It's interesting the high degree to which personal taste can colour one's perspective though. For example, I too find myself being quite down on curators, publishers, critics and galleries when it comes to photography. But I am actually coming from the opposite end of the spectrum. I see it in totally the opposite way! I love Shore's pictures. He's one of the photographers I enjoy most, along with Tice and others. The photographs are about time and place, and for me they are perfect for that. The compositions and renderings of detail allow me to get totally lost in them, as though I were standing there. There is so much to look at, over and over again. I never get bored, no matter how many times I pour over the images. They render the vernacular in an exquisitely real way and I simply can't get enough of them. From my perspective, it always seems like people have little interest in this type of thing, and way too much interest in so called "boundary-pushing". That is all I see when I read magazines, go to shows etc. If your pictures are sharp, you're boring. If you fix and wash your prints, you're boring. If you use a lens, you're boring. And on and on it goes. I flip the pages and see people heralded as expressive geniuses because they burn holes in paper negatives with aerial lenses, find old stained unfixed prints in a shoebox, take pictures of dismembered old dolls (there's at least one of these in every issue of every magazine), use 15 toners on one print etc. People fall all over themsleves for this "progressive" stuff because a gallery owner knows how to spin a ridicuously profound story. To me, this is the stuff that's boring. I look at it and all I see is either a deliberate effort to do something different, regardless of the outcome, or a cover-up for a total lack of vision and/or technique.
Originally Posted by batwister
So there you have it. Same frustration, totally opposite experience. Interesting discussion though.