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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    Yes, one CAN call it that. And the senior curator of the National Gallery of Victoria can talk any way they want to about it, I'm sure. I'm not contesting that. I was simply trying to suggest that the use of the 'seam' pointed to the fact that there was something much different going on here than might go on in 'photographic' circles, much as the culture we have going on here. I was more implicitly trying to suggest that his work 'uses' photography (I think that would be more accurate) than it BEING photography.
    i dunno jonathan
    i think showing the seam and not hiding it, just shows
    truth in materials, nothing more nothing less.
    if he made ( or had made ) the seam to be "almost not there"
    it would be the same thing as using the rubberstamp-thingy is PS
    to mask a seam in a 2-photo merge. instead he made the seam
    "in your face" so there is no mistake to be made.
    im empty, good luck

  2. #62
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthewbetcher View Post
    ... in the end, what i find interesting about this whole discussion is the massive divide between the "photography" community and the photograph-as-medium art world -- and the intolerance therein.
    Exactly. As a place that is supposed to be so supportive of photography and those who practice it, this can be a very unfriendly and disrespectful place for those that find the type of success Wall has achieved. Just look at the post earlier in this thread from the owner of this site of all people. It is no wonder that some of the more well-known people that are members of this site never say a word aside from maybe promoting their books or workshops. It is a shame because these people have perhaps the most to offer in a place like this.

    Case in point...
    Quote Originally Posted by patrickjames View Post
    ...in the end a photograph like this selling to a museum for this price is really mostly about the ego. The ego of the museum and the ego of the photographer and/or his reps.
    Good grief.... sorry, but what a bunch of crap.

    Bill

  3. #63
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Two words: Pictorial Intelligence.

    Jeff Wall sometimes irritates me, but he is also absolutely brilliant in the way he makes photographs. This guy, more than anyone else, is responsible for influencing the artworld of the last twenty years. It helps to to read his work in the context of a rather large art history knowledge, and be familiar with some aspects of conceptual art, as well as the history of photography. And you also have to understand his relationship to the materiality of photography, which the ugly seam in the above photo is an example of.

    Don't tell me any BS about "the picture should stand alone." The picture always stand alone when everyone has the same background assumptions about it.

    A more accessible picture of Wall would be The Mimic : http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/exhibi...ion1/img4.shtm

    This is a completely staged photography, using actors, shot in Vancouver with an LF camera of a moment that happened in the wink of a second in the streets. The perspective and the large format allow you to enter in a kind of hyperreal "decisive moment," to witness things from a point of view that would be impossible if it were photographed as an actual event.

    There are also the issues of racism and representation, the question of the meaning of each specific gesture, why they were chosen, what situation do they reconstruct, and what does it mean to represent them.

    There's a nice article about it in the LRB when it was at the Tate modern:
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n24/soar01_.html

    Regarding the pricing, I am always the impression that photographs sold during the artist's life are overpriced, simply because they are for that period of time more easily reproducible. But I don't think Wall's photo is overpriced because it is not a good one. Gursky is a fascinating photographer, but 2 millions for an inkjet print is a tad annoying.
    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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  4. #64

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    For Australia's taxpayers' sakes, let's hope that the buyer or committee of the great and the good responsible don't have unparalleled durability, unlike the Cibachrome.

    pentaxuser

  5. #65
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Wow, you guys are seriously worrying with your taxpayer-money rhetoric! Governments across the world mismanage your social security, health insurance, civil liberties, corporate responsibilities, but somehow you are compelled to mount an attack on a perhaps overpriced acquisition of a work of art that is actually compelling, created with film, and which will enrich the collection of museums.

    Sheesh.
    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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  6. #66
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billschwab View Post
    Exactly. As a place that is supposed to be so supportive of photography and those who practice it, this can be a very unfriendly and disrespectful place for those that find the type of success Wall has achieved. Just look at the post earlier in this thread from the owner of this site of all people. It is no wonder that some of the more well-known people that are members of this site never say a word aside from maybe promoting their books or workshops. It is a shame because these people have perhaps the most to offer in a place like this.

    Case in point... Good grief.... sorry, but what a bunch of crap.

    Bill
    How DARE you. Bastard.

    Just kidding...!

    The intolerance is more kind of one-sided though, isn't it. I mean - it's not really SO much of a social divide for what we'll call the 'newer camp'... just for the 'old guard'. I'm in kind of a neat position with respect to this. I'm a card-carrying member of both camps. So - it's just sort of entertaining for me to watch, I suppose.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    i dunno jonathan
    i think showing the seam and not hiding it, just shows
    truth in materials, nothing more nothing less.
    if he made ( or had made ) the seam to be "almost not there"
    it would be the same thing as using the rubberstamp-thingy is PS
    to mask a seam in a 2-photo merge. instead he made the seam
    "in your face" so there is no mistake to be made.
    Well - within what we'll call the world of the 'fine art photograph' (see my comment about the 'old guard' above), such a seam - and respect for truthfulness in materials, isn't really part of the language. In fact, it's downright alien. However, such gestures and playfulness with the media at hand ARE very much part of a language, and very much at home, in that exterior world that we refer to as 'visual art', and commonly find such moves in modern and contemporary (these are different epochs, in my book) painting and drawing, mixed media, etc... Wall's work is very much part of that world. And he takes his referents from that world. He is very much aware of the deeper connotations of such gestures - as, I think, were his intentions. It would be naive to suggest otherwise. Look at what he has to say about it, here, on this page, under "picture for women":

    http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/exhibi...oms/room1.shtm

    The seam running down the middle of the photograph is apparent in some of Wall's large-scale pictures, where two pieces of transparency are joined. The fact that it serves as a reminder of the artifice of picture making is something that Wall has come to appreciate: 'The join between the two pictures brings your eye up to the surface again and creates a dialectic that I always enjoyed and learned from painting... a dialectic between depth and flatness. Sometimes I hide it, sometimes I don't', he has said.

    Okay - well, I suppose that pretty much says it all. He enjoys the tension between pictorial space and the space of the artwork.

  8. #68
    matthewbetcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    How DARE you. Bastard.

    Just kidding...!

    The intolerance is more kind of one-sided though, isn't it. I mean - it's not really SO much of a social divide for what we'll call the 'newer camp'... just for the 'old guard'. I'm in kind of a neat position with respect to this. I'm a card-carrying member of both camps. So - it's just sort of entertaining for me to watch, I suppose.

    hey sparky, how do i get a card?

    I guess this is why i find Wall's work so interesting. he seems to be firmly ensconced in two seemingly radically different camps. i mean one has to appreciate the photographic capability of his work (seam or not) yet his work is - or should be - viewed with more of a reading akin to viewing a painting.

    sometimes a photograph is not simply a photograph. no one would ever refer to picasso's guernica as simply nothing more than pigment suspended in an oil medium applied to a linen substrate...
    "the age of nature is past; it has finally exhausted the patience of all sensitive minds by the loathsome monotony of its landscapes and skies." naturaimmemorial.com

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by billschwab View Post
    Exactly. As a place that is supposed to be so supportive of photography and those who practice it, this can be a very unfriendly and disrespectful place for those that find the type of success Wall has achieved. Just look at the post earlier in this thread from the owner of this site of all people. It is no wonder that some of the more well-known people that are members of this site never say a word aside from maybe promoting their books or workshops. It is a shame because these people have perhaps the most to offer in a place like this.

    Case in point... Good grief.... sorry, but what a bunch of crap.

    Bill
    Geez Bill I mean c'mon. I guess no one has an ego in the art world? There are no politics involved with museums? The museum benefits from purchasing a piece like this since it creates so much publicity/controversy. How can you deny that? Wall benefits in the same way. How can you deny that? I think he should get as much as he can for his work. We all would do the same. Read my post two down from the one you quoted.

    Your point about well known people not contributing to this site is semi mute. If they cared they would. I think people like Sandy King, Tom Hoskinson and Patrick Gainer are far more valuable to a site like this than anyone else I could possibly think of. The amount of time and energy they put out in order to help those here with questions is unbelievable. That impresses me more than someone who sells a million dollar photo. Without them this site would be almost nothing really. The statement above shows little respect for their efforts. I hope you realize that.

    With all due respect, cause I really like your work,

    Patrick

  10. #70
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickjames View Post
    Geez Bill I mean c'mon. I guess no one has an ego in the art world?
    That is not in dispute, nor what was said...

    "in the end a photograph like this selling to a museum for this price is really mostly about the ego."

    With reciprocal respect, I still do not see where a statement like this has any merit whatsoever. As for using this quote in my OP, it was nothing personal. Only a nearby example of the kind of cliché' arguments people resort to in discussions like this. Very often people that don't have the kind of knowledge of the particular situation or the museum acquisition process in general that would be needed to come to such conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by patrickjames View Post
    Your point about well known people not contributing to this site is semi mute. .... Sandy King, Tom Hoskinson and Patrick Gainer
    I don't see any of them partaking in this thread either. I also have not seen them or others of their stature participating in the other threads like this I have grown so tired of in this site. People that have met some success with their work know what it takes to achieve it in this "business" and aren't likely to question the good fortune of one of their contemporaries.

    Bill

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