Really? Is one more valid than the other? I certainly dont't look to photography for the good or acceptable but an emotional response which I subsequently feel enriched by, whether moved in a positive or negative way. Have I gained insight, llearned something or found a new angle? I agree with the former poster that there is a quality in Salgados images which allows him to process the cliches and ideas/concepts lacking novelty in a way that does demand a second look. Everything he does is tired, yet his work is not, to me that is quite an achievement.
Originally Posted by roteague
Regading Les's post, I cannot of course disagree as I don't know him or any of his associates. I can in some respects understand S.S's cynicism regarding the 'realities' he covers and the precieved causes. As a (young) person who has witnessed conflicts in Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan, I too find myself extremely cynical. Certain sympathies evaporate and there is a desensitisation to the emotional components which some find novel, challenging, worrying etc, but often interest in others. In some respects the details get lost amongst a greater understanding the more messes you witness. There tend to be the same selfish, unpleasant human tendencies wherever you go. Factored into this is that a human only has so much to emotion that can be kept 'alive' and when moving from one apocalypse to another, you just cannot keep giving it out and chewing it over. Often the enthusiasm to engage on the part of those who find such concepts novel is far beyond the capabilty of those more wearied by it all. I dont know if this is related to the same cynicism Les is referring to; I suspect not. I suspect Les is talking about something different that is more exploitation related as I would imagine all I have said is taken for granted. I guess you can be wearied but respectful or simply avoid the debate and decline the request for answers. Doing so would not make you a cynic. Les, ca you elaborate?
Regarding his work, I do love the prints. I do love his ability to add a perverse epic romance to things which should not have such appeal. His images are arguably effective because, en masse, they captivate but certainly do not represent thee reality which he purports to over. If he was realistic he would undoubtedly be less effective both as a businessman and a service provider. Perhaps his romance further adds a sense of injustice and contradiction to what we know certainly is not romantic or beautiful.