Living in a time of crusical struggle, the mechanization of men, photography for me became nothing but another example of this paradoxical problem: how to owercome, how to humanize the machine on which we are so very dependent – the camera. This mechanical instrument forces and enables us for for the first time to learn hwo to read and write stimultaneously visual aspects resulting from a discussion with reality expressed with a language of light called photography. Disinterested in scientific objectivity, I want to transform reality with a poetic conception by relating the unrelated into vision – forcing the viewer to feel what I felt as well as to think what I thought. I believe photography can be an art and I want to give everything to help achieve it. There is only you and your camera – the limitations of your photography are in yourself, for what we see is only what we are.
The reporter is someone in a trench coat with a rakishly upturned collar, who runs after events, wants to capture facts, narrates, reports on so-called reality. To be honest, I’m not too interested in facts. My issues are more of an artistic nature. These are rather more the problems of the painter. I’m a painter who was too impatient to paint, and therefore became a photographer.
In every artist there is poetry. In every human being there is the poetic element. We know, we feel, we believe… one cannot photograph art. One can only live it in the unity of his vision, as well as in the breadth of his humanity, vitality, and understanding. There is no formula—only man with his conscience speaking, writing, and singing in the new hieroglyphic language of light and time.
You become things, you become an atmosphere, and if you become it, which means you incorporate it within you, you can also give it back. You can put this feeling into a picture. A painter can do it. And a musician can do it and I think a photographer can do that too and that I would call the dreaming with open eyes.
Women held bleached-out photographs in the air to the new arrivals. “Do you know him? Have you seen my son?” They called out the names of their men. Children with pictures of fathers they had never seen compared the photographs with the faces of the arrivals. It was almost too much. I staggered home as if in a trance. (On photographing the return of WWII prisoners from the camps in eastern Europe.)