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  1. #1

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    Which photographer would you choose?

    While I was in grad school in the mid 80's I reluctantly became in charge of the visiting artist program. I was the grad student representative. My job was to help select visiting artists for the various art disciplines. The job of the visiting artist was to exhibit work, to give a gallery talk, to interact with graduate students and to generally allow a bit of themselves to rub off. I was, at first, not enthusiastic about this increased responsibility but slowly I saw it as a golden opportunity. When the time came to select a visiting photographic artist I made the choice without consulting any other grad students. I chose Emmet Gowin. It was a very selfish choice. My reason was quite simple. I wanted to see his prints. Reproductions just didn't do it. I also wanted to see him working in the darkroom and using his "contour printing mask". My selection was, to put it mildly, not popular. "He's too conservative" "He's too apolitical" He's too non- conceptual". The objections went on and on. I stood my ground. I didn't make any friends in the program when I told them that the real reason they did not want Gowin was because they were afraid of him. I said that they feared him because when they looked at his work they realized how good it was and they knew they were not willing to pay the price to become this accomplished (grist for another thread?).
    Anyway, after much haggling Gowin did accept the offer made by the University and fulfilled all the obligations. I had accomplished all of my objectives and the other students became completely satisfied and in fact charmed by him.
    My question, if you were King or Queen and could make the same decision I did, which living photographer would you pick and why?

    Severian, Autarch of Urth, Journeyman in the Society of the Seekers of Truth and Penitience , aka Jack B

  2. #2
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Salgado

  3. #3

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    We had a visiting artist at the school I worked at for the past five years. He showed up the first day and has not left. He got his teaching certificate because he had no idea how much he loved teaching. He takes time off every so often to set up a public sculpture, or finish and deliver a painting. Teaching is his hobby and does not pay his bills. His impact on the students will probably not be noticed by them for a few years but what he does in the classroom is amazing.

    I would want a real hands on alt photographer. Someone with a range of abilities and the ability to communicate. I also don't want someone who is "famous". Kerik springs to mind. Or Sandy King, but his expertise might shoot right over our seventh graders' heads. Hell, personal hygene shoots over many a seventh grader's head.
    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

  4. #4
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  5. #5
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by severian View Post
    I chose Emmet Gowin. It was a very selfish choice. My reason was quite simple. I wanted to see his prints. Reproductions just didn't do it. I also wanted to see him working in the darkroom and using his "contour printing mask". My selection was, to put it mildly, not popular. "He's too conservative" "He's too apolitical" He's too non- conceptual".
    Conservative? Apolitical? Non-Conceptual? If anything, he is the opposite of all these epithets, at least from what I can judge out of his pictures on the net. Thanks for making me discover a great artist!

    But back to the original question: I guess it depends what university I would rule. I don't think NYU people would be impressed anymore by Stephen Shore, but I can see him being a good influence on a smaller town's community college students.
    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

    My APUG Portfolio

  6. #6
    Will S's Avatar
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    Paul Caponigro without a doubt.

    Best,

    Will
    "I am an anarchist." - HCB
    "I wanna be anarchist." - JR

  7. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Had you asked this question two days ago, I'd have said Ruth Bernhard, but only if I could have turned the clock back about 20 years so she'd still be lucid, and capable of doing a darkroom demo. Since she is no longer with us, unfortunately, I'll have to punt for another option.

  8. #8
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Wish I'd been a student there when you had Emmet Gowin!

    Nowadays... Andrea Modica. I've done a workshop with her, and recently went to a lecture she gave in Boston, but would love to see her at work, and making her platinum prints.

  9. #9

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    I think Gowin was an intelligent decision on your part.

  10. #10
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    ... caught my punt. I'd have John Dugdale come and present. Not only because I admire his work, but because I admire his courage as a person and his character. He lives honestly and openly with his HIV disease, and his impending blindness, and while it certainly impacts his work, he doesn't make a bunch of 'oh-woe-is-me' art either. I found it incredibly inspiring to sit and talk with him for two days, and hear and see how much artistic energy comes out of a man and finds expression with a Deardorff studio 8x10 on a studio stand when he has less than 5% vision in only one eye, and about 75% hearing in only one ear. And now he's working on a series of 20x24 albumen prints!

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