can anyone decipher Graham Clarke

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by mark king, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. mark king

    mark king Member

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    I have been reading Clarke's book The Photograph and i am particularly stuck by a sentence that i have tried to work out in chapter 9, The Photograph as Fine Art. The bottom of the first photograph states De Zayas called art photography "pure". This i understand but what baffles me is this, "a conceptual idealization of form which seeks a realization free of all representative systems". ????????

    any ideas???
     
  2. Terence

    Terence Member

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    Although it's my solution to most quandaries, a little alcohol may help the situation. Or at least create a new situation.
     
  3. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Photographing the reflection and refraction of light from sources and surfaces, not to illustrate or represent those objects but rather, for the expression of compsitional elements such as line, rhythm, balance, contrast, etc as abstract elements of design. Abstract photographs of concrete objects...
     
  4. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I am tempted to think one may be better off getting a Donald Duck comic book.

    If an author makes an explanation or statement that is filled with enough crap that nobody can clearly understand what is meant or intended then the author is free of being easily disputed. This I believe is by design.

    There is much of this type of crap written.

    When you run into this type junk, set it aside and try another author who may have something worthwhile in elightening you about the subject you wish to educate yourself in.
     
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  5. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Youse guys see, it like 'dis; if ya' wanna' be taken serious-like in da' art woild, ya' gotta talk pompous-like. Elsewise, nobody gonna' think you smart!

    Or in other words, as every college sophmore knows: "If you cannot dazzle them with brillance, baffle them with bullshit!" :D
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I may be wrong but my interpertation of this is that photography as art is a far different matter than photography as illustration. When we draw this distinction then and only then can we begin to grasp what the author is expressing. I encourage those who do not understand to draw this distinction and then, perhaps, the understanding will become clearer.

    When we look at photography as primarily illustrative then we seek to render "form" as a "known object". When we add or perhaps more precisely substitute the additional aspect of "photography as art" then we are not concerned with rendering form as a known object. In this latter manner, form can become art apart from a known object. In fact, I believe quite strongly that it is only in this latter manner that photography becomes truly artistic.

    Not surprising, to me, is that when people fail to grasp a concept their first order of business is to demonize the person propogating a previously unknown or unrecognized concept.
     
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  7. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    As a successful fine art photographer well known to most on this forum has said so profoundly:

    "Art is about space. Illustration is about things."

    I think this is what Clarke or De Zayas is trying to say in a more jargonistic way.
     
  8. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    See how easy it is Mr. Clarke (or De Zayas...the attribution isn't clear to me)?
     
  9. blaze-on

    blaze-on Member

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    I had my fill of this type of diatribe in art school and it was mostly from art critics and over tenured professors trying to impress. The real artists didn't talk as such or try to define, they just create.
     
  10. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    You can say that again! I'm SO tired of having to read this type of pointless tripe in graduate school that the thought of suffering it on my time makes me want to scream. In my experience, when somone writes with that much superfluous verbage they don't really have anything to say that is worth hearing.

    - Randy
     
  11. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Man, am I torn...the sort of on anti-intellectualism on display in this thread gets on my wick. These concepts are worth understanding, thinking about and being able to express cogently.

    On the other hand I'm an art school refugee and critique-speak can drive me nuts too. When someone looks at something and asks "what are you trying to say?" I wanna say "that would be telling, what do you hear it saying?"

    I'm currently taking a class with a lot of art department undergrads and I get to witness the indoctrination. Critiquing is important. Thinking is important. But they are indeed, learning about BS'ing.

    I just don't know.
     
  12. Gay Larson

    Gay Larson Member

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    It's not the concepts that are in dispute and I don't hear any "anti-intellectualism " what I hear is anti-superfluous verbage. If a person wanted someone to learn from their knowledge, rather than feeling superior, they would speak in such a way that anyone could understand. I believe the concepts could be explained in normal english.
     
  13. DBP

    DBP Member

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    A desire that something be expressed well enough to be understood is not anti-intellectual. It may, however, be anti-academic.
     
  14. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Ok, I feel better about it now. I think you're right.
     
  15. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    "Aesthetics is for artists what ornithology is for birds."
    -Barnett Newman
     
  16. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    That is it for me - the unecessary use of overly high-toned and fancy verbage when common language would both suffice and allow a larger audience to follow the work with a higher level of understanding of the concepts presented.

    - Randy
     
  17. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I would have to add that in order for me to display any sort of anti-intellectualism concerning the statement, there would have to be something intellectual about it. At some point it becomes crap, and not even the pontificator understands what they, themselves, are saying. (see: religion) Granted, I have not had the benefit of reading the sentence in context, but as it stands, it is a self contradictory statement, probably meant to baffle and impress, and is typical of certain sorts of people, who are gravely intimidated by clarity. Or it is poor writing, and the author has failed miserably in his attempt to communicate his conceptual idealization, because his verbage is certainly a realization free of all representative systems. Or, he knows this, and the sentence is, in fact, a symbol, a sort of hieroglyph, that brilliantly illustrates what the sentence fails to communicate, when taken at face value.

    Sort of like when reading Aleister Crowely. You have to decipher which bits are lucid and serious, which bits are meant to be an exercise, which bits are kidding, and which bits are from a hallucination.

    I could go on, but for some reason I have a headache now, and I'm going to take some aspirin and lie down.
     
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  18. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    There is a wonderful german expression for the type of crap espoused by Messers Clark and de Zayas, "Quatsch mit Sosse". A polite translation would be "Nonsense with gravy on it".

    People have been arguing for hundreds of years as to just what "art" is. Stop reading. Look at photographs taken by the greats to get their take on things and go out and make some pictures.
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'm going to disagree with Gerald here.

    Don't stop reading, just read in moderation, and with a "critical" eye.

    And by "critical", I don't mean negative, I mean "evaluative" (if that is a word").

    There are huge numbers of people out there who may have thoughts, observations and opinions that will inform, will educate and will inspire. Don't ignore the opportunity to learn from someone who can add to your knowledge - just don't be hesitant to reject the garbage.

    Oh, and the rest of Gerald's advice, to look at other's photographs (and learn from them), and take a bunch of your own, that advice is gold!

    Matt