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This blog is intended to showcase my pictures or those of other photographers who have moved beyond the pretty picture and for whom photography is more than entertainment - photography that aims at being true, not at being beautiful because what is true is most often beautiful..

>>>> Comments, commentary and lively discussions, re: my writings or any topic germane to the medium and its apparatus, are vigorously encouraged.

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FYI ~ how's your ontology doing?

My projects - a 'warning' from the wifeclick to embiggen
OK class, today's assignment is to read this little ditty.

In truth, it's not really a 'little ditty'. It's a long-ish essay that is written in some (at times) rather obtuse academic-speak but please don't let that discourage you from reading it - just open up a dictionary ( and dive in.

The reason I encourage you to read this piece is simple - just about everything you need to know about photography as an Art form is contained in this essay. Really. I'm not kidding around. More than a month's worth of fodder / food for thought for journal entries on The Landscapist can be had in this ultimately interesting and challenging piece of writing.

Reader Comments (6)

Bedford takes three pages to say that there's no good art criticism of photography because art critics--including himself--don't understand it. I'd pretty much agree. (Of course, I happen to think most photographers don't understand it very well, either.)

December 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Durbin

"The ultimate referent is, therefore, not the form or content of his images, but the authorial concept."


"The photograph is simply the incidental conclusion, the polished index of a more complex backstory to be researched and unpacked by the viewer/critic. In this sense, the photograph is not independently productive of meaning but is rather the document that records and implies the extended process behind the image."

Bingo, again. Unless there is no process behind the image, and then what?

"Photographers who instrumentalize photography as one component of a broader practice have therefore accrued far more critical and commercial traction than photographers who hue more closely to the essentialist, “observe and record” model of photography, simply because their work is more accessible and intelligible to art critics. The latter process of seeing, electing, and shooting is too connoisseurial, too ineffable, and too intuitive to qualify as an intelligent and intelligible conceptual strategy according to the imperatives of the contemporary art world, where a premium is placed on conceptual sophistication. As Maurice Berger has noted, such work is assumed to be “weak in intentionality.” "

Is this so much a matter of actually doing something outside of photography that is really different than what most of use do? Or just a result of beating you a chest a little more about what you do?

December 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

I wish I could put a sign saying "Mark's projects" on something a little more substantive.

December 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterthe wife

Mea Culpa!

Gravitas seems to think my comment was a cheap shot. I hope people realize that is not a cheap shot at all, but in fact is a very expensive shot...

December 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterthe wife

If a work of art is not criticized in the woods does it still exist in the woods.

December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBill Gotz

If a work of art is not criticized in the woods, is it still art?

December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Doonan

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