"Discussion on Butterflies...


Photography can make anything real. The camera does not lie. It's the sudden moment, the fraction of a second that none of us remembers except when we see it framed in rectangles, pinned like  butterflies to the page. But as the flutter of the butterfly is lost, so is the butterfly.


So it is with moments. A moment that does not dissolve into another barely exists - Only in photography, in memory, in sexuality and death. It is sacred time, seperate, permanent, unreal. It is a place where metaphors can fly, yet butterflies cannot. 


The photographer transforms, imagines, creates, makes up. We in the audience think that the photographer only reacts to what is there, like a poor cousin to the rich painter who enjoys unlimited credit from his imagination.


A greatness of photography is in it's ambiguity. All the realism, yet one never knows quite why. In truth, there are no blacks and whites, only greys of sheer understanding and misunderstanding.


Hints, backpedalling, guesses. Visual absolutes."



FRED RITCHIN, 1986 - Former NEW YORK TIMES magazine picture editor