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  1. #41
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I don't know that you need to "see past" the aesthetic. It is its own justification, and it is certainly emblematic of its time period. When you see certain kinds of Pictorialist images, you think "oh, Art Nouveau", and when you see others, "oh.... that crap". But period-original Pictorialism, just like period-original Modernism or post-Modernism, stands by itself as an artifact of its time. Someone doing Pictorialist images today, however, needs to have an artistic justification for doing it, because it IS no longer current. Not saying you can't have a creative justification for using it, but you have to have a clear, articulate reason. Otherwise you are a dilettante hobbyist just aping a dead style because you can't think creatively on your own.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Someone doing Pictorialist images today, however, needs to have an artistic justification for doing it, because it IS no longer current.
    Exactly. If someone entered the room speaking in a 16th century dialect, you'd want a good explanation, and I don't see why it should be any different with out of date visual languages.

  3. #43
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    ^ Your analogy although well thought out, is flawed because art does not ascribe to the same rules. If I wanted to bark like a dog to talk, I could lose my job, wife, etc., If I wanted to do that for art, well that might be called performance art and could make me the most successful performance artist to walk the earth....

    If one likes Ansel, so be it, like Gursky, so be it....if one emulates their work in their own work, so be it...art has always been like that (analog aside)...
    Andy

  4. #44
    CGW
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  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsas View Post
    If I wanted to bark like a dog to talk, I could lose my job, wife, etc., If I wanted to do that for art, well that might be called performance art and could make me the most successful performance artist to walk the earth....
    Not without context and not without being relevant to modern means of interpretation. For instance, what type of dog? Would you be down on all fours? Would you be in a suit or furry costume with ears? Would you be in a glass box, on a skateboard, hanging from wires? Different performance schools might teach different ways of mimicking dog behavior and different ways of responding to space in order to provoke different reactions. One interpretation might strike a chord with audiences universally, another might be mocked, one might cause public outrage and lead to you being institutionalised! As wacky as contemporary performance art is, it has aesthetic codes, styles and approaches and they won't all be universally accepted as genius. I've seen some things in constructed spaces that just wouldn't work on a street corner and certainly not on stage.

    All art has its rightful places and means of communicating and some just won't fit with the zeitgeist. That work is better left on your own wall. It's about tapping into the spirit of the times or simply not getting it, which is when most artists will fail to find an audience. There are rarely ideas as brilliant as the barking dog which will challenge what is culturally accepted. If a pictorialist photographer is capable of doing that, then nostalgic photography might have something timely and worthwhile to say. Most of the time it only seems to appeal, quite incestuously, to other photographers.
    Last edited by batwister; 04-25-2012 at 05:58 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Some of these are really good actually, but better without reference to the camera perhaps?
    Last edited by batwister; 04-25-2012 at 05:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #47
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    Some of these are really good actually, but better without reference to the camera perhaps?
    Could give a toss about the camera/film used. My point is that they're just as good/bad/cliche-ridden/trite as today's. What's interesting is decoding them as artifacts relative to a milieu. What do the say about the world that made them? Just more gas on the fire?

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    My point is that they're just as good/bad/cliche-ridden/trite as today's. What's interesting is decoding them as artifacts relative to a milieu.
    That's fine, but does that social and historical context depend on the type of camera used or is that only of interest to nostalgia concerned photographers, who may want to emulate the results? Why else is the camera name important? Are they less interesting with simply a date attached or even without as plain old images depicting human experience?

    For me, working out the time frame is more interesting than it being stated. Then I can actually look at the image.

    EDIT: With all of these salutes to Kodak, I do wonder why contemporary work is never used in the articles. This is more evidence of the problem really. Do images from the 1930s say "Kodak" more than modern work? Imagine what a 'Kodak Masters' award for notable contemporary work would do to draw in the kids.
    Last edited by batwister; 04-25-2012 at 06:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Could give a toss about the camera/film used. My point is that they're just as good/bad/cliche-ridden/trite as today's. What's interesting is decoding them as artifacts relative to a milieu. What do the say about the world that made them? Just more gas on the fire?
    Good point. They are all very well executed, even the corny ones. And yes, they are just as good or bad as today, but how many of them would have been cliched 80 years ago? I remember somebody complaining that Norman Mailer's "The Naked and the Dead" was hackneyed. It was pointed out to him (none too gently) that he had finally gotten to the original master after reading 40 years of imitators.

  10. #50
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    I could see why those photos won awards back then. They are just as good today.



 

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