Thursday, 7 February 2008

Elsewhere: art and artlessness

I just read this entry in the B blog (what's with all these letters?). I quite much enjoyed this bit when Blake writes about a group snapshot taken 21 years ago in the small village he is from:

"This particular photo seems to support that idea that the more "artful" a photographer attempts to be --the more referential and self-conscious-- the more quickly it is forgotten, while photographers who record reality in less stylized documentary way eventually gain recognition. Some of the greatest photographers of all time --Watkins, Jackson, Atget, Disfarmer, etc-- didn't think of themselves as artists so much as documentary recorders. The recognition as art came later, as artlessness became arty."

The picture he talks about is actually quite cute. It would be nice to see two dozens on the same line by now... but who knows where they're buried. I guess that with the ability of people to delete the crap from their digital cameras, thousands of potential future artworks are lost every week. Will we never see the proof of people picking their noses in school pictures again? Damn.

Bedtime, I managed to arrange greasy breakfast for tomorrow.

2 comments:

aNaY said...

a greasy breakfast? : D

About art and artlessness, and after reading B's entry, I always said that a photography for me is something "alive", something that transmit feelings through texture, through movement, through gestures, people, moments.... I don't care if that is called art or not. I can be in front of one of those photos in a galery that pretend to be art and feel nothing. But I can have a revolution in my heart receiving all the vibes that a grainy and dark picture with just a face and a deep look can give.

Arcady Genkin said...

The notion that time turn a snapshot into something artful is not really new. I wonder if this is going to be the same with the millions of digital images: those that will make it through the years will, likely, be plenty, and will arrive without any signs of aging.

What I don't like is taking for granted the juxtaposition of the art and the documentary. I think that the unique feature of a good photograph is precisely that it unites the documentary with the art: a bit less art, and it's just a snapshot, a bit less reality, and it's now something painting-like (digital art or whatever else).