On Photography – Allan Sekula

The Netherlands, Amsterdam, 23 November 2013. The 26th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam - IDFA 2013. Tour at Stedelijk Museum, with discussions on reality in art and documentary film. Hosted by IDFA and Stedelijk Museum. Photo: Bram Belloni ((c) 2013, do not use without prior permission)

“Untitled Slide Sequence” by Allan Sekula at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
November, 2013

With many words already spoken to the discussion whether documentary photography (or film) is unbiased or not, i recently came upon this quote by photographer and visual artist Allan Sekula.

The only “objective” truth that photographs offer is the assertion that somebody or something… was somewhere and took a picture.
– Allan Sekula

Nowadays, the whole debate tends to shift in favor of the ‘subjective’ side. I haven’t been able to find out when exactly this quote was used (given the working career of Sekula probably before the whole discussion started), but in all its simplicity it just nailed it for me.

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