Divorced from any dialog with the content or meaning of the resulting artwork, the choice of media- especially alternative media, such as gum, cyan or, at this point, silver- and the affect that the media lends to the work has to be acknowledged and addressed in the work if it is to be taken seriously in an artistic context. Otherwise, these techniques are just window dressing- flash and smoke to capture the interest of the viewer who hasn't seen such stuff before. It is no longer sufficient, if it ever was, to use salt prints, for instance, in an arts context, without having a very specific reason for having done so. Hopefully, there is more to such a choice than the desire to accrue value from the hand-crafted, that is, unique, nature of the art object. That position implies a value system where the idea of private property, that the work is something that can become the exclusive possession of one individual, can supersede the meaning or value of what the image says.
Originally Posted by doughowk
It's interesting to note that among the direct musical "descendants" (as in "trained by") of Schönberg and Stockhausen, we find the far more accessible (and popular) Kraftwerk and Rammstein. If you listen closely, the influences are obvious.
Originally Posted by jovo
And that's what often happens in art: Some radical change is introduced by someone. The next generation then splits in two, with one part "purifying the concept" and becoming ever more inaccesible, the other half melding the old with the new and strengthening both.
Perhaps. or maybe diluting and destroying both...
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy much of Weston's work and when I first discovered it, found it inspirational. Wouldn't it be a boring, suffocating world, though, if all photography emulated what he did....All things have to move on and evolve, he taught amongst other things the beauty in the 'banal' - and that's the message that other artists and photographers are still exploring, in different ways, through different mediums.
I find it hard to see any 'schism' as such. Or if there is one, it seems an inevitable and predictable thing in any 'art' scene.
And the third category is that there are those photojournalists who are primarily documentary photographers but on a 24 hr. news cycle. Some of these folks are more than just news photographers. But how they are always able to come up with something meaningful in such a short time period is a big question to me...
Originally Posted by laverdure
Thank you all for your replies. It is, to me, a very interesting subject, and you've given me a lot to think about.
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The funny thing is that with colour photography, it's more the opposite that happened, and during similar times: the vernacular is made more elaborate and less accessible.
Originally Posted by Ole
There are of course plenty of instances in classical music where folksongs made their ways into a symphony (Dvorak's New World), or in literature (Wordsworth and Coleridge penning the "Lyrical Ballads"). If I was a little more Continental in my philosophy I would go as far as arguing for an operating dialectic, but I'll hold back any claims regarding alienation through appropriation...
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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Few people think it strange that the music that was popular in 1937 is not what is popular now. Likewise the movies and the hairstyle or the (lack of) hats.
Thinking that visual arts and particularly photography should stand still is absurd.
Death to rocks and trees.
To original question
There are fundamental differencies between B&W and color photography that keep them apart. So and between photoghraphers. There are also soooo good photographers that would give honour to any ancient time. What is a problem today is audience which is more interseting in $2 walmart poster than original rembrandt. Artist somehow have a stomac and cannot walk around with a print for weeks to sell one single for $50, so he make posters or art is a hobby.
If you deep into automotive engineering (at least in America) and own some modern american car you will wonder how it moves at all. There are engineers that after so many years designing cars still need weeks to find out the difference between couple and moment (this is low level high school knowledge). So it is not just in photography, what you posted as a question is a mark of today world.
"... Clearly, there are successful and famous artists working in both camps. Why the disconnect?"
There is only one single judge to say someone is artist or not: time, around 100 of years at least (this moment in head). The longer the better. Yes artist will be always born but how you know what you said above ("Clearly...")?
Today word Art (not art, which is nearly dead) is marketing joke.
By the way, art (in general sense) never in history experinced such crisis as nowadays.
Last edited by Daniel_OB; 02-19-2007 at 02:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Of "fine art" schisms in photography...
Interesting thread, lots of good thinking going on. Maybe I could add a few thoughts. Someone along the line touched upon the ubiquity of photography these days and how this affects photography as an artform, if it is one (yes I do think it can be). Photography is everywhere, whether on TV in moving form, in the cinema, or in the print media -- it's inescapable. Western society is defined by industrialization, and photography is the industrialization of picture-making. Given photography's overwhelming ubiquity and familiarity, it would seem to be difficult to carve out space for it as an art form, give it uniqueness and importance. And yet it doesn't seem to be difficult, given the primacy of photography and video in modern art galleries and museums, a trend still growing stronger. I find this puzzling: are art schools emphasizing photography over drawing and painting? And is it justified by what one sees on gallery and museum walls? This is where I sometimes get plain angry. I'll give an example, which happens to be drawn from Finland but could probably be from anywhere... Picture a photographic exhibition in an important Helsinki gallery space. Picture very large colour prints, a series, of leafy garden and house exteriors in summer. Also an interior shot of a young woman lounging by a wall in a colourful, dim room. Nice pictures, yes, and very large, 1.5 m by 2+ m. Would that it had stopped there, but the photographer, being an artist, had to find meaning or at least impose it. So, on the picture of the leafy garden in summer he took words from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, seemingly at random, and fixed them on the print with a pin. Then, from each of Shakespeare's pinned words, he ran a taut thread to a second pin, located somewhere else on the print (creating a link of meaning). Many words, many pins, many threads: a kind of spider-web. The title of the piece, which I can't remember, had something to do with Romeo & Juliet. The same method was used for other pictures in the exhibition -- words taken from a famous work of literature, pinned and threaded onto the pictures. I was aghast. To begin with, totally arbitrary pictures meaning nothing more than "nice", "colourful", "warm", etc. Then a totally arbitrary yet intricate imposition of meaning from e.g. Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. No, no, no. I protest, and I can't protest enough!
Originally Posted by laverdure