Discussing Sally Mann...

Discussion in 'Discussing a ****** Photograph' started by CarlRadford, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. CarlRadford

    CarlRadford Member

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    started to look at some of Sally Manns images after a discussing an image by Kerik Kouklis. I find some of the images quite challenging on a personal level - coming from a very liberal but social work background probably makes me think too much. I have read about Jock Sturgess and some similarities! Are this intimate portraits one would consider are normally done for the family ablum - the skill of the photographer takes these images to another level but is that public and are people being exploited somehow - I am sure they are not! A lot of work has gone into making these as it appears that most of the family images are all 10x8s!

    http://www.morehousegallery.com/images/inventory/600/mann s 00003.jpg

    http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/1996-97/96-057a.jpeg

    not sure if this last one is by Sally Mann?

    http://personal.centenary.edu/~jhendric/visual_culture/photo_Sturges_LKM0157B.jpg

    Interested in any thoughts.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2007
  2. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    There was a rather heated discussion of her on Pure-Silver list. I'm not a fan of hers or Meatyard; and haven't accepted snapshots as fine art. The nudity in Mann's & Sturgis' images would be less controversial if we weren't such an uptight society. Then we could better judge whether their prints were fine art.
     
  3. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member

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    No... I think the last one is Jock Sturges??

    Doug... do you consider her and Meatyard's work snapshots? Exploring one's intimate and emotional connection to family through the camera can yield extraordinary results. In many ways, those familial emotional connections are universal, and her work... as well as Meatyard and Emmet Gowin are so rich visually and emotionally, that to call them snapshots hardly seems a fair assessment.

    I'm not without my criticism of her work, as many of her images are so self-conscious of the camera, and a few... well, just aren't that good to my eye. But overall, I appreciate the journey she took in mining the emotional connections in her life.
     
  4. CarlRadford

    CarlRadford Member

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    Doug - I'd have to agree that I think it dismissive to call them snapshots - and do they have to be fine art to have significance/worth/value?

    Suzanne - this by Gowin fits the same theme:

    http://www.masters-of-photography.com/G/gowin/gowin_elijah_full.html

    When did this become unnatural/challenging/taboo for supposed civilised societies?
     
  5. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Member

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    I'd like to offer a personal answer this Carl but I'd probably be burnt at the stake. So I'll give it a miss for now.

    Barry
     
  6. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Anyone with an open mind who has seen a Jock Sturges original print will have no difficulty knowing they are fine art, not snapshots.
     
  7. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    And no one with a functioning brain cell would mistake them for pornography.
     
  8. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    The same can be said of Mann's. The kids pictured often helped make the prints, btw.

    Jock's prints are, imo, the best. period.

    And this is on my list of best couple dozen pics ever made:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2007
  9. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Well, I guess I could say I like most of Sally Mann's "Immediate Family" photos - the book itself is a prized posession :smile: (The first two photos are indeed Sally Mann's - from the book "Immediate Family").

    Some of the photos are indeed disturbing - but the ones I find most disturbing are usually the ones people don't usually mention - like "Jessie and the Deer", "Squirrel Season", "Flour Paste" or "Jessie's Cut". Probably because I'm squemish at the sight of blood and/or slaughtered/skinned animals :surprised: (and as a father of two rather active boys, aged 5 and 7).

    As for controversy due to nudity of the children, we've discussed the same issue about Sally Mann here on apug before - use the search engine to find the thread... It's a discussion I'd rather avoid, since it tends to get rather heated pretty quickly.

    It's been discussed here before.

    Denis

    PS: originally, I wrote a lot more in my originaly reply, but thought twice about it, and decided to delete the most of it... Nothing inappropriate, offensive or rude - I'd just rather not enter into discussion about morality, nudity, etc...
     
  10. Amund

    Amund Member

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    Sally Mann and Jock Sturges are my two of my favorite photographers, and how anyone can call their photographs snapshots or pornography is beyond me.

    I`ve seen Sally Manns prints and they are absolutely beautiful, and I own a Jock Sturges print, wich is incredibly nice, if that isn`t "fine art" , nothing is IMNTLBFHO...
     
  11. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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  12. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I don't see much parallel between Sturges and Mann. Sturges photographs in naturist communities (or at least did at one time) while both Sally Mann and Emmet Gowin did the early work for which they became known by photographing their family members. There was a strong connection to the subjects in Mann and Gowin's photographs that simply jumps out and grabs me. There is also a strong connection to place in those early photographs--specifically the American South.

    The only thing Sturges had in common with the Mann and Gowin photos mentioned was that their subjects were often unclothed. Personally, I really haven't found much in Sturges' photography that moves me beyond admiration of the flesh.

    Both Sally Mann and Emmet Gowin's more recent work has moved far beyond the photos depicted. Unfortunately, the last work I saw by Gowin was moving into digital. Sally Mann's work moved the other direction--wet plates.
     
  13. CarlRadford

    CarlRadford Member

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    Not sure that anyone on this thread has mentioned pornography and that would be pretty wide of the mark. I have just purchased Immediate Family and love the work therein. i quite like the fact that it is a little challengng and disturbing for me and that reflects on myself not the work or its creator!

    Any UK folks can remind me of the uproar of the images posted in Times/Telegraph a couple of years ago - who were they by?
     
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  15. CarlRadford

    CarlRadford Member

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    Stunning...

    I am drawn to the decapitated child in the background too but I am sure that would've been unintentional?

     
  16. CarlRadford

    CarlRadford Member

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    Perhaps a question not for this forum...

    and we should stick to the images!

     
  17. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Well - without looking into it deeper - I find Sturges' work extremely creepy - along the lines of david hamilton (remember that guy??) taste-wise. One can't help but think it's solely for his personal titillation. I can't see a way to navigate out of that bind. And Mann's photographs of her kids? I don't think the nudity is an issue at ALL (for me anyway) - they're kids for god's sake. Her kids. They're not being sexualized the way that a Sturges kid is. But they're too emotionally close - (mann i mean) to be art. For me. It's impossible to distance the author from the subject enough. You can tell that there's nothing going on outside of the protective gaze of the mother.
     
  18. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Yeah actually, one can.
     
  19. Amund

    Amund Member

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    It`s in the eye of the beholder I guess, but I don`t think Stuges are sexualizing any of his subjects at all , but you are.



    And that Sallys pic are emtionally close, it`s just why I like them, and why I think it`s art.
     
  20. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    [​IMG] Sadly it seems easier to talk than to express with images. I could say something snarky, but I won't. Unless I already did.
     
  21. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Well - I'm not trying to pass any sort of absolute moral judgement on sturges. I'm just saying he gives me the WILLIES! I'm SURE others will see merit where I don't - that's a given - and the only thing I can say with absolute surety about photography or art.
     
  22. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Sorry J - maybe I should have used the first person in that case.
     
  23. Amund

    Amund Member

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    It depends where you`re coming from I guess, and that`s perfectly normal...
    Maybe me being European makes a difference?

    And remember all images are taken in a nudist community in wich Jock(and he`s part of that community himself) has photographed for 20 years or so, and everybody is just family and friends.
     
  24. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Well - maybe - could be. I think at certain times in my life I was predisposed to thinking of most photographers who shot naked women to be creeps. You know the whole 'fine art photograph' thing. I'm pretty feminist/marxist in my views still, I suppose.
     
  25. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    "Willies?" Isn't that UK slang for something unsavory?

    [​IMG]
    Parking Garage, 2006

    Actually, if there's one thing that gives me the creeps, it's when people say that a strong emotional reaction -- of any sort -- makes art bad. I thought that was what artists WANTED?

    Or is it all about a Prozac-pleasant non-challenging game of wiffleball?
     
  26. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Damn Björke - that's a GREAT idea for a piece! Wonderful. Who did those paintings? Those are great...! :smile:

    silly sarcasm. silly me.

    well - i normally reserve judgement on especially the most extreme judgement matter. I'd always thought of sturges as a closet pedophile. I'm not saying he IS - I'm just saying that was always my take.