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  1. #101
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    Your're certainly entitled to your own opinion on it, but you are stating that it is shameless and therefore wrong to "self promote", my opinion on that is, utter nonsense. It's called being in "business" for yourself--------what is wrong with that? They were no doubt trying to put money in their pockests by selling prints just as many may do today. The manifesto was simply a core belief and a passionate one for those practitioners, just like it may be for some today, me included. I do not care for the "fuzzy wuzzies" myself or otherwise turning a photograph into something that does not look like a photograph. IMO, anytime I may post a photograph on the web, I am, in a manner of speaking, promoting "straight" photography in my own right but without the "manifesto", who needs one these days anyway.
    I meant no slight nor insult to f64's motivation nor in general to the art of self promotion. Shameless self promotion is truly honorable and normally a requirement for success in business.

    It is though, IMO, important to understand that f64's primary goal was to do more shows and sell more prints.

    Understanding that it was primarily a business decision rather than an artistic one gives me an example of a shrewd business move. Put that in the context of the time understanding that New York markets had already moved away from pictorialism and that the west coast had not and we see that the f/64 group smartly seized the opportunity to be on the leading edge of and mold the changes that would eventually come west.

    We could if we chose to, emulate their business decisions and ask ourselves where the world seems to be headed artistically, just as they did, and we could put together a cooperative to promote ourselves, just as they did, and we could define our group standards so that galleries who welcomed one of us would welcome the rest, just as they did.

    Group f64, if starting out today, could use that same business model but they would probably define a very different artistic standard.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  2. #102
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    We could if we chose to, emulate their business decisions and ask ourselves where the world seems to be headed artistically, just as they did, and we could put together a cooperative to promote ourselves, just as they did, and we could define our group standards so that galleries who welcomed one of us would welcome the rest, just as they did
    Brilliant! Sounds like a plan. This may be the thought that's been escaping me all along...

  3. #103
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Brilliant! Sounds like a plan. This may be the thought that's been escaping me all along...
    Yes they were.

    I'm game too.

    I was missing it too for a long time even with it "hidden right there in plain sight". (My wife call this type of thing "male refrigerator blindness".)
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  4. #104
    CPorter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    ....Understanding that it was primarily a business decision rather than an artistic one................
    This is where we disagree most.......I don't believe this in the slightest. You are calling AA's departure from pictorialism to straight photography motivated by business rather than artistice preferrence. Seems to be the same as saying----------he really liked pictorialism more, but felt he could make more money by shooting "straight", as it were. How could that be when pictorialism was the "thing", it seems anyway, at the time. I don't pretend to be an art historian or anything like that, but I just disagree with the premise, but we could probably go on forever about it without changing any minds.

  5. #105
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    This is where we disagree most.......I don't believe this in the slightest. You are calling AA's departure from pictorialism to straight photography motivated by business rather than artistice preferrence. Seems to be the same as saying----------he really liked pictorialism more, but felt he could make more money by shooting "straight", as it were. How could that be when pictorialism was the "thing", it seems anyway, at the time. I don't pretend to be an art historian or anything like that, but I just disagree with the premise, but we could probably go on forever about it without changing any minds.
    I don't think it's a crass assessment like that. Group f/64 was formed to promote works like that of Ansel Adams, and it just happened to come at the right time and he was struck like lightning with its success.

  6. #106
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    This is where we disagree most.......I don't believe this in the slightest. You are calling AA's departure from pictorialism to straight photography motivated by business rather than artistice preferrence. Seems to be the same as saying----------he really liked pictorialism more, but felt he could make more money by shooting "straight", as it were. How could that be when pictorialism was the "thing", it seems anyway, at the time. I don't pretend to be an art historian or anything like that, but I just disagree with the premise, but we could probably go on forever about it without changing any minds.
    I didn't intend or want to infer that AA had a preference either way and I actually see no reason to think that he preferred pictorialism.

    If I were to suggest that he had preference for a different artistic sensibility, other than straight photography, or for a different way to make a living, I would have say it was piano, not pictorialism.

    With that said I also believe it would be hard to find a significant number of successful business people in all of history that did not adapt to the whims and realities of the market they served.

    That doesn't mean AA and his buddies didn't help define or shape the market, it also doesn't suggest that he liked a different style, it just means that the AA and his buddies made good business decisions and occasionally compromised with each other and the market.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  7. #107
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    I don't think it's a crass assessment like that. Group f/64 was formed to promote works like that of Ansel Adams, and it just happened to come at the right time and he was struck like lightning with its success.
    I would actually like to think that AA and his buddies were shrewd enough and aware enough and connected enough to see the changes coming rather than simply getting lucky. I think there is even some evidence for that though I couldn't say where. It's hiding in plain sight somewhere probably.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  8. #108
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    OK, I honestly think that there is a place for both f/64 and the abstract, fuzzy pictorial approach. Since photography encompasses all aesthetic venues there HAS to be room for all to attend the party.

    Now, pejorative assessments as the the monetary aspect of a particular "cult's" real seeking may, or may not be true. That becomes ancillary to the 'aesthetics' that is of primary importance. But, we all should heartily agree, both contributed mightily to the genre. Were the 'conspirators' purer than Caesar's wife? Is that of primary importance? I make no direct answer to those questions but merely present them as 'subordinate addenda' to the underlying aesthetic. - David Lyga

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    Now, pejorative assessments as the the monetary aspect of a particular "cult's" real seeking may, or may not be true. That becomes ancillary to the 'aesthetics' that is of primary importance. But, we all should heartily agree, both contributed mightily to the genre.
    David, I agree with you here. As a musician primarily, I can attest that music groups (good ones) usually form for aesthetic reasons. That said, once a group has been formed with an aesthetic that I like, I hope the group does indeed "present in frequent shows"!

    Great thread.

  10. #110
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    You know, jakeblues, I did not even make a moral assessment here. WHETHER or NOT the formation of the f 64 group was to create a reason for obtaining money is really beside the point as far as the underlying aesthetic is concerned.

    We would ALL like to think that more refined and worthy alterior motives played the leading role here but, even with my love of classical music, probably the commissions and 'whom you knew' mattered more to the composers than purists like David Lyga would like to believe. Life is life and creating sublimation where such is neither warranted nor deserved holds danger for the sake of the truth. Truisms are not always true. - David Lyga

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