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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfshootist
    This one tho I haven't ever seen gefore, hard to believe it is really his photo and to speak honest, this one would surely not hang at my wall. That's my personal opinion.

    bertram
    This is the last photograph in Szarkowski's book on Atget. He essentially sees it as the apogee of all Atget's work. In his "meditation" on this picture he says in part:

    "One might think of Atget's work at Sceaux as a recapitulation in miniature of all his work on the culture of old France, a record of the deminishing souvenirs of a foreign country.

    Or, one might think of it as a summation and the consumate acheivment of his work as a photographer - a coherent, uncompromising statement of what he had learned of his craft, and how he had amplified and elaborated the sensibility with which he had begun.

    Or perhaps we might see the work at Sceaux as a portrait of Atget himself, not excluding petty flaws, but showing most clearly the boldness and certainty of his taste, his method, his vision. (He felt he had a kiship with trees) At sixty eight, at seven o'clock on a gray March morning, he may have felt a special kinship with this particualr pine - a tree scarred by life and slighted by time, eccentric but still vital and compelling - which should be photographed perfectly, in a way that would match, or echo, its own unrepeatable beauty..."

  2. #22

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    There is also this from the first part of the intro essay in the first of the four volume MoMA set of books on Atget - I feel it describes perfectly Atget's photography

    http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Museum/7101/szark1.html

  3. #23

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    What the hell. Blansky and I are in agreement? Well, I guess its true. I do not like the photo either. Whether it is good enought to be called as mess I leave to you. Perhaps Blansky was being overly kind.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  4. #24
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Struan Gray

    What I really want to know is why does Berenice Abbot always get so much flak for having illustrated a Physics textbook?
    Because she was the first to do so, and because what she came up with pretty much defined the way it was done after her. Soap bubbles? Check. Flash-freezing the fall of a ball? Check. Iron dust over a magnet forming elegant patterns? Check. And so on. The physicians she was working with wanted first to take shots with a Brownie, considering it would be enough... You can find some pretty good info about that episode in "Berenice Abbott, American Photographer," a big folio-size book on her body of work.

    You could say that she was to physics photo what Ansel Adams was to landscape. Groundbreaking then, but so much imitated and influent that we don't always react with the same force nowadays. Ironically, she disliked intensly the work of Adams, Stieglitz, Strand, and the like.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  5. #25
    blansky's Avatar
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    "Little is known about is life, and less about his intentions, except as they can be inferred from his work."

    These lines always bothered me. They know nothing about the guy but some "intellectual" conjured up an "inferrence" from his work and creates a biography, or at least a motivation for his work.

    I've always found those a little suspect.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky

    These lines always bothered me. They know nothing about the guy but some "intellectual" conjured up an "inferrence" from his work and creates a biography, or at least a motivation for his work.

    I've always found those a little suspect.


    Michael
    I don't think a knee-jerk phobic response to thinking hard and seriously about something is really a valid ground for dismissing a complete body of detailed work?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artur Zeidler
    This is the last photograph in Szarkowski's book on Atget. He essentially sees it as the apogee of all Atget's work. In his "meditation" on this picture he says in part:

    "One might think of Atget's work at Sceaux as a recapitulation in miniature of all his work on the culture of old France, a record of the deminishing souvenirs of a foreign country.

    Or, one might think of it as a summation and the consumate acheivment of his work as a photographer - a coherent, uncompromising statement of what he had learned of his craft, and how he had amplified and elaborated the sensibility with which he had begun.

    Or perhaps we might see the work at Sceaux as a portrait of Atget himself, not excluding petty flaws, but showing most clearly the boldness and certainty of his taste, his method, his vision. (He felt he had a kiship with trees) At sixty eight, at seven o'clock on a gray March morning, he may have felt a special kinship with this particualr pine - a tree scarred by life and slighted by time, eccentric but still vital and compelling - which should be photographed perfectly, in a way that would match, or echo, its own unrepeatable beauty..."
    I've viewed the book (and wanted to purchase it) but, I disagreed about this one. How do we know what Atget thought when he made this photograph? Szarkowski was right about many things but not this one, IMO.
    Don Bryant

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artur Zeidler
    There is also this from the first part of the intro essay in the first of the four volume MoMA set of books on Atget - I feel it describes perfectly Atget's photography

    http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Museum/7101/szark1.html
    I read it, not good for my blood pressure.
    Quote
    Little is known about is life, and less about his intentions, except as they can be inferred from his work.
    Quote end.

    How true ! And this should be obligion enuff for people like Szarkowsky to leave him alone with interpretations and assumptions and insinuations. If there is anything which still can make me really wild then it is the intellectual blahblah of those who make their living with enlightening us about other peoples photos.
    Atget was a simple man doing a simple thing, obviously too simple for many to leave him just beeing what he really was.
    So my answer to Szarkowsky would be: "Leave me alone , Szarkowsky, I don't need your genius. I got the photos !"

    BTW is Szarkowsky a photog himself ?

    bertram
    A la recherche du temps perdu: www. bersac.de

  9. #29
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bertram

    BTW is Szarkowsky a photog himself ?

    bertram
    Yep. Look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Szarkowski but I believe his impact on photography has been more through introduction of other photographers and his curatorship than for his own photography. Correct me if I am mistaken.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  10. #30

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    I get very disturbed when reading art criticism with the reviwer going off the deep end talking about what the photographer was thinking etc. It is perfectly fine if they are quoting the photographer whose work is receiving critical inspection. It is also fine to add actual fact to such a review.

    Often am I convinced that the reviewer does not have a clue as to about the work receiving criticism. I also dislike the tendency of some reviewers to use esoteric terminology instead of plain language.

    I am also not a fan of photographers who use words to add substance to the photograph as if to add by verbage burning, dodging and toning.. They are some photographers who, when writing about their work, seem to be wholly qualified to be writing fiction.

    Just the photo without a great deal of pretentious baloney suits me just fine.

    The fact that I know nothing about Leonardo's intentions regarding Mona Lisa takes away nothing from my appreciation of it. All though it would be interesting to know for whom he made the painting, whether or not Moma Lisa was a real person and other information.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

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