Photo with 11 notes
Zoe Leonard, Wax Anatomical Model with Pearls, 1990
"Why photography? Why this medium? Of course there are many uses of photography, artists like Cindy Sherman who essentially document a performance, or photojournalists like Susan Meiselas or Donald McCullum, or fine artists like Penn and Weston. For me photography is intrinsically about observation. It’s about being present in and having a certain perspective on, the world around me. It’s not so much about creating, or my imagination — as drawing, for instance, may be. It’s more about responding. Choosing to look at certain objects or situations. It’s not just what I’m looking at but how I look. Photographs play with the idea of absolute truth. When people look at a photograph, they believe it. We believe that it exposes reality. That a portrait can show someone’s true character. If you see a picture of something, you believe it really happened that way. Pictures are proof. My photographs crawl along that edge. I document the world, but from my own biased point of view. I want to draw the viewer into the process of looking so we can look at these things together. I want to show you what I see. I take pictures of what moves me. Sometimes it’s beauty — the waterfalls, the ocean. Things that fill me with awe. Sometimes it’s gathering evidence, spying on our culture. Things that scare me or disgust me or make me angry. The one part that’s frustrating is if I’m feeling a certain way or want to express certain thoughts, I have to actually find something out in the world that visually conveys that to me, something to take pictures of."
— Zoe Leonard interviewed in Journal of Contemporary Art