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  1. #1

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    Iconic images "re-imagined"

    Here's something we can argue about. Not sure what to make of this. Do I like the results? Or hate the idea?

    http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/0...reimagined/?hp

  2. #2
    dasBlute's Avatar
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    We should not forget. His treatments are not the same -IMO- as Stalin's erasing people from official state portraits.
    I haven't walked in Mr Smejkal's shoes to see his thinking but I cannot agree with the usefulness of the result.
    The profoundly edited images only exist as faint echoes of the originals. Why would one aid in the 'erasing' of history?
    The resulting images have nothing to recommend them visually either, having been stripped of their essentials.

  3. #3

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    Maybe he could do Roger Fenton's " Into the Shadow of the Valley of Death,1855"
    Lot of balls to cover over.
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

    Regards
    Bill

  4. #4
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    From a legal perspective, I'd like to know if Smejkal has been contacted by estate/copyright holders re these adaptions?

    Is this going to meet 'fair use'?

    Re if this is art or not, sure some can make arguments for both sides, I prefer to stay out.
    Andy

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasBlute View Post
    We should not forget. His treatments are not the same -IMO- as Stalin's erasing people from official state portraits.
    I haven't walked in Mr Smejkal's shoes to see his thinking but I cannot agree with the usefulness of the result.
    The profoundly edited images only exist as faint echoes of the originals. Why would one aid in the 'erasing' of history?
    The resulting images have nothing to recommend them visually either, having been stripped of their essentials.
    It's a tougher call for me visually. As stand-alone images (without their history), some of these appeal to my aesthetic. But who knows, is the manipulation of pre-existing images an artform? I have no idea.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasBlute View Post
    We should not forget. His treatments are not the same -IMO- as Stalin's erasing people from official state portraits.
    I haven't walked in Mr Smejkal's shoes to see his thinking but I cannot agree with the usefulness of the result.
    The profoundly edited images only exist as faint echoes of the originals. Why would one aid in the 'erasing' of history?
    The resulting images have nothing to recommend them visually either, having been stripped of their essentials.
    Wow, I almost literally could not disagree more. To me they make a huge, incredibly effective point---something about the nature of "significant" events, and how much "significant" is a human concept that we project onto completely indifferent settings. The only one that doesn't work for me is "Berlin, 1945"---it's much changed from the original, but there's so much affective content left in the setting that it doesn't come off as mundane as the others.

    I don't understand how it's possible to see this as "the 'erasing' of history", actually, because the images don't stand by themselves---the point they make is exactly about the importance of what's been erased. Can you elaborate on what you're thinking, a little bit?

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  7. #7

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    By the way, here's a nonphotographic and lighthearted take on the same concept of "erasure of the subject":
    http://garfieldminusgarfield.net/
    (It won't make sense if you live in a place where the American "Garfield" comic strip isn't well known, I suppose.)

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  8. #8
    cliveh's Avatar
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    I can’t really see any relevance in this as the originals are not just landscapes and time has moved on. Perhaps instead something like the following–

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/balakov...7602602191858/

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  9. #9
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    Wow, I almost literally could not disagree more. To me they make a huge, incredibly effective point---something about the nature of "significant" events, and how much "significant" is a human concept that we project onto completely indifferent settings. The only one that doesn't work for me is "Berlin, 1945"---it's much changed from the original, but there's so much affective content left in the setting that it doesn't come off as mundane as the others.

    I don't understand how it's possible to see this as "the 'erasing' of history", actually, because the images don't stand by themselves---the point they make is exactly about the importance of what's been erased. Can you elaborate on what you're thinking, a little bit?
    People forget a lot, I remember overhearing two teenagers in a bookstore [you cannot make this stuff up]:
    - "wow, a book on Desert Storm"
    - "what's that?"

    this was only a few years afterwards.

    Yes, we may have difficulty NOT seeing the 'tank-man' and all that he implies,
    but only if you are familiar with that image, which is not a given.

    Focusing on the banality of the 'backdrop' of a photo of this type - again, to my opinion -
    undermines the blunt impact and veracity of the image, akin to pointing out the make of car
    Kennedy was riding in.

    -Tim

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasBlute View Post
    - "wow, a book on Desert Storm"
    - "what's that?"
    -Tim
    I hear stuff like this all the time at work. It's damn frightening.

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