I do not usually put quotations on this blog--I have another one for that. I am working on an article about the photographer Lottie Jacobi and was looking to see if I could find any quotes from her on photography. I got sidetracked when I came across this one by independent film director Jim Jarmusch. It is an important enough thought that I am going to publish this to both blogs.
There is so much discussion, so much wasted time, on being 'original' in amateur photography. I have tried to promote the book Creative Authenticity by Ian Roberts. It is not about photography, but about painting but what Roberts writes is very, very important to photography. Original is an oxymoron--authenticity is the only thing that is important. It doesn't matter where we give up our authenticity; and we do with regularity, we are the poorer for it. The very easiest place of all to give it up is in a camera club or an internet photo forum. Either can quickly convince you that anything authentic is unacceptable because for the most part neither is unable to recognize authenticity--it is as foreign to most as if you were speaking Klingon.
So I have a tendency to collect quotations that promote authenticity or at least reflect my search for authenticity and here is what Jarmusch has to say about it.
"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that
resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films,
new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random
conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds,
bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from
that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft)
will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is
non-existent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it
if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard
said: "It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them