William Eggleston "stupid question"

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Renato Tonelli, May 7, 2011.

  1. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber

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    While watching the BBC series "The Genius of Photography", I came across a scene of question and answer between William Eggleston and journalists. Visibly irritated, his response to a question (not heard in the documentary) was: "I regret that that's one of the stupidest questions I've ever been asked!"

    Does anyone know what the question was? It had to have been a 'doozey' of a question to get such a response.
     
  2. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Yeah, I remember the passage. Eggleston is absolutely of the school of "if it's not made with words it can't be spoken of" (cf. the first incarnation of Wittgenstein for a kindred mind). In one of the documentaries about him (In the Real World, I think), you see him on the same stage as Stephen Shore. The latter is so articulate, fluent in art-history speak, post-Warhol discourse about the arts and all that, while Eggleston barely mumbles half-formed words about pressing the shutter.

    Still, in the final analysis I like Eggleston better because you can't default him for putting concept/intention above the pictures!
     
  3. ajmiller

    ajmiller Subscriber

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    There was no question shown in the film - they used a series of such responses from Eggleston to illustrate how his work is difficult for him, and others, to put into words.

    Tony
     
  4. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I saw most of the series when it came out and should revisit it with my DVD copy. However, in some ways I think the 'masters of photography' BBC series from 1983, available to view on Youtube is the more substantial, with the interviewer asking gently probling questions and allowing the photographer time to respond. From my memory, I felt the more recent BBC series was particularly amiss in not covering Edward Weston and the related approaches in photography.

    Tom
     
  5. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber

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    I wa also very surprised that Weston didn't get any worthy mention.