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On Fri, 6 Oct 2000, Jack Fulton wrote:
> > If photography is supposed to be an "imitation of reality" there goes 100
> > years of claiming it's *art* down the drain. Or back to Bougereau (for
> > those who can spell it).
> Now, now Judy, who says *art* isn't an imitation of reality. Is not Chardin
> big this year? What about most of the history of *art*? What about those
> Dordogne cave drawings?
Aside from all the modifications of painting's "reality" throughout
history -- from the Etruscans to the Egyptians to the Euphasians, the
function of "art" changed greatly with the introduction of photography.
For a while at least, painters struggled mightily exactly to show painting
was NOT just "an imitation of reality" but a creative invention -- at
first a *gloss* on reality, later entirely free of it (say, from Monet to
Van Gogh, to Kandinsky, to Pollock, to colorfield, to (yuck) Brice Marden.
Kandinsky, for instance, began with a charming rather decorative realism.
Pollock began with clunky, undecorative, but still "figurative" work. Etc.
> That may well be an ironic circumstance that most folk do not see the *real*
> image but I don't give a rat's keester about that. The fact is that the
> Wall's Struth's and Novak's actually created this things of scale (but for
> Novak's projections) and the point is that one needs to experience them/it.
> Yosemite aint Yosemite until you've walked by Merced and Giza aint Giza
> until you've discovered how close the highway is and the heat of the sand
> and, gosh Judy, NYC aint NYC until Š well, you've seen the Hudson.
Well, yes and no. Many, in fact *most* photographs exist IN OUR LIVES AND
IMAGINATIONS through books. A book is viewed generally from one's lap.
There is a visual equivalent of the original *in the mind* perhaps... but
still the experience is of the book. As for the Hudson, oh yuck again....
you mean with all the used condoms and dead bodies floating around? (and
if you mean the Hudson Diner, that's but a pale imitation of a smalltown
diner). Pick something else, puleese...
> Now, here I will agree with you. I get very little from the majority of the
> large works. Wall's wall sized pieces do echo for me but my favorites at the
> moment are Susan Derges' photograms of English streams. Maybe they are not
> THAT big but most wonderful.
I don't know the Derges photograms. We're so far offtopic already, that
seems quite ontopic. Can you describe?
> Unfair to say that Mona Lisa is dinky. Why do people call it *art*? I find a
> large number of art pieces throughout the history of art much more
> interesting Š and I hope it is fair to say Š better. The Mona Lisa is
> special of course. I don't wish to take anything away from it. But when
> you're walking through the Louvre, you can always tell when you are near the
> Mona Lisa by the crowds.
I agree about the Mona Lisa, which I bet few of us would pick as sublime
if we didn't know it was sublime in advance... sanctified, mythologized,
iconicized, holy of holies. In fact the Gustave Le Grey (Gray?) gold toned
salt print of the Mona Lisa which I saw in a NYC gallery (Simon Lowinsky,
as I recall) 10 years ago was far more sublime (I thought) than the
original. Be that as it may, it sure makes a handy metaphor... and
| Judy Seigel, Editor >
| World Journal of Post-Factory Photography > "HOW-TO and WHY"
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