I didn't read the article nor have I seen or heard MEM. The head of the photo dept at a local collage has had her over to speak a couple times. His opinion of her as a person was really low, but likes her work and wouldn't deny his students a chance to see her.
Originally Posted by medform-norm
Last edited by mrcallow; 05-26-2005 at 08:11 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Sad to think of this from the perspective of a sighted person, which really does not give us any perspective of the sightless person......I can guarantee you the sightless person who participates in photography understand what they are doing, far better than the sh!t faced person attempting to have sex...
Robert, I think that your comment is completely out of place, and by the way tell me, I'm horrid because I quote Mary Ellen Mark, or she is the horrid because she make an statement about the photographs made by blind people with an argument to do so.
Originally Posted by rhphoto
it may be capturing light, but can you tell me what the blind see? after being in a family that has quite a few blind individuals in it, I can't explain what they see....we limit our responces to this type of situation based on the only things we know...but when one lacks one sense, what or how do the other senses compensate, or what new senses develop.....
I'm missing the logic here. How does photography tell us what a blind person sees. It may tell us what they hear and then they point the camera and that's what the CAMERA sees. The resulting picture is merely what was in front of the camera.
Now I'm certain some art-fool or gallery owner will be able to spin this into some great breakthrough in artistic style, but to me it's bogus.
I believe the only way a blind person can describe what they see is through words or maybe drawings. How can they interpret their world with an instrument that is designed to be visual with cropping, lens selection, depth of field, shutter speed etc. How can they show what they see, when they can't see the result of the picture they just took.
Perhaps if they were sighted at one time and had used a camera extensively then, and now were using it again (eg Beethoven with music) could it perhaps have merit but otherwise I don't get it.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
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What do I think about blind photographers? I don't know. What do I think about the photographs in the link provided? I'm not impressed. Just because someone is blind doesn't mean that a photograph of a toilet should automatically be interesting. It doesn't automatically make a photograph of a television interesting. It doesn't make a blur interesting. Unless they are using fully manual cameras I don't see anything at all impressive about the photos from the link. A fully auto camera is going to focus on something. You will get some kind of image. If you can judge distance by sound then you'll likely get the shot you are aiming for.
I'm more impressed by blind people that can knit and crochet - and I have known a few that could.
I guess this type of stunt may raise cash for the organisation to fund projects and maybe some publicity, but at what cost?
As for the rest of it just point a camera in any direction on auto-focus and you will get the same result.
Sorry folks but I hear all this at work everyday that people with disabilities have equal rights and can have a life defined in "normal" terms by those that don't have a disabilty. Now I know I have some peoples backs up but can you honestly tell me that someone who doesn't have the ability to decide what to have for breakfast can at the same time vote in an election or consent to sex? OK that's a different disability but it's the people without a disability other than lack of common sense that decide for those that do.
Those of us that work with people with disabilities know what their abilities are and know that the best we can do is offer them an improved life. We cannot give them a "normal" life because if they were able to have a normal life then they wouldn't have a disability.
To my mind the people behind the project have taken advantage of those people who are blind, or in UK terms it might even be considered abuse.
Why so vituperative?
Originally Posted by blansky
Clearly, this is correct.
What is amazing is the level of sarcasm, condescension and distain that is evident in this thread. If you don't like the work of an artist, sighted or blind, walk away from it, criticize it (as opposed to them) or simply ignore it. If you feel a person is doing work that is offensive, speak out aboput the issue raised. If, however, you don't understand something, educate yourself. Making fun of an entire group of people because you don't understand why they practice a particular art form reflects only on your understanding, not on their work.
Yes, Michael, we are all artists. Nobody can label us as an artist or tell us we are not artists. We self-nominate. The response from thinking, reasonable people either proves us to be successful in that endeavor or tells us we ought perhaps to seek other outlets. Much of the output of any artist has little to do with "success" anyway, so the process of making art may continue in the face of failure. I would posit that this is a good thing; VanGogh never sold a painting.
My wife works for a school for the blind. I received from that school a donation of manuals of dark room technique and photography. On getting them I laughed about the concept of a school for the blind teaching photo. They do not, in fact, teach photo, but my lack of understanding brought me to look more closely at the photo work of blind and visually impaired artists. I came to see that the work, and the process are closely related in many cases. The choice of a visual medium may be a political comment, it may be a conceptual statement about the visual world now packaged in/on a piece of paper - something to be handled, folded, put in one's pocket. It may be that the artist is trying to replicate the visual experience he or she has so that the viewer can share the experience.
How many sighted artists have work for years to get that innocent, blurry, light-bled world of the pinhole or Holga under their control?
Ignorance is treatable, stupidity is fatal. Let's try to avoid stupid generalities about any group of artists or any activity that people, sighted or blind, may attempt to use in the creation of art. Most art is forgettable- bland, common and in need of a little something. Some art is magical and deserves to live forever. The wonderful thing is that we never can tell where it may be found. I, for one, am not ready to dismiss visually impaired photographers as a group. Most of their work will be garbage - just like mine, just like yours.
Some will be wonderous and meaningful - maybe even mine or yours.
Sorry if this is preachy. I guess I just didn't like the "tit dragging" and "dick waving" of the comments in this post. Sue me.
an explanation, only
At this point I think I have to extent the comment. Mary Ellen payed full attention to the discourse (literally) of the director of the center, some comments by the photographers and look to the prints carefully, with full respect. When she answered as her opinion blah, blah, blah (sic), she refers to the intention of the director to put more value, artistic value, to the photographs. She never expresses an opinion about the impair condition of the authors (if you know the work of Mary Ellen, you must remember the nice documentary she made in a school for blind children in Rusia, I think in Kiev).
Originally Posted by danmennuz
And that's my point, I respect the work of everybody, as it is, but I think that some time the gallerists, curators, museum directors, etc., try to put value where it's none.
ps, english is not my mother tonge, so forgive me if I miss the point or the subject sometimes, I'm not good in english sintaxis.
Daniel on this point I am in full agreement with you. I am more than happy to see people with disabilities doing things where they are showing that they have over come their disability. In this case I think the people such as "gallerists, curators, museum directors, etc" have actually proven what those blind people cannot do which is negative.
Originally Posted by danmennuz
I hope you don't feel that my comments were aimed at yourself as I rarely shoot the messenger. Your posting bringing it to our attention is valid to the point you are making.