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Thread: Jeff Wall in the WSJ (with his Linhof)

  1. #21
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Jeff Wall in the WSJ (with his Linhof)

    One of these days I will probably just disappear from here...
    Won't we all, Lenny. Won't we all.

  2. #22
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Jeff Wall in the WSJ (with his Linhof)

    I have great admiration for Jeff Walls approach, very unique for his time and consistent in his vision.

  3. #23

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    Re: Jeff Wall in the WSJ (with his Linhof)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Van Nes View Post
    One is meant to feel stupid as one has missed the point.
    If I have to work at it that hard - not interested.
    I really think that the former point is simply not true, and the latter ... well, if it's being handed to you on a plate, you're not left with much to chew on are you?. Sometimes you have to work a bit. Or maybe you want all your aesthetic pleasures handed to you on a plate. Fair enough I suppose. chacun a son gout and all that ...

  4. #24

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    Re: Jeff Wall in the WSJ (with his Linhof)

    conceptual art is far from obscure!!

  5. #25

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    Re: Jeff Wall in the WSJ (with his Linhof)

    Maybe more of an issue with the photo market?
    The only trouble with doin' nothing is you can't tell when you get caught up

  6. #26

    Re: Jeff Wall in the WSJ (with his Linhof)

    Arts is subjective, photography is arts. There are a lot of arts that I do not like, including some photography.

    I don't eat burgers, donuts, or a thousands other dishes, but they are still food, enjoyable by others.

  7. #27

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    Re: Jeff Wall in the WSJ (with his Linhof)

    Art is not subjective! Maybe some art is, but photography is known for objectivity, itīs itīs language. There are layers of understanding and simbolisms but most photographs are quite objective, Wall pictures are pretty clear... and really well made.

  8. #28

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    Re: Jeff Wall in the WSJ (with his Linhof)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    Gudmundur, this is exactly the point.... I don't think Jeff Wall is great at anything, except perhaps marketing. He is not at all "true" to the medium.

    These conversations go on and on because we haven't defined what photography is. Some folks come from a commercial background, where it is all about 'getting the shot'. My history includes studying with mentors who valued how "deep" an image is, how close one can get to a portrait of someone that reveals as much of who they are as possible. This remains my bias. Jeff Wall is after absolutely no emotional content whatsoever. He is successful at that; but viewed from my bias, he is a total failure. It all depends on what one is after, how something is judged.

    Another point you make is that he is successful financially. We would all like to be successful in this way, but it isn't a photographic criteria, IMO. There are plenty of truly superb photographers who never made a dime. Of course, judged by a commercial photographer, they might think that this statement is nuts.

    It all has to do with what we think photography is.

    I'm not envious. I would not want to be Jeff Wall, a person who makes work that is about nothing. I still want to be happy at the end of my life that I live a life worth living.
    I must admit I do struggle to appreciate Wall's work as well as Gregory Crewdson's. I can get past the fact that for me a totally constructed photograph is essentially meaningless. I guess I'm hung up on the idea that a good photograph is evidential in nature, a document of something that existed or happened. Conceptual photos alluding to some constructed or implied meaning just don't resonate with me because I know what I'm looking at is totally fake. I like to think of photography as essentially an outward looking medium, and most of these type of images really look inwards and are an extension of the artist's own ego.

  9. #29

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    Re: Jeff Wall in the WSJ (with his Linhof)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias Key View Post
    I must admit I do struggle to appreciate Wall's work as well as Gregory Crewdson's. I can get past the fact that for me a totally constructed photograph is essentially meaningless. I guess I'm hung up on the idea that a good photograph is evidential in nature, a document of something that existed or happened. Conceptual photos alluding to some constructed or implied meaning just don't resonate with me because I know what I'm looking at is totally fake. I like to think of photography as essentially an outward looking medium, and most of these type of images really look inwards and are an extension of the artist's own ego.
    I'm not against constructed images. It's nothing new, they have been doing that since the beginning... I am not against conceptual photography in general. I like interesting, new things. I am interested in learning and growing. I will say that my reactions to Wall's work are colored by the lengthy (and boring) descriptions in Michael Fried's book.

    Michael Fried also tries to suggest this whole manifesto that photographers should only photograph people that aren't looking at them, that it has to be some sort of pure image where the people or other objects in the image can't interact with the viewer. Without emotional interaction, every viewer should see the same thing. (I doubt it.)

    I find the work done in this way to be sterile, and without interest. I have used the action of photographing to become hyper-aware for a moment, to make sure that everything in the frame belongs there, to notice as much as I possibly could for that moment. I don't want to photograph things, or people, that I am not engaged, or connected, with. Why not just point a camera anywhere? Let's have no design, no caring, no emotional content whatsoever.

    I'll grant that it is an interesting exercise. However, an exercise does not make a genre, and I think this one is bound to fail. That's just my opinion.
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  10. #30

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    Re: Jeff Wall in the WSJ (with his Linhof)

    gee, XIX century discussions...

    i ran!

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