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Michel Hardy-Vallée
04-19-2007, 04:22 PM
There was an interesting piece in _Aperture_ not too long ago by Sally Mann's daughter, Jessie. She's been doing collaborative work with other photographers playing on her role as a photographic subject, adopting various personae.

I also saw a similar interview in Shots Magazine lately.

Sparky
04-19-2007, 05:23 PM
The most disturbing images I think she's made, actually, are the exposed cadavers in 'What Remains." Those were beautifully made, but the subject matter made me queasy.

Those pieces I love. I think she does some really amazing stuff. I'm just not so into the family portraits (they DO look just like standard family portraits to me).

Denis P.
04-19-2007, 05:27 PM
(they DO look just like standard family portraits to me).

If you can make family portraits like those, my hat off to you, sir....

Denis

Lee Shively
04-19-2007, 05:33 PM
I think Mann's (and Gowin's) work have contributed to the view that these can now be accepted as family portraits.

Kerik
04-19-2007, 07:33 PM
(they DO look just like standard family portraits to me).Can you post some of your family portraits that somehow compare to what Sally Mann has done? Or point us to some other "standard" family portraits that can hold a candle to hers??

Sparky
04-19-2007, 08:08 PM
Depends where you're coming from Mr. Kerik. Nearly every family photo I've ever seen. They appear the same to me. I am not talking about shallow formal characteristics. I am talking about the psychological space of the image. i.e. - compare her portraits of her daughter(s) to Arbus' "Puerto Rican woman" to get a reference of what I mean.

Mark H
04-19-2007, 08:24 PM
I went to a lecture by Jock Sturges a few years ago and was struck by the tremendous respect he displayed towards them when talking about his models. Listening to him, I was better able to see them as genuine people, not simply naked girls. (Though I always felt he has an ablility to capture "personality" in his photos.) As was mentioned earlier, he has photographed many of them for many years and has become close to some of their families.

I have found J. Sturges' photographs to be stunningly beautiful. David Hamilton's, to me, are creepy. Perhaps if I had heard him give a lecture, I could have learned to appreciate his photographs...

Mark H
04-19-2007, 08:27 PM
I apologize for digressing from Sally Mann...

patrickjames
04-19-2007, 08:38 PM
I have more respect for Mann's work than I do for Sturges. Don't get me wrong, I think Sturges produces beautiful photographs of beautiful people photographed beautifully, they are just not my cup of tea. Mann's "family snapshots" certainly have something powerful about them. It seems to me that her later work with wet collodion is more about the process than the images, and in that respect does not strike me as being as emotive.

Just an opinion.

Patrick

Sparky
04-19-2007, 09:11 PM
Whatever the heck happened to being allowed not to like something anymore? It's not permitted? Sorry - I didn't get the handout. Neither Sally Mann's kid photos - nor Mr. Sturges' stuff really do anything for me. The common thread is that they both seem far too 'personal' for me to enter into a dialogue with. Both, of course, in different ways.

chrisofwlp
04-19-2007, 10:31 PM
"I'm not a fan of hers or Meatyard; and haven't accepted snapshots as fine art"

I was under the impression that nearly all of Sally Mans work was done with an 11X14 wet plate camera.

jstraw
04-19-2007, 10:36 PM
I don't care whether or not you like her work but when you dismiss her work as "snapshots" those of us that appreciate her work as far more than that, might wish to examine that dismissal.

SuzanneR
04-19-2007, 10:40 PM
Whatever the heck happened to being allowed not to like something anymore? It's not permitted? Sorry - I didn't get the handout. Neither Sally Mann's kid photos - nor Mr. Sturges' stuff really do anything for me. The common thread is that they both seem far too 'personal' for me to enter into a dialogue with. Both, of course, in different ways.

Precisely because they are so 'personal', they resonate with me. Different strokes... I suppose.

Though... Sturges doesn't do it for me either. Not personal enough, somehow, and a little too much about looking and fantasizing about beautiful women.

Sparky
04-19-2007, 10:43 PM
Thanks for piping in, Suzanne - well, not so much that you concur with me (if only a bit) re: sturges... though I think it would be great to have some female feedback on sturges also. Let me ask you... do you feel the women's bodies represented in sturges' work are in anyway 'sexualized'? I think they are very much about voyeurism and taboo. But hey -that's me.

Sparky
04-19-2007, 10:46 PM
J - I KNOW that my oblique commentary on your exchange with another isn't really my business.... but I'm wondering why you care whether or not someone dismisses them as such. And - are there other artists with whom you might not have the same reaction, but who you admire equally?



I don't care whether or not you like her work but when you dismiss her work as "snapshots" those of us that appreciate her work as far more than that, might wish to examine that dismissal.

catem
04-20-2007, 05:00 AM
But they're too emotionally close - (mann i mean) to be art.

Goodness - what a statement! That caught me up short, I will now return to read the rest of the thread!

FWIW Suzanne's initial post has pretty much summed up my own views - There is only one photograph of hers I've seen that makes me uncomfortable & that is the one called 'Dirty Jessie'.

It is amazing to me that Sally Mann's work as a whole has ever been considered 'taboo' let alone seriously controversial. At least the art world has largely (entirely?) come to accept it.

That doesn't mean that you have to like every single shot, or that her work doesn't impel you to think through the relationship of photographer/photographed, especially with regard to intimate relationships.

I'm very interested in her new work around 'death' - more the subject and the way she has chosen to explore it than the technical processes she uses.

(p.s. and the posted photograph by Emmet Gowin is simply beautiful......thanks for reminding me of it)

doughowk
04-20-2007, 06:23 AM
Do a Google search for Snapshot-style & you'll find some interesting articles such as Snapshot photography's subjective objectivity (http://www.papercoffin.com/writing/articles/coerced.html) that includes statements like "ultimately what separates diarists from other photographers is their mania, their obsession for capturing each microscopic flicker of emotional resonance illuminating their own lives." and "in these incursions into private emotional lives, lurks diaristic photography's power." or "today's diaristic photography is miles away from where it was twenty-five years ago, when Goldin used her camera to hunt authentic moments of emotional intensity." Is Sally Mann a "diaristic" photographer even as she changes formats from 35mm thru 8X10 to wet-plate collodian?

SuzanneR
04-20-2007, 08:34 AM
Thanks for piping in, Suzanne - well, not so much that you concur with me (if only a bit) re: sturges... though I think it would be great to have some female feedback on sturges also. Let me ask you... do you feel the women's bodies represented in sturges' work are in anyway 'sexualized'? I think they are very much about voyeurism and taboo. But hey -that's me.

Sturges, it seems to me, is about the physical... both his subjects and his prints. He's making beautiful photographs of drop dead beautiful women, crafting drop dead gorgeous prints, but it's all about a physical surface that the viewer will desire... to touch it and feel it physically. Ultimately, I find the work shallow, and once you get past the physical beauty...well, there's not much else there, really.

Mann, I think, digs deeper into the inner world of her children and family, and there's just more "there" in her photographs. And Doug, perhaps she is a diarist... "Immediate Family" is certainly autobiographical, but she's not really employing the "snapshot" aesthetic described in the piece. Her photographs are very deliberate, where I think the snapshot aesthetic strives to be deliberately haphazard. Good read, btw, thanks for the link, Doug.

Amund
04-20-2007, 08:58 AM
Sturges, it seems to me, is about the physical... both his subjects and his prints. He's making beautiful photographs of drop dead beautiful women, crafting drop dead gorgeous prints, but it's all about a physical surface that the viewer will desire... to touch it and feel it physically. Ultimately, I find the work shallow, and once you get past the physical beauty...well, there's not much else there, really.



Huh, is this a different Sturges? At least in the two books I have it`s not all about beautiful women, as an example "The last Day of Summer" there is 58 photographs, 30 of mostly fully clothed people, quite a few with adults and boys too...

I don`t find Jocks work shallow at all..

I may be biased as I email him time to time , and recieve boatloads of help and advice from him, but I think too many read too much into the nudity. It`s photographed in a naturist community, and sometimes you see nude people there, D`oh.!

jstraw
04-20-2007, 09:48 AM
J - I KNOW that my oblique commentary on your exchange with another isn't really my business.... but I'm wondering why you care whether or not someone dismisses them as such. And - are there other artists with whom you might not have the same reaction, but who you admire equally?

I dunno. Look at the thread title. Discussing Sally Mann is what we're doing. Facile dismissals get tossed around...participation in the discussion would seem to involve examining those dismissals.