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  1. #151

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    I'm really enjoying the hell out of reading this thread.

  2. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by juan
    I, too, find this image troubling - scary, if you will.
    I'm really happy to read that, I was beginning to think I was the only one
    Cate

  3. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke
    Assuming this is true, what does it have to do with the photograph?

    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.

    KB
    (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)
    The reason I stated that, and no it isn't true (sorry), is that the photograph this thread is about was recognized by some people as a "Shore" and in some cases "means it must be good".

    My point in using this real estate picture and then adding a context, (fake or not) is that it can, (not necessarily) make the viewer have a second look and place more importance on the picture than it initially had.

    For example if I showed a simple team picture, say a soccer team or a hockey team with everyone looking at the camera smiling or mugging, most people would glance at it, having seen hundreds of team pictures, and move on. BUT if I then said that team was all killed a week later while on a road trip in a bus crash, most people would look a lot harder and study the faces and image the family grief, lost fathers, lost sons etc.

    The picture would then take on a whole new dimension or even importance, where before it had very little.

    My point is, is that many saw this picture in question as a "Shore" and added their own context from previous knowledge. This knowledge gave them perhaps unconsciously, more information and more respect than it did for me, and others who look at this picture as a random picture that cannot stand alone and carry any weight.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  4. #154

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    On the phobia expressed at depicting the ordinary:

    I recently read this about DeLillo's Underworld - but I think it possibly applies to Eggleston/Shore etc too.

    "DeLillo is smart enough to avoid stating the obvious, that after losing his real father, Nick is sent to a school run by multiple "fathers.'' One of the priests asks him to describe a shoe. "A front and a top,'' he answers.

    "You make me want to weep,'' the priest says, proceeding to name all the parts of a shoe including the flap under the lace, the tongue.

    "I knew the name,'' Nick says. "I just didn't see the thing.''

    "You didn't see the thing because you don't know how to look,'' says the priest. Because "everyday things lie hidden,'' he adds; "everyday things represent the most overlooked knowledge.''

    These are "quotidian'' things -- "an extraordinary word that suggests the depth and reach of the commonplace.'' This may be DeLillo's way of explaining how to read "Underworld,'' but he's also telling us how to live. "


    And perhaps how to photograph and how to look at photographs. Not to settle for one more beautifully executed (semi-exotic) landscape etc. To look for echoes and rhymes and rhythms - sometimes ever so quiet, rather than impact (which is always a collision)

  5. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    The reason I stated that, and no it isn't true (sorry), is that the photograph this thread is about was recognized by some people as a "Shore" and in some cases "means it must be good".

    My point in using this real estate picture and then adding a context, (fake or not) is that it can, (not necessarily) make the viewer have a second look and place more importance on the picture than it initially had.

    For example if I showed a simple team picture, say a soccer team or a hockey team with everyone looking at the camera smiling or mugging, most people would glance at it, having seen hundreds of team pictures, and move on. BUT if I then said that team was all killed a week later while on a road trip in a bus crash, most people would look a lot harder and study the faces and image the family grief, lost fathers, lost sons etc.

    The picture would then take on a whole new dimension or even importance, where before it had very little.

    My point is, is that many saw this picture in question as a "Shore" and added their own context from previous knowledge. This knowledge gave them perhaps unconsciously, more information and more respect than it did for me, and others who look at this picture as a random picture that cannot stand alone and carry any weight.

    Michael
    Well, I didn't know it was a Shore, didn't recognise it was a Shore, and still liked it, and thought yours was rubbish, even when I knew the "story"

    You also, by your experiment, proved that there is a kind of scary mythology about the suburbs. Which of us didn't read "In Cold Blood" as a teenager - these cultural mythologies can legitimately inform reactions (as I'm sure it did mine) as much as anything else...
    Cate

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    ...many saw this picture in question as a "Shore" and added their own context...
    In other words, they saw it as part of a larger body of (unseen in THIS context) work. Kind of why I said "shoot more in a sustained way" -- this sort of work doesn't put all its meaning into a single photograph. Often the message comes across only with sustained looking at multiple pictures.

    In fact when looking at work that's not of the "pleasing pictures" variety, you can almost always be sure that's the case.

    Sad to say photo web sites are almost always exclusively about easy-pleasing one-off's.

    I find nothing wrong with this idea at all, it's quite common in art. To cite a Shore acquaintance, consider a Warhol, or a Jasper Johns, a Van Gogh, or even a Norman Rockwell. There's something to see in the picture, but to look at just one picture you miss most of the story.


    "What Would Zeus Do?"
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  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer
    Well, I didn't know it was a Shore, didn't recognise it was a Shore, and still liked it, and thought yours was rubbish, even when I knew the "story"

    You also, by your experiment, proved that there is a kind of scary mythology about the suburbs. Which of us didn't read "In Cold Blood" as a teenager - these cultural mythologies can legitimately inform reactions (as I'm sure it did mine) as much as anything else...
    Cate
    Cate from you previous descriptions, I immediately thought of the Clutter house (in cold blood).

    Interesting though, it was a farm house in the country. Rather isolated and lonely. Not in the suburbs, which is surrounded by hundreds of other identical houses.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke
    In other words, they saw it as part of a larger body of (unseen in THIS context) work. Kind of why I said "shoot more in a sustained way" -- this sort of work doesn't put all its meaning into a single photograph. Often the message comes across only with sustained looking at multiple pictures.

    In fact when looking at work that's not of the "pleasing pictures" variety, you can almost always be sure that's the case.

    Sad to say photo web sites are almost always exclusively about easy-pleasing one-off's.

    I find nothing wrong with this idea at all, it's quite common in art. To cite a Shore acquaintance, consider a Warhol, or a Jasper Johns, a Van Gogh, or even a Norman Rockwell. There's something to see in the picture, but to look at just one picture you miss most of the story.

    That's in interesting point. Not sure I buy it but it's interesting.

    Coming from a studio portrait background, the mindset is probably that every picture stands alone. I would guess that I expect that to be the case in every kind of photograph.

    I think I still believe that even when done in a "series", every photograph should be able to carry the weight of the series.


    Michael
    Last edited by blansky; 07-29-2006 at 11:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  9. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    Cate from you previous descriptions, I immediately thought of the Clutter house (in cold blood).

    Interesting though, it was a farm house in the country. Rather isolated and lonely. Not in the suburbs, which is surrounded by hundreds of other identical houses.


    Michael
    If I may say so, you're being too literal.

    'Isolated and lonely' is a state of being, too, which assuredly exists in the suburbs. The house in the Shore picture DID exude isolation and loneliness to me (agreed, not everyone would have this reaction).

    There is a general, powerful mythology with spooky buildings though (I agree that the Shore one is "quietly so" but that doesn't make it any less powerfully so, maybe MORE so because of the understatement).
    A really obvious one is that motel & house on the hill in Psycho.
    Cate

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer
    If I may say so, you're being too literal.

    'Isolated and lonely' is a state of being, too, which assuredly exists in the suburbs. The house in the Shore picture DID exude isolation and loneliness to me (agreed, not everyone would have this reaction).

    There is a general, powerful mythology with spooky buildings though (I agree that the Shore one is "quietly so" but that doesn't make it any less powerfully so, maybe MORE so because of the understatement).
    A really obvious one is that motel & house on the hill in Psycho.
    Cate
    For the fun of it, what type of neighborhood do you live in. And is it spooky to you.

    After living for years in a small city, then LA then Portland OR, small city, then suburbs, then suburbs again, I would characterize the picture in question as a small town, not the "burbs".

    I did grow up in a rather old, spooky old house. I had a friend who lived in a wealthy looking "haunted" house. Things and possessions were always moved around by "unseen " hands.

    A lady hung herself in 1948. Every subsequent family that lived in that house divorced.

    OOOOOOOOOOHHH.

    True story.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.



 

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