bjorke.. i dont really inderstand what u defende.. "the do your own thing". well, if so, im totally agree with u. art would have died if not so.
but the kind of converssasion confuses me a little bit, well, not really confussion, but i feal fruitless with it. u post very interesting points as i said. personally i would like u to forward your own argument (whet5her it is like that of daddda or gorzt or bejamine or tolstoy etc etc or wietgestein). than we can have some common ground in converssasion.
about the camps of equipment users... u know very well that without the leica there would be no "capture a moment", there would be no ch.bresson. etc. surprisenly, i found it even this days the best way to to tell a visual storry with a captured moment and my own mental envolvement. it is not a logo and it is not belonging to some camp. there are reasons for technical discussions etc, cause at the end it is reflected in ones works.
this "technical" is your wife with whome u have to build the family (=your art works). im not merried yet, i know there are many wonderfull ladies out there as well as many not really wonderfull. the question is what do u want. if u ignore of "technical" importance, u say that just marry no matter to whome - the point is to create family. u know that not all families look the same. the way the family looks depends not only on me but on that lady as well. it would be pitty if it was dependent on only one. that means no love etc. photographs at the end are in trush, or in gallery or packed in archival boxes. i live with my cameras and my darkroom. if u ask me what is really your photograph??? well the outcomes of course, but i remember and live as well that stuff along my ideas concepts and more or less constantly changing models, ppl, buildings streets and trees etc etc.
I would not expect the dictionary readings to be a thorough, definitive examination of anything as complex as the Dada movement, or any other "school" of philosophy - or art. They serve/d a useful purpose in establishing some sort of "ground" from which to start my interpretation.
Originally Posted by bjorke
One point could be argued at length - whether or not the ultimate, or even an appropriate - "mission" of art would be as a corrective force. As I understand *some* of Dadaistic art, it was created to exhibit some of the depravity of the time and place ... with an assumption that too few people knew about what was going on.
There is an interesting analysis of Grosz's work - and motivation in "Twentieth Century Erotic Art" by Taschen, ISBN 3-8225-7764-6. He was hauled in court for obscenity and producing pornography - many times.
At one of those court appearances:
"Eroticism must contain a social message. Against medieval-style brutality", Grosz once said, "and against the host of human imbecilities characteristic of our century, the graphic arts represent a power that should not be underestimated - but only when executed by a resolute will and an accomplished hand". Grosz once explained that whle he was searching for a style commensurate with the wretchedness and misery of his models, he scavenged the walls of public toilets for the graffiti on the walls, and copied it it down, for he felt it offered the most direct insight into naked, forceful feeling."
A dark and desperate mindset - one I'll be grateful that it is one that I do not have. Simply, I've never considered any of my models to be "wretched" and/or "miserable". Not my models - and not my society.
There is another role that art can play - one far more intelligent, and effective - IMHO (n.b. IN MY HUMBLE OPINION) - and that is of an escape mechanism from society - a safety valve that prevents us from becoming homogenously alike in attitudes and moral judgements - and mired in ennui.
That will lead to "do your own thing" - and that is to me (again, IMHO) a GOOD thing.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Ed, to what "escape" are you describing? A dream? Are you saying that IYO art (however defined) for the art-maker and/or art viewer, is best as a fantasy separate from their real existences? At which point does such indulgence on the part of the artist cross from self-entertainment to wasting the time and attention of the (potentially involuntary) audience?
Self-indulgence is a betrayal of the realities of art, which by definition are an enterprise involving more than just a single person. Artists are involved in transactions between themselves, their subjects, and their audiences, small or large. To present your art is to ask the audience for their trust -- that somehow they will be enriched for their investment of time and attention. This is as true for contemporary artists like, say, Sally Mann or Martin Parr, as it was for those of the past, such as Caravaggio, Weston, or Ruskin. Lewis Hine wrote that he wanted to capture not only those things that must be stopped, but those things that ought to be seen. In his photos he recognizes the dual nature of existence, pairing brutal factory conditions with gentle portraits of the children who work there. Likewise in a modern vein we have Salgado & Bravo & Luc Delahaye's sense of splendor at the sight of a dead Taliban, laid out in tableau. In all of these works we see the idealism and values of the artist not in isolation or removed from their social context and the greater world, but in full engagement with the environment that surrounds them.
Some years ago I heard or read the comment "every great photograph is about a relationship." That relationship can occur within the frame or back and forth between the image and the viewer, the photographer and the subject.
[/list:u:0a9ef7f78e]At the risk of seeming to descend to an ad hominem level, Ed, I'd say that a clear relationship is the thing most lacking in the photos by you that I've seen -- with the exception of "Reeds," which is the most appealing of the bunch currently on APUG.
[size=2](The Blessed Junipero Serra, trampling the thankful natives)[/size]
Am I saying that (IMO) art (however defined) is ... best as a fantasy seprarate from their real existence?
Originally Posted by bjorke
Hmm ... not bad. I think I'd go along with that, at least to some degree.
"Self-indulgence is a betrayal of the realities of art, which, by definition, are an enterprise involving more than just a single person."
Whose definition is this? I think you define what *I* call "following my vision" as "self-indulgence." I'll disagree.
"To present your work is to ask the audience for their trust -- that somehow they will be enriched for their investment of time and attention ...."
I don't ask the audience for anything. I present a "chip" of my "being" - if that sits well with them - all well and good - if it doesn't, I'll move on - and so will they. So far NONE of my audiences have been captive - at any level.
"Every great photograph is about a relationship".
That is inescapable. That relationship exists whether or not we intend it to ... in the great, not-so-great, and "other" photographs as well.
"At the risk of descending to an ad hominem level..."
Well, don't risk it then.
Your comments about my work are very interesting. I "lack a clear relationship..."? Good. I WANT to leave a little mystery.
I've printed your reply out - and I'll continue to consider it.
One comment I'll make is about the definition of art: so far the best one I've found (there have been MANY that I've heard of - some more "valid' than others) is, "The art on the wall is an encrypted window into the being of the artist on the other side."
I enjoy art. I enjoy making my images - self-indulgent as they may be. If someone else enjoys them too, that is wonderful. If not ... there is always another image next to mine ... and most keyboards I've seen have working "delete" keys.
I'm glad you liked "Reeds" - although it was rather faint praise. There must be some hope for me.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
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I've taken a few more minutes to consider this ....
Originally Posted by bjorke
Jackson Pollock once wrote that whenever he visited an art gallery, he always paid particular attention to the work he DID NOT like - the work that he do NOT identify with. He stated that this was deserving of more interest - Although he did not like it the work, someone else did. Someone else was moved by passion to place the work on the walls. If he could try to "get into that person's head", he might gain a better understanding of that "foreign" vision. Doing so would expand his horizons and, possibly, present him with another place to work from.
I try to keep that in mind. From the conversation here, I've done a little research into an area I knew little about. I can't say I know a great deal more about Dadaism now... but I am closer to a coherent rejection of it as a "working philosophy". It just does not fit with MY choices of vision.
You speak of "fantasy" as some dark sin in art - PLEASE correct me if I am interpreting this incorrectly - and I will disagree with that. Fantasy, imagination, vision, preconditioned assumptions - are NECESSARY to what we know as art. The REALITY is that all photographs are arrays of converted silver or dyes on paper or plastic; oil paintings are collections of pigments on canvas reflecting various colors; music is vibrations of sound energy in air... With the introduction of - I think the best term might be vision - they stand a fair chance of being art.
Another way to look art art is that it is "A non-standard (and complicated) Rorschach Ink Blot Test". Each will react to the test according to our beliefs, predispositions, conditioning ... and a myriad of other factors - and the last
I looked, even the most astute psychologists will not come close to claiming that they understand it "ALL".
In the Rorschach Tests, there is no "right" or "wrong". I seriously doubt that we can "teach" the proper? - favored? responses.
So, I'll respect those who wish to use and "see" art as some sort of weapon - I do not.
Go ahead with - "ad hominem" ..? I will be forced to look at comments like this as sharp judgement of my Rorschach Test results.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Take away the quote marks and, as far as I am concerned, you have the perfect definition:
Art is dangerous.
That's certainly the quality I'm looking for!
That describes it so very well, thank you for this sentence ... feeling instantly exhausted ... I had that for a while with my philosophy books, took me 10 years to open a Heidegger without starting to mentally hyperventilate.
Originally Posted by mark
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I've been on both sides of the fence; growing up in a population of largely uneducated oilfield workers, going to college as an on-again, off-again art major finally settling on Photojournalism as a degree, winding up in a only tangential field of work!
While a lot of modern art set my teeth on edge, a desired effect of the artist in most cases, I found enough to cause me pleasure at the sheer other-worldliness of the execution. It helps me make subtle, almost imperceptible associations in my head that spin me off in new directions...
I'll bet a few of you would get all up in arms if anyone came on and said; "wine is s**t and the fine wine experts are full of s**t because it's freaking rotten grape juice". Or, better yet, all 8x10 large format freaks are just snobs 'cause 4x5 is good enough for anyone and, besides, digital is better. (ducking behind the bunker wall)
Everyone seems to be objecting to the idea that you have to study or educate yourself to enjoy some forms of art; that they do not come native to the eye or ear. So what? You take the time to study wine and learn, or how to forge a knife, or how to make a fine paper... etc.
Everyone who thinks all art should be instantly and immediately gratifying and transparent should look honestly into their own background for something that took patience and learning to appreciate.
You can always decide you STILL don't like it later, but then can honestly say you gave it a reasonable chance and found it wanting...
As for art being "dangerous", that's a bunch of post-modernist, shock-jocky, bulls**t! The best cure for that is to yawn, it drives them crazy when they are not controversial! ;-)
Being a little old fashioned in my artistic tastes, I'd have to say "right on". I'm so sick of "art" having to be some kind of ridiculous socio-political-aesthetic contortionism in order to have "relevance" or to be the kitsch of the minute. Nothing wrong with good old hard work, patience and craftsmanship.
Originally Posted by Kino