There was no such conception of the photograph as expression in 1839, curators have since placed such images in the sphere of art.
Originally Posted by jnanian
This is what I'm saying, when what curators say goes, photographers who live up to their definition are diluting the potential of the expressive photograph.
Art in general is conservative by choice for this reason, not out of a lack of ideas.
Not quite 1839, but Lartigue is one of the most well known - a kid amusing himself with his Brownie is now artist, par excellence.
I wouldn't generalize Art curators they can have very heated discussions and arguments about what makes a photograph art. And that hasn't really been decided by curators in a long time. The Art market decides and the museum curators often follow market trends despite the fact that they might not like the work they are showing. I am not to hot about Szwakowski myself and believe him to be highly overrated but he did help in getting photography recognized as an art form.
still lifes ( lives ? ) aren't considered artistic expression ?
there has been still life photography as well as expressive portraiture since
daguerreotypes and calotypes ...
A sharply perceptive comment! I've seen the curatorial side of things and there is nothing more certain than the professional curator and the creative photographer inhabit different universes.
Originally Posted by cliveh
The curators priorities are:
Job security: Don't rock the boat; praise what others praise, condemn what others condemn.
Get promoted: Organise popular exhibitions; borrow famous works.
Get funding: Schmoose millionaires, philanthropists, and government for buckets of money.
Build the collection: Buy famous pictures or promote cheap stuff to make it famous.
Advance personal status: Go to conferences, write scholarly articles for curators and academics, get cited by others in exchange for citing them.
Grasp more responsibility: If photography is too small then swell your department by absorbing video, movies, "digital media", photo-realist painting, works on paper, anything.
Become essential: Know where the bodies are buried, who's on the take. When funding cuts come they'll sack someone else or you will squeal...publicly.
On the other hand if you ask a curator to critically assess the aesthetic merit of a photograph out of context (no history, no provenance, no author) you rarely get anything of value. Telling the good ones from the bad ones is not part of the training, not part of the job description.
It's the cheap stuff self-promoted that gets into their hands and I feel that often, these artists put more energy into trying to get their work in front of collectors than they put into their work. Today, when it's relatively easy to be self-made with quality work and an internet connection, these people are only searching for validation. There's a programme about them on Sky Arts over here, can't remember what it's called, but all their work was naive and derivative. Those whose output is a labour of love and broader awareness of their artform aren't so quick to put their soul on the line for a bargain. So it's not just the cheap stuff, but like the people we see on X Factor/American Idol - those who have the loudest voices, but the least to say, who just happen to be cheap.
Originally Posted by Maris
The scary thing is, people with talent know this and perhaps choose to work in obscurity, only ever selling their work to local people where they know it will never get into the wrong hands. Or even the right hands.
A real problem is that museums don't have a lot of money to spend on expensive pieces by Gursky or Sherman. What are they supposed to do? Part of their jobs is to build the museum collection, and with limited budgets they kind of have to spot trends and figure out what will become cool. There's no other way for them.
For a start, maybe the tastemakers could get a little taste? :confused:
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
I suppose when we're talking about museums we're talking about the most money hungry. Representing the in crowd then requires no sense of the art, but of business. What they deem worthy of representation - the most trendy - isn't just their problem in acquiring the work, but the artist's problem, who might not produce it.
Aren't you generalizing a bit too much?
Originally Posted by batwister
Besides, taste is personal. One persons garbage is another man's treasure. When I view the work of others I try to discern whether it interests me or not. Recently I discovered that my local museum had accessioned a fairly unknown African photographer, depicting a modern day Africa. I thought it was a great move, since I see very little from there that doesn't have anything to do with human evolution and the origin of mankind.
I have something I can relate, maybe not so much for curators, but more for art critics.
If you have 11 minutes to spare, I really hope you listen to a piece by the late, great, writer, Jim Carroll, Titled Tiny Tortures.
Direct link to the mp3 is here http://catholicboy.com/sounds/Jim-Ca...y-Tortures.mp3
Taken from the page (Jim Carroll's web site) http://www.catholicboy.com/roach.php You can also click on the audio link on that page.
That'd pretty much sum it up for me about art critics.
I'm a little slow so I'm having trouble figuring out what you're trying to get at. Are you saying Shore's work is mediocre and we need more expressive photography? And it's the curators etc who are largely at fault?
Originally Posted by batwister