[Questions for photographers]

by Carmen Winant

When Hervé Guibert (nearly) opens his book Ghost Image with that line, “Photography is also an act of love,” what is the also?

What is the relationship of originality to having a pulse?

Have you imagined a time before mirrors?

Are you interested in the conditions of reality, or ... ?

Where is your mother (figure)?

Allusion or illusion?

What about photography makes you feel used up?

What is it that you assume we all know?

Do you photograph or re-photograph or de-photograph?

Do you consider your pictures to be a kind of instruction, an analog for living, reminders of our own bodies from without?

Are all photographs metaphors—what does that feel like?—and are metaphors contrary to instructions?

When you think of your insides, do you imagine a river or a volcano or … ?

Can neglect yield good pictures?

Metaphor, metaphysics, metamorphosis, or metallics?

Could you describe your work without the word work and your practice without the word practice?

What are the sensitive areas?

What is pleasure without climax?

Is it possible to imagine desire without obstacle? What obstacles have been imposed on pleasure? Do fantasies contaminate one other?

In what places do your pictures refuse?

Image or afterimage?

Is a picture a storage unit?

Have you committed any poetry to memory?

When and where does your bravery run out?

Can a picture be about coincidence? Can it be about antagonism between pictures and verbal language?

Can there be art without ego?

Can there be pictures that are not weapons?

Can there be pictures that serve as acts of reconciliation?

What is the geography of nothingness?

Ascetic or aesthetic or anesthetic?

Is feeling a different form of language, or a nonlanguage?

What part of your body flows the fastest? Which part ebbs the slowest?

What might you qualify as fundamental—integral, ungrounded—loss?

Can we make pictures in the second person?

What does it take to be interesting? Can we stick around long enough to find out?

Class consciousness, false consciousness, consciousness raising, double consciousness, dream consciousness, or unconsciousness?

Is imagination passé?

Making or unmaking?

Can pictures heal, taunt, decompose?

Effect or affect?

Do you consider yourself—as a photographer—a conduit? A vector? A carrier? A fulcrum? Or … ?

Which mundane parts are the most interesting, of so many mundane parts?

Do you consider pleasure?

Do you consider pleasure to be political?

Do you consider restraint?

Do you consider restraint to be liberating?

In what ways do you endure time?

What is in the space between distance and difference?

Sight or insight?

How do we transform ourselves without buying things?

Can photographs occupy a gender?

Raise or raze?

Can a photograph change its mind?

What is your relationship to boredom?

Are people born blank?

What are photographs without edges? What falls out of focus?

What is agency without damage?

Can photographs be made to adapt?

What is the difference between a cadaver, a corpse, a carcass?

What senses do you lose in the act of making a picture?

Might we abolish the order of meaning-making?

What words could you use in the place of: strategy, intention, perception, context, sensibility, narrative?

Can our photographs be made to desire us? Can they be false alarms?

“Is not the most erotic portion of a body where the garment gapes?”(Roland Barthes); What about photography as gape, corporeal striptease, narrative suspense, and gradual unveiling?

Is (your) artwork informed by birth order and/or continental divides?

Are meaning and essence antithetical?

Are you engaging in psychic intercourse with the world?

Do you ever use the word arrested to describe your work? How about fugitive?

Do you compost?