Wednesday, April 29, 2009


its funny how diverse critiques are between certain classes (I.E. Digital I versus Color Darkroom) and how i allow them to influence me and overwhelm me when I know my intent and goal are sincere and justifiable because they are honest. Not that I disregard their comments but I certainly have to filter legitimate critique versus illegitimate. I really respect peoples comments and I do take into consideration the context of the images on the wall versus the final sequence, final size, and final edit but sometimes I leave critiques feeling beat up and overwhelmed. The good part is when you can still sort of feel like you believe in how and why you are making those images. And, for this project, I certainly feel like it is a natural extension of experience and self. You do sometimes have to take comments as a grain of salt. It's a hard thing to say but some people know and some people don't. There is a certain vernacular and aesthetic that some people might not be aware of. Vocabulary as well. I hope I can explain this correctly because I'm walking on thin ice. But just someone who might not have the capacity to piece together a series of images and wants the answers handed to them. For instance, I have a 3D class in which people have trouble comprehending my teachers rather open ended assignments. They are so baffled at such freedom of interpretation. Humans are very mission oriented. We naturally function with a beginning point and an end point. It's obvious. We are born and we die. I think this project I am in the middle of has no obvious beginning or ending. It might have a literal visual element that stems from sequencing but other than that I want people looking at this work to draw from the ambiguity. I think this quote about Anna's work is more relevant next to this rant than by itself in an older post.

"This is not something we are used to any longer: that things might have more facets than just one; and that not getting a simple answer (which allows us to move on) forces one to think. This is where I'm placing contemporary photography, in that open space, where the viewer becomes a participant instead of being merely the recipient of some "fact" (or "truth") (italicized by me)."

link to past post and source

I want to be sensitive about what I said above. I think that people in school are on different levels of thinking and analyzing images. Some may address more with what some may call "contrived", "cliche", or basic visual representations while others may be in touch with "contemporary trends and aesthetics" we find on blogs, in galleries, books, and museums (Please bear with these perimeters I'm setting). So to say one is right and one is wrong is not what I'm interested in. I'm more interested in how my work functions in society. Do some people just get art and some don't? I would say I fall on one side of that presumed divide between cliche and informed image making and others in my school and in society might fall on the other. I mean, what sort of comment is that for me to make? I mean it only as the truth. I don't mean to flash it as a comment proving my intellectual capacity is greater than others. I wouldn't even say that it is or that it is true! I would say I'm pursuing a knowledge that some might not be interested in pursuing. I'm interested in a way of looking and dissecting that many don't find necessary and that's the difference between us and them. Unfortunately.

That gorge of difference, I believe, leads to a clear bias view of my work as well as other students I know and art in general.

One way my photographs were critiqued today that it made no sense together. The images were to loosely connected or not connected at all. I think I can agree on some level because there was no thought of sequencing on the crit wall today (While in Color Lecture I meticulously sequence and the work is well received. Interesting!). But why do some people begin speaking about the photographs with that particular vocabulary and intellect we tend to find with more informed and aware individuals and understand the images on the wall and the concept? They start speaking about their personal relation to the images and, low and behold, it makes complete sense with what this entire shithole project is about. Is this project elitist? Do some have the knowledge to understand my work in a greater historical context which then allows them to see where I might be leading them? This is an unfinished thought process we have here...

Above all, please do not think the post is hitting negatively on any particular cross section of individuals. I think that there is truth in what I said but I am careful about my wording. If anyone is offended please forgive me but these are just observations. However, the difference could be my approach to writing this versus someone who might have better insight on the subject or is simply a better writer.

I gotta go do a lot of work.

NYC - May 16th - 24th

1 comment:

Trøbbel said...

You've hit the nail on the head about studying photography. I feel like this every time I come out of a crit. Okay, my images may not be great, but at least I am trying and not just sticking with the 'norm' and cliched. Surely going to study photography is an open invitation to experiment and go outside your comfort zone. I see so much utter shit at crits that by the end of them I feel so drained from trying to critically give advice. Keep your head down and remember that you'll more than likely be more successful when you graduate.