Photography At The Crossroads

” If photographs could not be read as stories, they could be read as symbols.” J Szarkowski The Photographer’s Eye (introduction)Consider the Framing aspect of photography – the fact that there are things outside of the frame that existed, but by the act of selecting what to frame you isolate the ‘object’ from it’s surroundings potentially giving it more importance.

Are my polaroids just photographs? Or are they mixed-media artworks & when displayed in a different way (other than book, online or stuck to an album or wall) would they then become an installation (a sculpture – placed in dialogue or non-dialogue with each other)

The idea of a photographic object as a process based not on synthesis, but on selection, i.e. the selection of a fragment of the real world to be transformed into a photograph – whereas all other art-forms are about creation – photography is about selection / deleting what is not required (art additive; photography subtractive)

Uta Barth – less about the camera as recording what the photographer sees & more about how the camera sees differently than the human eye & thereby questioning our own perception

As photography can not capture reality, just fragments of reality it causes us to question the truth of photography

Some things (the trivial in particular) when subject to photography’s clarity had the potential to be loaded with undiscovered meaning. Photography beautifies & instils the subject matter with importance

Photography frames & bestows what is within the frame with a sense of important – even though we know there are things that exist without the frame – but don’t we live our life through frames anyway in the way we construct our buildings etc

Photograph freezes a continuous moment as the present “stolen from the passage of time” the photograph itself also passes through time (think Josie’s Anthrotypes which will eventually decay)

We have learnt to understand from photography it’s conventions of representing time and movement

Photography’s ability to challenge our perceptions of reality by it’s various form of obscuring or angles or detail or vantage point

Do not dismiss other photographic uses as not artistic (i.e. x-ray, medical, vernacular, aerial (google satellite view)) as these could feed into some work in new and important ways. Consider Felix Nadar aerial view of Paris with Johnny Miller’s aerial views of cities bisected by a railway line showing wealth on one side & shanty town the other

Context is everything – an enlarged way of seeing that is only possible with photography

“The best photographs always inspire curiosity, rather than satisfy it.” (Soth in Schuman, 2004)

WHAT IS A PHOTOGRAPH ? plethora of mediums and forms


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