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  1. #21
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Gay - you just wrote your piece before then end of Blansky's quote. That's all. It's there. Just italicized. It's all good.

  2. #22
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    The critical issues here remind me of the ones around the recent Eggleston photo. On its own, the photo can be a meh, and I would say the second one posted here is a big meh, unless it is seen in a group with the other ones.

    To make a music analogy, some photos are chorus and will stick in your mind in a loop, but others are verse. I'm not terribly into photographic serialism because often the series themselves are boring, but the juxtaposition of the Friedlander photos here show that his vision is coherent between the photos, and the common element ("tension") structures them all.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    I think there IS some truth to this statement - but I also think that people tend not to understand the way in which they are constantly being given context for things. Perhaps you're just starting to get interested in photography - and you hear about this cat "ansel adams" and "how great he is"... "a true master". Well, I think you're probably going to bring a whole different set of assumptions to looking at an adams photo with this in mind rather than not. Not only that - but I think that people probably have a whole lot more reverence and reserving of opinion towards images that are constantly foisted on us by what we perceive to be 'authority' than not. There are millions of ways in which we're constantly being 'trained', not just towards visual images, but towards EVERYTHING in our lives. I think that starting to be aware of this fact will make you a far better photographer, among other things.
    But by constantly have things jammed down our throats, I think that people actually become cynical and rebellious against what is "good". Your exampe of AA is true, in that a lot of people revere him but almost anybody old enough to form opinions these days, will quickly made a judgement pro or con about not his work, but a given picture.

    I don't think we should judge anybody's body of work per se. We should judge a given picture. Just because he's AA, doesn't mean he walks on water. There should be no free passes. Either it can stand alone or not.

    If I were an "artist" I wouldn't want my pictures in any type of grouping. Not in a book or a gallery. It lessens the impact of any given picture. Granted there is commerce involved. But I would want every picture to be it's own experience and not something to be compared to something else.

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

  4. #24
    Gay Larson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    Gay - you just wrote your piece before then end of Blansky's quote. That's all. It's there. Just italicized. It's all good.
    I wrote it like this one. so I'm going to see if it happens again. Thanks (now I see I wrote it before his name which was the finish. Sorry)
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  5. #25
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gay Larson
    I don't know why I'm having trouble replying but what I wrote is in the box that should only contain what Blansky wrote. I was replying to his post. This has never happened before??? I had to write it three times before it even posted at all?
    Those things happen a lot to people who agree with me.

    Something in the software I guess?????

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

  6. #26
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    If I were an "artist" I wouldn't want my pictures in any type of grouping. Not in a book or a gallery. It lessens the impact of any given picture. Granted there is commerce involved. But I would want every picture to be it's own experience and not something to be compared to something else.
    Well, personally - I don't think you can avoid it. Context is always there. And someone from a different culture is going to see things very differently. I remember seeing some thread on here last year about a guy talking about a photo he sold. He was shocked when he found out the reason the guy who bought it LIKED it so much was because of the dog in the corner of the shot that reminded him of a dog he'd had when he was younger (or something like that). We're all programmed differently. MHV above acknowledged that the series of Friedlander shots actually makes them more interesting than if they stood alone (if I'm not mistaken) - so there's some proof maybe that context CAN strengthen, rather than water down. I think it's simply the responsibility of the artist to take advantage of whatever context they're operating in. That's all.

    But we all see things differently - once again. I'm not a huge fan of Friedlander - I have respect for the guy. To me, he's far more masterful than someone like Weston - but then again - he's building on Weston's contributions. So it should be easy.

    Soooo... anyway - just curious - does anyone think any of my (early) comments are relevant to the photos? Or if not, how do you think we should talk about Friedlander?

  7. #27
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gay Larson
    I wrote it like this one. so I'm going to see if it happens again. Thanks (now I see I wrote it before his name which was the finish. Sorry)
    Gay - that'll happen if you (mistakenly or otherwise) delete the end-quote.

  8. #28
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    [QUOTE=Sparky]Gay - you just wrote your piece before then end of Blansky's quote. That's all. It's there. Just italicized. It's all good.


    HERE - I JUST DELETED THE END QUOTE.



    hmmm...guess not. I stand corrected on the end-quote thing.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    (snip) But the one thing I think that's VERY important in learning to be a photographer, an artist, a visual person, what-have-you... is to learn FIRST to step outside of your little box, your preconceived notions. I don't think it's possible to pass judgement on ANYTHING until you understand it. "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes", right?
    Sparky,

    Not to be difficult but...

    I could make the argument that, indeed, his photographs are successful in all aspects of his self-crafted aesthetic and his entire work is a cohesive body of work that conforms strictly to that aesthetic and is therefore an unqualified academic success... and argue that it still does nothing for me.

    All points would be valid. I can appreciate the effort (for any artist) and not like the results, agreed?

    Personally, the image, presented to me in the context of "fine art" conveys elements of either a cynical, reflexive poke at the viewer (do you buy-in or don't you?) and/or a study in data structures and tensions of balance of composition.

    Of course, I could be full of sh*t too...

  10. #30

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    Friedlander is a tough one for me. Looking at his work reminds me of when I first saw a Jackson Pollock drip painintg in person and thinking to myself, "I am supposed to like this. Everything I have read tells me how important it is".
    It took a few years to realize I liked his work not because of some great new vision or aesthetic he brought to art, but simply because I liked the way some of the pictures made me feel when I seriously looked at them.

    So with Friedlander I am in the same boat. I know he is an improtant figure in contemporary photography, but I am not yet to the point where I personally feel any real connection with the work.

    However, the neat thing about this forum is it provides me an opportunity to listen to others and take another more critical look at a photographers work.

    In the images presented I will admit that there is something interesting about the third image. the desolation, the long shadows and thin gauntness presented by the verticle elements provides an impact to the image.
    Someone mentioned meticulous composition. I notice in this one how carefully he made sure almost exact amounts of the posts and shadows are in the image so a certain static balance is there. Of course a photograph freezes time, but that image makes me feel that if I was standing on that corner, time would literally stop. Maybe another analogy for those old enough to remember the show, it looks like it could be the opening shot from an original Twilight Zone episode.

    One quick aside. It's kind of funny how recent experience can mold ones thinking. When looking at the third image I noticed the two posts that cross each other. First thing those posts reminded me of was a person. I think that was due to recently being at the Art Institute of Chicago and seeing the Alberto Giacometti sculptures that have a resemblence with thier stick figure style. Go figure.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

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