"Lith Print" identity crisis?
It seems that about half of the time that I have prints accepted into an exhibition contest, I find later that my entries have been mislabeled, most often as "Litho Prints," and in one case as a "Lithograph," which of course, is a completely different output than a lith print. I am very careful to legibly identify my medium as a "silver gelatin lith photograph," and if I have the opportunity when delivering the prints point out the accurate description, to no avail. I am about at the point of carrying a Sharpie around with me to make surreptitious corrections!
Have any of my fellow lith printers experienced a similar identity crisis? I mean geez, the spell checker on my computer doesn't even like the description! Who came up with this name, anyway?
I guess you are using an A B developer designed for line film that makes these prints unique.
I just call the silver gelatin prints and let people ask how they are made.
Happens all the time. I find that giving a detailed explanation of the whole process generally gets a blank look on the face of the gallery folks and they don't talk up the process to potential customers. In the future, I'll just label them silver gelatin as well and leave the explanation in the written form if anyone wants to bother reading it.
Here we don't get that. People are too afraid to look stupid, so they just put down what I have written. I usually stick to toned silver gelatin.
I quit explaining it a while ago. It doesn't irritate me anymore. I will talk all day about it if somebody is interested.
I'm going to hang a bunch of stuff in a coffee place here pretty soon, all liths. Last time, I had a little placard explaining the process. This time, I'm thinking: "No batteries, keyboards, software or user agreements were used to make these prints." See what kind of response that gets.
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I've submitted work to a number of shows over the last ten years, many of which are primarily paintings and drawings and the description of "media" or whatever is generally frustrating, further complicated by the fact that many shows have a label to fill out that has room for about 15 characters -- maybe 20 if you write really small -- on a line for "media." As a result I often see "Sculpture" in that line, which is usually pretty obvious, but no hint as to whether the work is soapstone, epoxy, paper maché, etc. And I've frequently had a problem fitting "Gelatin silver print," let alone "toned ..." But then, perhaps many viewers don't pay much attention in the first place.
They get changed from "lith" to "litho" because of the spellcheck in Word, exact same thing happened to me and that was the explanation I got from the person organising it. From there it gets changed to "lithograph" because people think they're smarter than they are. I was in one exhibition where one of my prints was just reworded with "Photography" as the medium, because they thought "photogravure" was a typo on my part.
"Silver Gelatine photograph" is probably the easiest thing for people to stomach. The public don't give half a crap about how much time and pain we went through for a print, as long as it looks nice.
You need an EVLA (End Viewer Licensing Agreement) that starts:
Originally Posted by Rich Ullsmith
By viewing this photograph, you agree to [... insert absurd terms here].
I like the 'silver gelatin print' description as well; it definitely helps avoid confusion about the print medium.
It isn't a lie, even if it is a lith print. It just isn't the full truth, and it doesn't bother me in the least.
PS: Rich, you crack me up: "No batteries, keyboards, software or user agreements were used to make these prints"...
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Lith printing as you are using it is a slang term. The word Lith is a common abbreviation for Lithography and therefore its slang use is likely to be misinterpreted. I know Tim Rudman used "Lith" in the title of his book but the word Lith already had a definition. I call my prints done in the "Lith" process "Infectious Development Silver Gelatin Print"
Marriam Webber On Line:
Definition of LITH:
Last edited by ic-racer; 01-27-2011 at 05:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.