OH! Now you tell me...
Originally Posted by Bruce (Camclicker)
For me, the flawed genius is Wagner. A dishonest, self-centered, racist bastard of a man who wrote music of sublime expression. I think the thing that is most troubling (and I've just been thinking about it a lot recently as I've had a lot of his music to play) is the degree to which his work emanted from the same brain that, for example, damned the music and the person of Felix Mendelsohn because he was a Jew, and no Jew, he wrote, for that fact alone was capable of producing work of substance and value. Such a screed only succeeded in giving historical precedent to Nazi racist theories and ultimately, genocidal practice. Had Hitler himself created some beautiful art, would we be willing to disengage it from the rest of his bestial, criminal, monstrous career?
So, it's a matter of degree I guess. Some things just can't be gotten past and others can. But there's no doubt that for people of conscience, it can be extremely difficult.
well... the ground is still there, but unless I'm mistaken (been known to happen), Tibet was a very closed society and one of the few effective Theocracies on earth. Now, decades later, the population of that area has been diluted, and it's no longer possible, short of ethnic cleansing, to remove all chinese persons and influence from the region. Then, very few ethnic Tibetans that are now around grew up before the invasion.
Originally Posted by johnnywalker
Seems to me you've got a situation not unlike the anglo invasion of native north americans (aka "indians") in the US. If all non-indians were to leave the borders of the US right now, it's not as if all the historical indian nations would instantly flourish and return to their former stature.
It's not an attractive idea, but seems to me that the Tibetans are now a people without a country with no realistic way to reverse that fact.
Maybe a good portion of my disappointment in Gene Smith is actually disappointment in my own naivety as a younger photographer. It isn't just a disappointment in Smith-The-Man, in some ways it is disappointment in Smith-The-Photographer-I-Thought-Him-To-Be.
I now look over some of his famous photo essays and realize the subjects often appear posed and the circumstances highly controlled. Smith obviously wanted to get across his point of view and used the tools available to him to do so. While not crossing the line into dishonesty, it's a little worrisome. Especially since I can remember doing some of the same things in my pictures to emphasize a point.
Anyway, thanks for the perspectives.
This thread has obviously become a victim of Godwin's Law.
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Thats the problem with humans. We idolize and forget that those we are idolizing are human too. Hell, Hemmingway was/is my literary hero and he was a total assho*e to everyone. Okay that is a generalization but not far off.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
Originally Posted by jdef
I think I could if I found her art beautiful. (I don't). Could you? From the wording of your post I can't tell whether you could or not.
To me this concept is more apropos of Wagner than Leni Riefenstahl.
It was a long time after WWII that anyone in this country, at any rate, began to rediscover Wagner. The associations between the Nazis and Wagner's music stigmatized German opera for at least 25 years after the war ended. I always thought this was ridiculous. Wagner died 50 years before the Nazis came to power.
Yes, Hitler loved Wagner's music and listened to it all the time. He was also a teetotaling, non-smoking vegetarian. Does that mean that if I don't eat meat I'm to be associated in the public mind with crimes against humanity? Should I start smoking so that I won't be accused of adopting Hitler's mannerisms? Sure those questions are ridiculous, but the logical fallacy inherent in both of them is the same as the one which kept Wagner's music out of opera houses for decades after the war.
Richard Wagner was one of the 19th century's towering geniuses - a megalomaniacal, racist, jingoistic, anti-Semitic towering genius. But his contribution to the Western operatic repertory is equally gigantic. Thank God he left us a legacy which so powerfully overshadows his life.
I've always found it appropriate that the final leitmotiv (and to me the most beautiful in the entire Ring saga) of Die Gotterdamerung is the motiv of 'Redemption'.
i don't mean to sound flippant or anything, but you should be glad you never met the guy and showed him your work ...
15+ years ago i showed a famous-photographer some of my work --- first he said "throw away my camera you are wasting your time", then after he insisted on buying me lunch ( i bought the cheapest thing on the menu and had a glass of tap-water ) and he made a scene at the sandwich shop screaming at me "my pacemaker is in my chest right here, TOUCH IT", he gave me a poster (unsigned) and wagged his finger at me saying " i take photographs like this, DON'T YOU EVER".
you should feel kind of lucky that you only met him through his photography ...
As has been mentioned..the photographers we have all admired are just people..with all the same warts and bad judgement we all have. But let's not forget those that may not be so great (OK to me they are, but to the Art World/Media they are 2nd tier) that did do great work and were just ordinary folks...L. Gilpin comes to mind, yet I am sure she had here own quirks of personality..so best we admire their work, and hope to be people - say like our Parents, GrandParents, etc..and as we all know, they had their problems too!
All the good ones were crazy . . . I take comfort in that.