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diptych # 25 (kitchen life # 37-38) ~ explanation entry, pt. 1

Fruit + scissors / scissors + fruit ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack Park • click to embiggenAs I was working my way through my explanatory entry, re: picture windows ~ this is a quiz, I arrived at the conclusion - after writing a zillion words - that there was no way the explanation could be accomplished in a single entry. So, without further ado, it's on with part 1 ...

The genesis of the quiz entry is to be found in an email from my son, the cinemascapist. In that email, he provided a link to an NYC gallery exhibit, Frame of View, by David S. Allee. His only comment (tongue-in-cheek?) other than the link was, "he stole your idea".

While I do not for a moment believe my idea, aka: my picture windows work, was in any way stolen, plagiarized, or in any fashion associated with Allee's pictures. Nevertheless, there is a remarkable similarity between his pictures and mine. However, that written, there is also a difference inasmuch as, on the whole, Allee's window pictures are much more window frame centric than are my window pictures.

Be all of that as it may, what kinda got me going was the exhibition press release wherein there is artspeak aplenty ...

"... shifting perceptions of reality ... transforms three-dimensional views into the illusion of a two-dimensional picture plane ... historical debates between pictorialism and straight photography ... recontextualize and reexamine ... challenge the viewer to reconsider what is in front of them ... the changing perception and definition of images, photography, reality, and illusion..."

My first reaction was that I needed to get my work circulating. My second reaction was that the press release was pretty accurate description of my picture windows work. My third reaction was that I could never have written an similar artspeak laden statement about my work. My fourth reaction was that, before I get my work circulating, I need to find an artspeak ghost writer who can fashion artist statements for all of my bodies of work - I mean, hey, you gotta play to the market if you wanna play.

That written, my fifth and most important reaction was to create a blog entry wherein it was my intent to instigate a reaction to my picture window work - a reaction from you, the readers of the landscapist, whom I believe not to be from the academic / BFA / MFA world. Or, in other words, from other picture makers as opposed to the concept-is-everything crowd.

Not that concept is a bad thing. My various bodies of picture making work are undertaken with, at the very least, a hint of concept involved.

However, for me the pictures are the thing - I strive to make pictures which draw the viewer in, first and foremost, for what is seen, i.e., the print itself. Hopefully, once the viewer is drawn in visually, he/she can be further drawn in in the cause of discovering / discerning meaning. Meaning which is, of course, related to concept.

All of that written, I'll wrap up part 1 with a question (not a quiz). Actually, 2 related questions:

question 1) - would you have thought as long and hard about my picture windows if I hadn't requested that you do so?

question 2) - how much do you contemplate, beyond the visually obvious, any pictures which you view?

FYI, part 2 is in the works.

Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 05:02PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | Comments10 Comments

Reader Comments (10)

Q1 ,,, I only spent a minute thinking about the pictures. I figure if it takes me longer than that to get an impression of what is going on in a [series of] photos then either the photos are too obscure or I don't relate to them.

Q2 ... Hmmm. If it's a single image then I probably only look at it from a visual perspective. But when presented with a series / body of work then I suspect the photographer has something deeper in mind. Unless it's landscapes, of course ;)

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSven W

I always think of John Pfal's Picture Windows series...

http://johnpfahl.com/pages/extras/ArtStatement.html#picturewindows

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick S.

1. Probably. I often find myself looking for common threads in a body of work, and those photos fairly clearly had a thread to find.

2. It depends on the pictures of course, but I generally will try follow the artist's breadcrumbs as far as they go if I can.

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpepeye

Q1: Probably not.
Q2: Not as much as I should, but then "should" takes one into such dubious territory.

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterB Parks

It all depends on whether the picture touches me on an emotional level. Sometimes the reason why that may happen is inexplicable - to me at least. I am quite reflective, so I am quite likely to be considering a picture/body-of-work that I've seen when I'm out on a bike ride, painting a fence or doing any such other meditative activity. So for example, a number of times over the last few years I've considered your window series when I've seen something similar that would probably have provoked a response from you. Considering images in this way, certainly helps me to continue my own photographic journey. Your work in particular has had a significant influence on me, not just the content of the images, but your style, consistencies and purpose. Art-speak is not for me. If I find myself writing in that way, I will feel pretentious and self conscious and reach for the delete key. Some images are special and I find that I can still see them in my mind after a considerable time. I am certain that this semi-conscious way of considering other photographers work is very useful and for me a productive method.

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin Griffiths

When Artspeak turns into what I think of as Artbollocks I generally switch off and turn my attention to something else. The bits you quoted don't sound too bad but I fail to see what Artspeak adds that can't be conveyed in plain English.

Anyway, Q1: no I wouldn't have thought nearly as much, although what triggered me to put the effort in was making a commitment to myself to pen a response. Q2: not that often, at least not in response to work I view online. I put a lot more effort in with books. But then I'm quite lazy.

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

I looked at the Frame of View photos by David S. Allee. I liked his images but I couldn't see a narrative between them; they are more like a collection of "greatest hits".

I suspect the silly ArtGibberish that accompanies his photos is a feeble attempt to paper over the fact that there is no narrative. I would have been more impressed if he wrote something like: "I love the perspective of framing the world thru a window frame; here are some of my favourites from the last x years. Enjoy! ".

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSven W

I love a mystery...obscurity not so much. I like images. The goobleygook about the images not so much. Usually I read that artspeak stuff and say "What!" Who are they trying to convince: me or themselves. If you got something to say through your imagery, fine. Some people get it/ Some don`t. That`s life.

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClifford Gwinn

1. Yes, I think so.
2. Depends on the picture. Sometimes only long enough to recognize what the picture is of, sometimes quite some time and even returning to the photo a few times to revisit.

And by the way, I do see a bit of obvious similarity between your series and Allee's work, but the differences are more obvious. Allee seems to live in a made-up world... something that is contrary to your modus operandi.

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Linn

no need to hire someone to write for you. Try this artspeak generator first. Mine was pretty spot-on in that I didn't understand a word of it.

http://500letters.org/form_15.php

February 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteraaron

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