27/1, March/April 1966, p. 13
5. Deborah Martin Kao, "The Obsession of Looking at Things Up Close," op. cit., p. 19
6. Rebecca Solnit, "The Horizon of the Visible," See: a Journal of Visual Culture, issue 2:1, 1996, p. 20
7. ibid., p. 21
8. Gus Blaisdell, "Afterworld," Joel-Peter Witkin, Gods of Earth and Heaven, Twelvetrees Press, 1994, no pagination
9. Joel-Peter Witkin, "Afterword," op. cit., no pagination
10. William Crawford, "Photographic Syntax," The Keepers of Light, Morgan and Morgan, 1979, pp. 2-3
11. ibid., p. 6
12. ibid., p. 9


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