W. o’ W.: Luc Sante

Regarding “the foundational paradox of street photography:”

“Its practitioner is right there in the middle of the scene, ostensibly a biped like any other, subject to the same conditions of weather and traffic, and yet the photographer’s eye is of necessity detached. The photographer’s job is to part the veil of pretext–the business or pageantry or camaraderie or regimentation that ostensibly determines the meaning of the tableau–and isolate the specifics, which may well reveal a completely different and perhaps violently contrasting truth. This work separates the photographer from the other actors on the scene even if he or she shares their beliefs. Maybe at length it will chip away at those beliefs. Maybe the discipline imposed by the task will cause the photographer to question the bases of whatever presents itself to his or her eye, and not just the camera’s lens. Maybe the eye and the lens will become so interchangeable that the photographer will in a sense be perpetually working. It’s a lonely job.”

The rest of this essay, and these images, are in Simpson Kalisher’s recent book (his third in fifty years), “The Alienated Photographer.” Get this book.

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