Sunday, October 22, 2006

ku # 422 and a commentary for your consideration

In the essay The Art That Hides Itself - Notes on Photography's Quiet Genius by Gerry Badger, Badger argues the merits of a 'quiet approach' to photography in which the 'photographers voice' - does not impede our approach to the subject. He sees Eugene Atget as the "veritable patron saint of 'quiet' photographer"' and discusses some of the qualities of his work, relating it to ideas of the photograph as a "memory trace" and the "thereness" of his work - something he explains as "a sense of the subject's reality, a heightened sense of its physicality etched sharply into the image."

Much recent gallery photography has relied on the use of large prints - what Badger calls "the muralist syndrome". "Quiet" photography calls for quiet - and thus small-scale works. "Quiet" photographers are obviously concerned about their subject matter whereas some others are more concerned about the concept of the image.

This sentiment seems to echo that of Sally Eauclaire from her book The New Color Photography (out of print but well worth finding [google search]- the hard cover is rare and expensive but the soft cover is easier to find and way less expensive.)

Writing about "...the many photographers who consider visual and/or sentimental excesses as keys to expressivity..." she opines that "...their lust for effect is everywhere apparent. Technical wizardry amplifies rather than recreates on-site observations...they burden it (photographs) with ever coarser effects. Rather than humbly seeks out the "spirit of fact", they assume the role of God's art director making his immannence unequivical and protrusive."
Question - Do you consider yourself to be a "quiet" photographer, and, if so, why is it important to be so?


Anonymous mary dennis said...

I would definitely consider myself to be a quiet photographer. I like to think that if I ever had an image hanging in a gallery it would be located in a quiet, out of the way corner where an individual viewer could spend a little time looking it over and ponder it's finer points. And I have never had a truly spiritual experience in a church building surrounded by hoardes of people and large religious icons. They steer me away from where I want to be.

10/22/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous mary dennis said...

Oh yeah...Mark, this is a very quiet image and one that requires closeness, ponderance and intimacy. Not fit for a mob.

10/22/2006 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ana said...

I definitely consider myself to be a quiet photograher, though not because it's important to be so but rather because I am quiet by nature. In fact, now that I think of it, quiet is the first thing I put in my blog description way back when!

10/22/2006 11:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Michelle Parent said...

I would have to say that if I were to actually call myself a photographer or artist (I despise labels. I refuse to pin myself down to any pigeonhole ego labeling system), I suppose it would be the quiet type. I am not a flamboyant person to begin with (as I see myself) and loud types would be flamboyant types who would want the most color, drama, "pop", sizzle, gadget, etc. to make them stand out in a crowd, so to speak and I don't think I make images with all that stuff usually and I don't like to stand out in a crowd, that's for sure. So, I guess I am the quiet type overall or at least I think I am. I am not sure If I come across that way to others, though. I often don't see myself as clearly as others see me, so I could be dead wrong on this whole thing. In my heart, I am quiet, so I will go with that for now.

As for this photo, it is a lovely quiet scene. A nice "between" time, by the looks. Evening, is my guess, my favorite time. I love the tunnel through the trees, but blocked by the scramble I'd have to do over the leaf covered rocks. Inviting, but not without effort. Very interesting.

10/23/2006 04:53:00 PM  

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