I looked at all 4 images and they do nothing for me. Infact, if I had managed to take them they would have made it straight to the bin. What is he trying to say?
It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.
I don't feel strongly about these images, but I don't think that they are crap either. To me, these selections evoke a kind of urban wasteland feeling, as well as a certain interest in the elements of the objects depicted. I've not seen a lot of this photographers work, but I would not pass on viewing more given the opportunity.
I understand the urge to know what the photographer was trying to do with any given photo, but for me, only documentary photographs really need context to have power. Knowing that these photos are not specificaly documentary, I feel free to evaluate them as any other piece of artwork. I see their lines etc. and they look interesting, but even though I see these elements, I'm not overly moved by them. What moves me more is the suggestion that rather than looking at pretty scenery, this photographer has presented us with a more 'real' vision of our world.
I also found the discussion about whether it is OK to like, or dislike, some art interesting. I've recently had this same conversation with a couple of painters that I know and the results were very similar to those expressed here. I tend to side with the 'I don't have to like it' crowd, but I always try to keep an open mind because I know that I don't know everything, nor will I ever, nor will anyone else. I like or dislike a piece of art for my own reasons, and even after someone explains the piece to me I still have the right to feel the way I do about it. Understanding an artwork does not imply that I will automaticly like it - I can appreciate the piece and still dislike it.
I don't particularly like these photos but....
Friedlander continues the type of honest photography that I admired in Walker Evans. It's modern, it's formal, it's often a mess but it's Friedlander and it doesn't pretend to fit into our preconceptions of what a photograph should show. While I don't think it's necessary to know the context of a phtograph in order to enjoy it, it's helpful to know something about intentions, concepts and ideas. Some photographs are enjoyable based on the old camera club ideals, some are "difficult". Doesn't make them bad, just hard to get your head around. Knowing Friedlander's work helps when seeing Friedlander's photos. The more I know about his work, the more I enjoy seeing it. It's very often a challenge and I still don't always understand it, but I do enjoy it. In the thread on your choice of the four greatest photographers, I placed Friedlander number three.
A lot of what is in these sentences is what bothers me about the whole "art thing. People interpreting any type of art. It always seems so highbrow, so "arty intellectual" and so vapid.
Originally Posted by Kino
"Well here in this picture of these two rocks we have the classic Wysterburgersstein, which is of course yet another in his marvelous style documenting mans inhumanity to man".
"This inspiring picture of a tree is obviously Glatcheststeinholdht telling us how the trials and tribulations of the underclass in post World War One Europe (circa 1928) encouraged the emergence of the decadent 1930 that gave birth to fascism".
This gobbledegoop is what completely turns me off from the "art crowds" claptrap about what they think they know about any given work of art.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
Originally Posted by blansky
I think that these vapid attempts at interpertation and furthermore to believe that these interpertations have any validiity for others (outside of one's individual consciousness) is akin to attempting to put legs on a snake.
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I found the first photo interesting for a couple of reasons.
1) I've taken a number of photos using faded white picket fences in wintertime in the foreground of street scenes so was interested in someone else doing so. Actually, this featured photo looks similar to a street scence I've shot in Lenox, MA.
2) I just learned the other day that the house in the background has what is called a "hipped" roof line. I learned this from a historic plaque on a house in Cooperstown, NY so it helps me "place" the photo to probably from the US Northeast.
The second picture has some interest but the rest do nothing for me.
My opinion about this series of photographs is that the king has no clothes.
Originally Posted by Sparky
Do we need to know what Leonardo was thinking in order to appreciate the Mona Lisa? In most cases we have no idea why the photographer felt compelled to make a particular image. We either respond to a photograph or we do not. Our response is often influenced more by our own experience than that of the photographer. Picture #4 appeals to me because it reminds me of things I saw when I first moved to Florida in the early 50's.
"Do we need to know what Leonardo was thinking in order to appreciate the Mona Lisa?"
No. But there have been lots of people for lots of years wanting to understand more about Leonardo's reasons behind the painting. I dare say most people appreciate the Mona Lisa more because it's an icon.
I too am not too partial to the selection of the Lee Friedlander photographs. Perhaps I may find others more to my liking.