Been spending a lot of time on here!
- May 17, 2011
- Reaction score
- Can others edit my Photos
- Photos NOT OK to edit
unless the content is related to it
This is the point about size: some subjects call for a large
Size might matter but, unless the content is related to it, size should not matter. (imo)
If size matters, then why not resolution or quality of ink, frame or paper?
These are generally external to the content and shouldn't matter.
Or perhaps a 24 x 30 'Dogs Playing Poker' archivaly printed and matted in a solid gold Louis XV frame is actually art and not kitsch?
I should think it rather more likely to be a straw man.
I didn't say that the resolution, quality of ink, frame or paper aren't important choices, they are: just as the choices between fine or loose brushwork, wood or canvas, oil or watercolors, etc., also matter. Your suggestion that these don't matter because they are external to the content is misguided, imo. You seem to me to have latched on to the notion that only the core intellectual idea is important when considering a work of art; but a concept must be created, an idea must take on a physical form, and the choices made here are all part of the finished work. Otherwise I would compare your argument to the old chestnut that only what comes out of the camera can be considered photography and no post processing is acceptable. But aren't you the one who is always advocating that it is only the finished article that counts and that how one gets to this is unimportant? Correct me if I am wrong.
The relationship between content or subject matter and size is a key factor as you now suggest. Printing on a large scale just for the sake of it, perhaps in an attempt to add weight to a photo, is bad practice certainly. There are times when big is called for, but, equally, small can be every bit as effective when employed to support an idea or create a mood. In an exhibition I would like to see one of Majeed's landscapes or a cityscape by Sleist printed large enough to fill my field of view from a few feet away so that the impression of being there is realised; on the other hand, one of your own scenes of life from Asia would be nicer presented in a small format, perhaps small enough that the viewer has to go right up to it to really appreciate it and share in its intimacy.
So we can agree in some way on size, or so it seems. However, ( and you knew this was coming, I suspect) the idea that a good photo must be self-evident and not need notes of explanation is nonsense as far as I'm concerned. Your use of the quote from the commercial photographer “The shittier a photograph gets, the more words are used to describe it because it can’t stand on its own. That describes most fine art photography these days. There’s more crap coming out of the art world than there is coming out of the commercial one.” is somewhat lame. There is no substance to this type of comparison since it is akin to considering the relative merits of apples and pears or chalk and cheese. Of course a commercial photographer must get the message across without the viewer having to think twice about it. That is their job; it is what they are being paid for and there is a product to sell. Art, though, often possesses subtlety and works with hidden messages and meaning that must be looked for and unlocked. Not uncommon is arts role in edification, enlightenment and education; viewers might well find themselves coming in contact with ideas, notions and concepts that are new to them or which in their every day lives they give little or no thought to. Here a little support and guidance from a curator or artist won't go amiss. Very often, it seems to me, restrictions are placed on art (and by association, photography) that nobody would dream of doing with mathematics, science or even philosophy. In these fields it is the norm, expected even, that things be explained at least to a certain degree before independent thought and analysis can commence.
Rarely do I include any preamble to my photos on TPF, however, I have occasionally been accused of attempting to add weight to my work through my choice of title. I mention this because it seems to be in keeping with your thoughts and arguments. This ignorance of the role of the titling a piece is lamentable but I don't rise to it. Coming back to the Louvre for a moment, should Eugène Delacroix have called his masterpiece "Woman With Bare Breasts Waving Flag"? maybe, since this is the ostensible main subject matter.