Thanks for your response Simon. Thomas Joshua Cooper is definitely up there in my mind and like John Blakemore I feel often overlooked, perhaps merely because their subject matter is the wild landscape.
Originally Posted by BJP Editor
I'm a great admirer of Nadav Kander's work and love Mark Power's Shipping Forecast series too.
I completely understand your reasoning for not including what many here would call 'traditional' photography and personally, I'm less interested in the modernist & formal concerns of years gone by, which we often associate with this work. The only way I can describe my view of BJP is what I see as a heavy emphasis on straight photography, which addresses its subjects literally as opposed to the transformative/metaphorical/play on perception approach - which is why I call it documentary & journalistic in its concerns. In actual fact I think that stylistically, a lot of work today just looks documentary. A problem that came with the New Topographics?
The first names you gave, including Stephen Shore and Nadav Kander, I think all work within the 'cultural' or 'social' landscape and some of this work I like very much. By 'landscape' here though, I really mean the natural landscape - which is notably unfairly treated by the contemporary art world. For many with a Contemporary view of photography and what does and doesn't fall into it, it seems the natural landscape by default is simply dismissed as traditional photography, but you mention Thomas Joshua Cooper, who is one of my favourites and very much a natural landscape photographer. He falls into the metaphorical/symbolic category and like Blakemore, I feel these suggestions in the work mark it more than what it is subjectively. I can only say that it would be great to see more of this kind of photography championed as a valid and timely form of expression. It seems like too many people coming out of photography school have a deranged aversion to nature.
I'm 24 and very much interested in what's relevant and of our time, but feel much contemporary work is metropolitan to a fault. Many who work in the natural landscape, very capable and thoughtful photographers, are almost forced to retreat to a more traditional mode of image making because of a certain snootiness and blinkered idea about this subject matter. I believe Blakemore moved into still life work for similar reasons.
Last edited by batwister; 08-10-2012 at 01:17 PM. Click to view previous post history.