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THEORYThursday, February 25, 2021
Essays | Interviews
2012 | 2011 | 2010
At this writing I have not yet visited Memphis, or northern Mississippi, and thus have no basis for judging how closely the photographs in this book might seem to resemble that part of the world and the life that is lived there. I have, however, visited other places described by works of art, and have observed that the poem or picture is likely to seem a faithful document if we get to know it first and the unedited reality afterwards - whereas a new work of art that describes something we had known well is likely to seem as unfamiliar and arbitrary as our own passport photos.

Thus if a stranger sought out in good season the people and places described here they would probably seem clearly similar to their pictures, and the stranger would assume that the pictures mirrored real life. It would be marvelous if this were the case, if the place itself, and not merely the pictures, were the work of art. It would be marvelous to think that the ordinary, vernacular life in and around Memphis might be in its quality more sharply incised, formally clear, fictive, and mysteriously purposeful than it appears elsewhere, endowing the least pretentious of raw materials with ineffable dramatic possibilities. Unfortunately, the character of our skepticism makes this difficult to believe; we are accustomed to believing instead that the meaning in a work of art is due altogether to the imagination and legerdemain of the artist.

Artists themselves tend to take absolutist and unhelpful positions when addressing themselves to questions of content, pretending with Degas that the work has nothing to do with ballet dancers, or pretending with James Agee that it has nothing to do with artifice. Both positions have the virtue of neatness, and allow the artist to answer unanswerable questions briefly and then get back to work. If an artist were to admit that he was uncertain as to what part of the content of his work answered to life and what part to art, and was perhaps even uncertain as to precisely where the boundary between them lay, we would probably consider him incompetent.

For full text please follow the link.
Το εισαγωγικό κείμενο του βιβλίου William Eggleston's Guide από τον John Szarkowski. Για τη συνέχεια του κειμένου επισκεφτείτε το παρακάτω link.>link
CHARLES H. TRAUB WRITINGS//April 04, 2012 at 10:41 am / THEORY [Essays]
Maxims from the chairThe Do's
Do something old in a new way
Do something new in an old way
Do something new in a new way,
Whatever works . . . works

Do it sharp, if you can't, call it art
Do it in the computer—if it can be done there
Do fifty of them—you will definitely get a show
Do it big, if you cant do it big, do it red
If all else fails turn it upside down,
if it looks good it might work
Do Bend your knees
If you don't know what to do, look up or down
—but continue looking
Do celebrities—if you do a lot of them, you'll get a book
Connect with others—network

Edit it yourself
Design it yourself
Publish it yourself
Edit, When in doubt shoot more
Edit again

Read Darwin, Marx, Joyce, Freud, Einstein,
Benjamin, McLuhan, and Barth
See Citizen Kane ten times
Look at everything—stare

Construct your images from the edge inward

If it's the "real world," do it in color

If it can be done digitally—do it

Be self centered, self involved, and generally entitled
and always pushing—and damned to hell for doing it

Break all rules,
except the chairman's

For full text please follow the link.
Πολύ ενδιαφέρον κείμενο του Charles H. Traub (φωτογράφου, συγγραφέα και σημαντικού ακαδημαϊκού) για την καθοδήγηση και πρακτικές συμβουλές προς νέους φωτογράφους.

Για τη συνέχεια του κειμένου επισκεφτείτε το παρακάτω link
The purpose of this monograph is to describe the influence of Walker Evans’ American Photographs (1938) on The Americans (1959) of Robert Frank. To do this, the photographs in the two books have been edited and yoked together in a series of comparisons. What follows, then, is an exercise in speculation, one born of love and respect. It is offered as a working idea rather than an assured truth, a reasoned pretext for returning to the two great books it examines.

Frank’s photographs are printed here according to the way they were cropped in the Grove Press edition (1959) of his book; my discussion of The Americans will be based on this version of it.1 A small black book beautifully printed in gravure, this edition presented Frank’s pictures as a sequence of charged, lyric poems. In the later editions of The Americans (New York, Aperture, 1969; 1978), this sense of intimacy has been lost, both because the printing of the book changed, and because many of the photographs which had been precisely framed in the Grove version have been shown by Frank in these editions in uncropped variations or some other form. This has had the affect of compromising the impression of controlled ferocity that marked the earlier book, where every picture, regardless of the complexity of its structure, was clear and realized. Since the Grove book also describes Frank’s original response to present purposes, the definitive edition.

Many of the matched photographs reproduced here obviously, and remarkably, echo one another; they demonstrate that, to a significant degree, Frank used Evans’ work as an iconographical sourcebook for his own pictures. The photographs that make up the rest of the comparisons, however, more loosely resemble one another, since they have been paired to describe something less tangible than clear correspondences of subject-matter, and, because of this, have been formally matched on the basis of only minor visual similarities. In a general sense, these comparisons are meant to remind us that the true shape of influence is one composed of feeling as well as conscious recognition, and, more particularly, to suggest that Frank found in Evans’ work not only a guide to what he might photograph in America, but a vision of how he might understand what he saw here. On pages 40 and 41, for example, the plate-like space that both pictures delineate is less relevant to the purposes of this book than the common sympathy the photographs express for the harrowing sorrow of being black in this country. And while a tin relic and a flag (20, 21) may be difficult to reconcile as a comparison, they are here because, apart from being stunning photographs, they speak of a mutual skepticism – the Ionic column is crushed, the flag immense and torn – and of both photographers’ gift for symbol-making.

For full text please follow the link.
Κείμενο του Tod Papageorge όπου περιγράφει την επίδραση του βιβλίου American Photographs του Walker Evans στο βιβλίο The Americans του Robert Frank.

Για την ανάγνωση του κειμένου επισκεφτείτε το παρακάτω link.
Το διαδικτυακό περιοδικό WIP (Work In Progress), σε συνεργασία με την ομάδα ART/IF/ACT, παρουσιάζει στο νέο του τεύχος το φωτογραφικό masterclass του Antoine D'Agata, μέλους του πρακτορείου Magnum Photos, που πραγματοποιήθηκε στην Αθήνα τον Νοέμβριο του 2010.

Για να διαβάσετε ή κατεβάσετε το τεύχος 11 του WIP χρησιμοποιείστε τον ακόλουθο σύνδεσμο

The online magazine WIP (Work In Progress), in collaboration with ART/IF/ACT team, present in its new issue the photographic masterclass directed by Antoine D'Agata / Magnum Photos, held in Athens in November 2010.

To read or download WIP's issue 11 please use the following link
//September 23, 2010 at 03:44 am / THEORY [Essays]
1st Prize Spot News, Singles: John Moore, USA, Getty Images. Assassination of Benazir Bhutto “The most political decision you make is where you direct people’s eyes”
Wim Wenders, The Act of seeing.

“The tremendous development of photojournalism has contributed practically nothing to the revelation of
the truth about conditions in this world. On the contrary photography, in the hands of the bourgeoisie, has
become a terrible weapon against the truth. The vast amount of pictured material that is being disgorged
daily by the press and that seems to have the character of truth serves in reality only to obscure the facts.
The camera is just as capable of lying as the typewriter” - Bertolt Brecht,1931

A recent photograph, taken during the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, captures the
essence of the photojournalistic image as it was originally conceived by early pioneers like Robert Capa.
Taken an instant after the bomb detonated, at a distance of just 10 meters from it’s epicentre, it is not really
a photograph at all, but a blur, a piece of smudged evidence that testifies to the fact that our journalist was
there, as close as he could possibly be to the lethal action, when the shutter opened and closed.

Photographs hardly ever break the news these days. In Scotland Yard’s recent investigation into the series
of events that lead to Bhutto’s death, videos taken on mobile phones, rather than the work of professional
photojournalists (like this one above), were used as evidence. In recent years some of the most striking
visual images of major news events, such as 9/11, Abu Ghraib, the Tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina, have
been captured by ordinary people who just happen to be there with their mobile phones or video cameras.
Where does this leave the photojournalist who has been acting as our brave proxy, sending us reports from
the front line of life since the Spanish Civil War?

For full text please follow the link.
Κείμενο των Adam Broomberg και Oliver Chanarin, όπου αποκαλύπτουν τη λειτουργία της κριτικής επιτροπής του διαγωνισμού World Press Photo (2007). 'Οπως αναφέρουν στο κειμενό τους, "μια καλή ευκαιρία για την εκτίμηση σημαντικών ενδείξεων ενός φωτογραφικού ύφους σε κρίση".

Για την ανάγνωση του κειμένου επισκεφτείτε το παρακάτω link.

PAUL GRAHAM, THE UNREASONABLE APPLE//June 23, 2010 at 00:14 am / THEORY [Essays]
Writing by Paul Graham"This month I read a review in a leading US Art Magazine of a Jeff Wall survey book, praising how he had distinguished himself from previous art photography by:

“Carefully constructing his pictures as provocative often open ended vignettes, instead of just snapping his surroundings”

Anyone who cares about photography ‘s unique and astonishing qualities as a medium should be insulted by such remarks, especially here, now, in 2010, in this country, in this city, which has embraced photography like no other."

For full text please follow the link.
Ένα κείμενο του γνωστού φωτογράφου Paul Graham, στο οποίο υπερασπίζεται με τρόπο αιχμηρό την αποκαλούμενη straight φωτογραφία απέναντι στην υποβάθμιση του ρόλου και της σημασίας της εντός του σύγχρονου καλλιτεχνικού πλαισίου.

Για την ανάγνωση του κειμένου επισκεφτείτε το παρακάτω link.