While it may be angst and navel-gazing, I have seen pretty much the same thing from other sources. But it does make me question, how does art go forward?
All art goes through different periods. Music, painting, drawing, sculpture, what have you. The thing about photography is that it started fully formed, and only the materials have progressed. The dark box is still the dark box, with a lens at the front and something else at the rear to receive the light.
Mr. Colberg suggests that photography is stuck in place, held by "nostalgia and conservatism." From what I've seen, the biggest problem is breaking away from the lens, dark box, and sensitive material. All cameras, no matter what the size, still have the same layout, no matter if they are gargantuan and on a dedicated trailer, or tiny and on a telephone. It's just the nature of the beast.
The shutter opens, and an image arrives, fully formed. From the banal to the extraordinary, it's all there. So then comes the subject matter. What hasn't been photographed? From a pulse of light to a planet, photography has been to the moon and beyond. It has been to peace, to war, to the mountains and the bedroom.
And yet at its heart, it's still that good ol' snapshot. Mr. Colberg thinks that photography is moving "sideways" by those who create abstract works or who "distress" the print. But that's actually been done long ago, and it isn't new. Where is the "artistic risk" in photography?
The "artistic risk" is always in the mind of the person creating the artwork, and perhaps also the physical risk in making the artwork.