End of another year

While getting my 'back home and catching up dose of blogging' this morning, I came across, a piece by Joerg Colberg about wish lists. While I'm no fan of Holiday/New Years lists, I was quite surprised to see that we agreed on several points.

Of course we disagreed on several as well, but that's for another discussion.

On the off chance Mr Colberg reads this entry, here's my response to "truly self-published photography books", [my free e-books have been available for some time and I hope to produce another this summer]. As for his thoughts on vernacular photography, I guess my approach, doesn't have enough portraits to count as vernacular? Some food for thought, there too though, I mean what exactly is vernacular photography, and exactly what is it in the 21st Century, is there even a difference?

But the point I want to discuss here is his wish for less typologies in 2009. How serendipitous! I have been thinking about this stuff for a while too.

Over the years I've watched with amusement and fascination several 'trends' come and go in the art/photography scene here in Melbourne, I'm sure there are others who can cite more trends as my professional creative photographic practice only began in the late 80's.

In the late 80's in Melbourne, Australia, it was all about sculpture & Photography, it seemed at the time to get a show, your work had to have some sculptural component to it. Then there was the Starn Twins. Everybody seemed to be using all sorts of materials and processes to get their point across. The early 90's saw the backlash against the beginnings of digital, which to a certain extent continues today, so work was 'obviously' analogue, not unlike, Joel Peter Witkin's work.

Lately there's been a challenge by the documentarians, and the artisans, over what is is a document and what is art. The current state of play now seems to me to be large scaled works, emphasis on large, that have an element of documentary and are usually some form of typology.

What has happened to the elements of surprise and surrealism that photography seems so good at?

Frederick Sommer, my favourite artist of the 20th and so far the 21st Centuries, understood this really well. He saw the connections between, art and life so well and vividly, he understood the camera's ability to lie and misrepresent, he understood, how to pose questions gracefully elegantly and deeply.

Perhaps, post-modernism's reach still manages to stifle notions of poetry and mysticism, amongst many other things? Or perhaps a down side to the democratisation of photography by digital is that the time required to examine and contemplate is discouraged, by the process itself, and hence less thought about the 'potential' meaning of a photograph?

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This page contains a single entry by s2art published on December 29, 2008 2:30 PM.

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