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  1. #1
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    $1m for a backlit photograph!

    The National Gallery of Victoria is believed to have spent $1 million for a Canadian photographer's backlit photograph.

    I hope we will not have to pay to see this in the gallery as I will certainly go along to see what kind of picture cost $1m of taxpayers money.

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/entert...162322316.html

    Does anyone know of this photographer?

    I did google, but the information was only what I saw in our local newspaper, which the above link should get you to.

    The newspaper article called it a backlit Cibachrome. I have never heard of that, possibly it may be a duratrans, or like product.

    It appears that as it is a completely staged photograph, it is art. I don't have a problem with that, it just seems the art world now is agreeing that staged photographs, are art, just like staged paintings.

    Mick.
    Last edited by Mick Fagan; 12-16-2006 at 04:53 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
    Sean's Avatar
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    I am currently working on a piece myself. It is 1 web page, it's basically all white with a single question mark dead center. This page will be available for $5,000,000 US. The museum that purchases the page will setup a computer terminal and provide the ip address of this terminal to me. It will be the only terminal in the world able to view the page. It is a one of a kind work of unprecedented rarity. Museums can conatct me via the contact link. Serious inquiries only.

    Sean

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Fagan View Post
    The newspaper article called it a backlit Cibachrome. I have never heard of that...
    Dear Mick,

    Cibachromes are dye-destruction prints of unparalleled durability. They are now officially known (I think) as Ilfochromes, because Ciba-Geigy unloaded Ilford many years ago, though everyone still calls them Cibas. The backlit variety are, understandably, on a translucent base.

    Is this a reasonable purchase? It's hard to tell. Museums have to get their pictures somewhere. An Australian dollar is about 40p (Sterling) or 60 cents (Euro) or just under 80 cents (US) so the magic 'million' isn't reached in other currencies -- though of course it's about half a billion Indian rupees and God knows what in Turkish lire.

    Buying pictures is always a gamble, despite the best efforts of the art mafia, and all you can say is, museums commonly win some (pics increasing greatly in value) and lose some (dropping in value, or at least, appreciating very little).

    Having said all this, it's hard to believe that it would not be more cost-effective to spend A$1,000,000 on 40 photos at A$25,000 each -- or even to set up 20 bursaries for photograhers at A$50,000.

    Cheers,

    R

  4. #4
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Sean, I think you would have a better chance if you sold this for NZ dollars. I know you would only receive about $3.5m US but it would be more sellable. :-))

    Mick.

  5. #5
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Roger, thank you, I do know of the durability of Cibachrome and Ilfachrome.

    They also had a colour negative to positive version, on the same plastic Cibachrome base, which I have used to great effect, brilliant product. Most people thought I was printing fantastic low contrast colour correct Cibachromes from transparencies, when in fact I was using negatives.

    I have over the years met the (now) senior curator Isobel Crombie. I have attended some of her lectures about 10-13 years ago when she was rising through the ranks, so to speak.

    She was the curator at Australia's first and only purpose built, photographic gallery, complete with a special archive system for prints and film. I know this, as one of the camera clubs I was a member of at the time, had a private tour of the facilities.

    Unfortunately, the local council had it's boundaries changed and lost control of the gallery. The newly formed council decided this was too elite, so they just dropped the idea and turned it into another council run art gallery. Lot of money down the drain!

    I see your reasoning and tend to agree with you about funding a lot of smaller works or photographers.

    However, there is one thing about this that I really like, it's film!

    Also, at 2 metres high by 2.5 metres wide it should have reasonable impact, especially if it is displayed in the usual half gloom, normal museum environment.

    Due to the now famous purchase of Jackson Pollock's, "Blue Poles", which is held at the National Gallery in Canberra, this photograph will surely get the local moniker, "Blue Ropes"

    Mick.
    Last edited by Mick Fagan; 12-16-2006 at 05:52 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: punctuation.

  6. #6
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    I just re-read the article in the paper:-

    Wall, 60, was inspired by the paintings of Goya and Manet and the work has a "psychological resonance", Ms Crombie said. The man is not just untangling rope but grappling with the "confusion of modern life".

    As art critic Jean-Pierre Criqui wrote in the international journal ArtForum in 1996: " Untangling, 1994, depicts a man in work clothes busy untangling a thick skein of rope that suggests a strange, vanquished monster. This picture has a directly mythological resonance: the individual's struggle to escape the tangled threads of fate that control his destiny reads as an allegory for the construction of meaning."

    Why can't they just say, "it's a picture of some person untangling ropes."

    Art critics and like, do go on at times, eh?

    Mick.

  7. #7
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    I can't help but wonder about what critiques this photograph would draw if posted here, to the "Critique" gallery...
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Fagan View Post
    I just re-read the article in the paper:-

    Wall, 60, was inspired by the paintings of Goya and Manet and the work has a "psychological resonance", Ms Crombie said. The man is not just untangling rope but grappling with the "confusion of modern life".

    As art critic Jean-Pierre Criqui wrote in the international journal ArtForum in 1996: " Untangling, 1994, depicts a man in work clothes busy untangling a thick skein of rope that suggests a strange, vanquished monster. This picture has a directly mythological resonance: the individual's struggle to escape the tangled threads of fate that control his destiny reads as an allegory for the construction of meaning."

    Why can't they just say, "it's a picture of some person untangling ropes."

    Art critics and like, do go on at times, eh?

    Mick.

    IT makes them sound more importatant to those who just see a guy untagleing ropes. And it helps to justify the purchase in their mind.

    If I remeber correctly the highest price ever paid for a 'photograph' was about 2.4 million at a Southerby's auction. Was some picture from the turn of the century on long island, NY, showing a hazy shape of the moon shining thru some trees. Course if you put that in perspective with the highest 'paintings' have gone for, 1 mil and above is not that common to see for just a photograph.
    -Karl Blessing
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    The Bokeh
    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

  9. #9
    Markok765's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I am currently working on a piece myself. It is 1 web page, it's basically all white with a single question mark dead center. This page will be available for $5,000,000 US. The museum that purchases the page will setup a computer terminal and provide the ip address of this terminal to me. It will be the only terminal in the world able to view the page. It is a one of a kind work of unprecedented rarity. Museums can conatct me via the contact link. Serious inquiries only.

    Sean
    This would be really easy to copy!
    Marko Kovacevic
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Fagan View Post
    Roger, thank you, I do know of the durability of Cibachrome and Ilfachrome....

    Unfortunately, the local council had it's boundaries changed and lost control of the gallery. The newly formed council decided this was too elite, so they just dropped the idea and turned it into another council run art gallery. Lot of money down the drain!

    I see your reasoning and tend to agree with you about funding a lot of smaller works or photographers.

    However, there is one thing about this that I really like, it's film!

    Also, at 2 metres high by 2.5 metres wide it should have reasonable impact, especially if it is displayed in the usual half gloom, normal museum environment....

    Mick.

    Sorry, Mick, didn't mean to sound patronizing, but the way you phrased it, I couldn't see what else to say about the process. I couldn't believe that you didn't know, but you never can tell.

    The photo gallery history is certainly a horror story, but as you say, at least THIS IS FILM!

    It's also a million dollars...

    Um...

    Cheers,

    R.

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