..by means of photography, which I find particularly suitable for the task, I would like to enter the souls of men. I attempt to discover, by digging among the roots of memories, something of lasting value.
What is of the utmost importance to me is to transform reality—even though depicting reality—because the photographs I make must be new, not something remade; the re invention of reality ... Photography not only teaches us to see, but also to "be". It makes us what we are.
What I was trying to show, rather than what I saw, was what was within me: my fear of getting old—not of dying—and my disgust at the price one has to pay for one’s life.
I don’t know about other people’s cameras. Mine is a thing I had cobbled up, it holds together with tape and is always losing parts. All I need to set is the distance and that other thing—what do you call that other thing?
There are situations that refuse to be photographed. But at other times nothing will stop me, because I know my pictures will not shout against anyone—only against time.
[My mother] died a few months ago, and when she was dead I kissed her lips. For me it was a beautiful moment. From then on I started living with her, asking her from time to time if she was alright, if she was pleased with me. But these things are far greater than photography, and I probably shouldn’t be speaking about them.
A photo isn’t only what you see, but also what your imagination adds to it. My own imagination may add something else, a third person’s something else again. But does it matter? What matters is the contact between us, the fact that we talk about trees losing their leaves, about objects we crush underfoot without realizing it, about that house dying gently, abandoned by its owner, even though it’s the house where he was born, where he learnt to cry and to laugh.
To be sure the landscape can’t run away, and yet I always fear that it may. [Sometimes] I must set up my tripod, so I worry that the landscape may disappear the next second and I don't stop keeping an eye on it while I get prepared. Then, when pressing the shutter, I hold my breath. These moments are the greatest joys in my life, as if I were undressing the most beautiful woman in the world—that is, if she will allow herself be undressed. If the photo is a success, it means that she was willing. If not, it has been a lovely dream.
Of course [photography] cannot create, nor express all we want to express. But it can be a witness of our passage on earth, like a notebook.