seduction

All really great loves are articulate, and verbal seduction is the surest road to actual seduction.

The seduction of war is insidious because so much of what we are told about it is true; It does create a sense of comradeship, which obliterates our alienation and makes us, for perhaps the only time of our life, feel we belong. War allows us to rise above our small stations in life. We find nobility in a cause and feelings of selflessness and even bliss. And at a time of soaring deficits and financial scandals and the very deterioration of our domestic fabric, war is a fine diversion. War, for those who enter into combat, has a dark beauty, filled with the monstrous and the grotesque. The Bible calls it the "lust of the eye" and warns believers against it. War gives us a distorted sense of self; it gives us meaning.

I often feel that people come to me to be photographed as they would go to a doctor or a fortune teller--to find out how they are. So they’re dependent on me. I have to engage them. Otherwise there’s nothing to photograph. The concentration has to come from me and involve them. Sometimes the force of it grows so strong that sounds in the studio go unheard. Time stops. We share a brief, intense intimacy. But it’s unearned. It has no past...no future. And when the sitting is over—when the picture is done—there’s nothing left except the photograph...the photograph and a kind of embarrassment. They leave… and I don’t know them. I’ve hardly heard what they’ve said. If I meet them a week later in a room somewhere, I expect they won’t recognize me. Because I don’t feel I was really there. At least the part of me that was is now in the photograph. And the photographs have a reality for me that the people don’t. It’s through the photographs that I know them.

Correct opinions well established on any subject are the best preservative against the seduction of error.

I've worked out of a series of no's. No to exquisite light, no to apparent compositions, no to the seduction of poses or narrative. And all these no's force me to the yes. I have a white background. I have the person I'm interested in and the thing that happens between us.

One of our defects as a nation is a tendency to use what have been called weasel words. When a weasel sucks eggs the meat is sucked out of the egg. If you use a weasel word after another there is nothing left of the other.

Such captivity of the human spirit must be again and again challenged, for it is that captivity that makes it possible to commit aggressive brutalizing war in the name of democratic freedom; to tolerate acute poverty in an economy of affluence, most especially without an adequate health-care policy; to sustain policies of abuse of the environment, all in the name of nurturing the economy. Captivation by the kingdom of scarcity requires us to live with unbearable contradictions, and we, except in our better moments, do not take much notice of the contradiction.