maybe i missed this ... but aren't most the landscapes ( "grand or notgrand" )basically the same thing - a photograph of a mundane scene ? i tend to "get" this photograph more than i do lanscapes, color or black and white.
at least with the original photograph that was posted, one can see what the "world" was like - cars that were driven, what the utility poles were like, how badly the roads were kept up ( or still are ) what prefab or not prefab houses looked like, what curbing looked like ... i could go on and on. i am not saying that i am in love with this photograph, or understand where shore is coming from. as a record of what "there" was like it isn't bad.
I find it a boring, everyday "local street corner shot". Far to common. Nothing special about it IMHO.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
yea.. all those nobodies.. shore, sternfeld, eggleston, meyerowitz, atget, misrach, freiedlander, winogrand (they're just normal people walking around), evans, kertesz, klein, strand, doisneau. most of their work are just 'snapshot's of the world around them
Yea, some you mention are "somebody," but not all.
You see somebody, I see nobody.
"The famous are seldom great, and the great are seldom famous."
Wow, what a conversation over such a driffle of a photograph!
I love APUG!
I've worked my way through this thread, and keep coming back to one thought.
Maybe the problem is as much with the question, as it is with the photo itself.
The question seems to imply that we only have two choices - "good" or "not good". I don't know whether that is in any way helpful.
Now if the question was "Is this an interesting photo?" I might have less trouble with the question.
I certainly think that the photo in question is one that is more likely to have subtle appeal, than to evoke a strong, instantaneous reaction.
I also think that it is more likely to be interesting in real life, than on the monitor, because any interest is likely to flow from the tiny details, rather than the general appearance of a very static scene.
On balance, and after looking at it a number of times, I think it is moderately interesting, but I don't think it would be the sort of photo that I would normally seek out.
I certainly understand why many others would find that the photo holds no interest for them.
It doesn't really matter to me that the photo and the photographer are both fairly well known, other than there may be a slight inclination to be more patient in coming to a decision about it - if others appreciate it, it may be worth a second look, in case something of value was overlooked on first impression.
I thank you for initiating this thread. The discussion has probably been more interesting than the photo itself.
Originally Posted by Harrigan
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Presumably the same goes for all the best art museums in the world? I'm assuming they just don't get it either?
Originally Posted by don sigl
Yeah, 137 acres surely isn't a trailer house... But the effect is the same, nonetheless!
Originally Posted by JBrunner
*Removes foot from mouth*
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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Assuming this is true, what does it have to do with the photograph?
Originally Posted by blansky
If you merely mean to reflect on the banality of suburbia against horror, well I don't think you quite hit it. Go back, shoot more. In some sustained way.
(who used to live in a house in Topanga after the previous residents were eliminated in a full-family murder-suicide -- was a long cleanup job)
Originally Posted by JBrunner
now that is pretty funny
I guess for me one of the more interesting aspects of this whole exercise is that if one of us anonymously posted such a photo and asked for a critique, we would probably be lambasted.
But here we have an image by someone who has been crowned a landmark photographer by the powers that be, (or were) critics, curators and collectors from the 70s and 80s. As I have always said, artists don't decide what is Art, critics and collectors do.
Photography, more so then any other medium is about time and place and because it is so based in reality, a particular image can receed into irrelevance over time. When I look at the book Uncommon Places I see a time capsule from when I was growing up. A a slice cut directly out of 70s middle class suburbia. For me, the importance of the book is simply documentary more then anything else. Any deeper meaning that Mr. Shore had is totally lost on me and was probably lost for most viewers younger then me about 1980. For someone born after the time of his book, the images just as well be 100 years old with about as much importance as looking at prints from old wet plates of wild west mining towns circa 1880. Simple artifacts and ephemera.
Perhaps a relevant measure of how good an image is, is how well it holds its meaning or conveys a certain magic for the viewer many years after the image was made. If you use that measuring stick, the list is pretty small of photographers whose work will not be simply seen as records and curious artifacts from another time and place.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"