Art photography according to curators...
As a photographer, I'm always very suspicious of such people and their ideas on what is and isn't important, timely and as a result, in the mind of posterity, art. The numerous 'Books Photographers MUST read RIGHT NOW!' lists often suggest John Szarkowski and his 'art of curation' monographs, shall we call them. I'm sure I'll come across as an ignorant swine to some serious students of photography here, but I don't believe his ideas about aesthetics have any relevance to our lives as creatives. 'Mirrors and Windows' is the concern of a curator, for whom categorizing work in such a way is a solution to an everyday problem. This isn't the concern of the creative photographer, whose problems never call for ceasing image making to think 'is this photograph a mirror or window?' It's counter-productive and like all creative output, photographs never fall any further than dead centre, moving according to individual interpretation, not when the overlord tells us they move. I believe photography education is warped by such thinking and the critical mind has taken precedence over the creative mind in contemporary practice.
Weegee and Atget, the self-confessed documentarians, are revered as two of this medium's creative geniuses - in the mind of curators and historians - and as a result, the mind of photographers. Forgive me, but for this reason, I believe curators are largely responsible for the banality and pseudo-documentary aesthetic of a great deal of the contemporary photography that we have the privilege to gaze upon, before it's whisked away by millionaires never to be seen again - thank god! 'Documentary as art' is one of the reasons digital has flourished and traditional materials best suited to slow, methodical (counter intuitive to documentary/artful snapshot/haphazard) approaches, are being tossed aside.
Are curators and historians responsible for the stifling of expressive exploration in contemporary photography and perhaps as a result, the 'death' of film - getting the intended results with film being bound to creative thinking?