Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Photoshop does not always rule

Have a look at this image. I can't hotlink it, because it's blocked, but if you go to the site, you'll see some truly amazing photography.

A lot of photography—au naturel or composited with tools like Photoshop—even that exhibited at fairly broad level, at exhibitions large and small, prestigious or just 'local', is, not to put too fine a point on it, lifeless, utterly dull and devoid of aesthetic value. It's the kind of crap you walk past at exhibitions, and you may stop and ponder, such as not to appear like a cretin, and as you do this, dragged to the place by who-knows-who, you try to see if it says anything to you at all; if you can maybe squeeze a little bit of meaning out of the dismal offerings.

It's something one usually remains silent about, because it's not socially acceptable to voice one's misgivings or assessments of the total void-ness of the offerings; if only not to offend the artist. That's the job of mean spirited reviewers. Besides, who knows? There may be 'meaning' in this and you just are the one who can't see it. But that last sentence is tokenism. In my experience, my personal lack of discovery of content in much of this work, like so much in the 'Arts', is usually shared by others. It just takes some effort to get them to open up an admit it.

There's also the argument—for me this is maybe more relevant in a literary and motion-picture context—that the person engaging in activities assessed by others as falling under the 'artistic' rubrik may himself or herself be producing a lot of similar...ahh, let me call it 'stuff'... that has meaning mainly, or maybe only really, to the creator. So, gotta be careful judging! Gotta leave that to critics; they will not be taken to task for producing shit. They don't, after all, create anything but wind and/or meaningless symbols on a written page.

I digress, as I often do.

The bottom line is, go to this photographer's website and have a poke around. As for me, I can't read a single line of what's written, but the images are more than sufficient. There's something about Russian (and those from nations associated with what used to be 'Russia') photographers, and what they see through the lenses of their cameras, that maybe unrivaled anywhere on Earth.

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