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This year's graduates

Discussion in 'Web Sites of Interest' started by AlanW, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

  2. The Circle Of Confusion

    The Circle Of Confusion Well-Known Member

    At first glance it looks like there's some intriguing stuff there. I'll have a proper look tonight. Thanks for the link Alan.
  3. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Thanks Alan. There's a great deal of stuff to plough through, and I've only just scratched the surface (working up from the bottom).

    So far, I have enjoyed the work of Antonio Cardoso from the University of Westminster section. His compositions are simple, and I like the geometry. A bit like some of Cartier-Bresson's early work in that respect, in that the human presence is merely there to catch the eye I think. The 'bumpf' is as pretentious as ever of course.

    The next one along, Amy Creighton is interesting. The small story in her three pictures can be interpreted in more ways than one, and the Diane Arbus quote she uses, "A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know" fits well with that. More controversial perhaps is her use of camera shake. A valid artistic statement or mere incompetance? I think we all know how a poll of AP readers would see it. ;)
  4. mertonia

    mertonia Well-Known Member

    Yes, there are some interesting images by these graduates - really creative in some cases, whilst others are so simplistic (not simple) they baffle me.

  5. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Matthew Lindsey - interesting work (some of which works better than others IMVHO), even though the last is basically a rip-off of Hiroshi Sugimoto's "Theaters" project.

    But his blurb. What the hell is he saying??? :D I would be eternally grateful for an "academic-speak translator" as part of Google Language Tools! ;), or is that ringing in my ears just the bullshit detector.
  6. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Yes, Martin Parr remarked a while back that as you go around the degree shows its fairly easy to spot the influences. I was at the ECA show and even as I was approaching Damian Ucieda's area I was already thinking Gregory Crewdson. There were also some street shots by another photographer which took me back, I thought they were mine :eek: - can't remember who it was but they were shooting on many of the same backstreets as me and gave Gabriele Basilico as an influence . . . . kinda scary :D

    Set up shots on medium or large format tend to take on the look of film stills or installation shots - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it can get a bit tedious after a while (there's a lot more work on show than appears on the Source site). The deadpan portrait is still very popular but that's fine by me.

    I think you have to look at the graduates or rather look at their potential, what you see here is not the finished article. In previous years (I've been going for about 15 years) I've come across 2 or 3 photographer's work later on in art magazines and local galleries while the vast majority have disappeared off the radar :(

    One ex-ECA graduate that I know is now a social worker :D
  7. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Indeed. I was going to mention Serena Andreini from Westminster. However technically accomplished her pictures, would you know these people were dancers if you hadn't been told in the blurb? I suspect not, in which case surely the photographer has not succeeded.
  8. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    Why has she not succeeded? Thats only if you assume youre supposed to know everything from the image alone. But surely the photo matters IN CONTEXT, there are very few things (photos, art, whatever) that just communicate a message without ANY other information/context at all... :D

    The point of the photo was that IN this photo they ARE just another person, NOT a professional dancer, no special status. In fcat if the image had shown me that they were dancers the photographer would have failed. That was the whole point of the project.

    "The dancer who seconds before was at his/her peak representing the object for public entertainment is now simply present again in the "real world" out of stage as him/herself as a person. Now that the audience has left, he/she is conscious that the show is over."

    I thought her work was quite good actually :D
  9. The Circle Of Confusion

    The Circle Of Confusion Well-Known Member

    Have I come to the right place? It would appear a serious discussion about art photography has broken out in this forum... Where's the tedious discussions about firmware and lens versions? /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    *pulls up a chair*

    I think it's fascinating looking at the work of students and graduates. As Alan said it's about the potential rather than the finished article. It's interesting to see their influences and what the latest fad or fashion is.

    Of the work shown on Source I'm particularly drawn to:

    Lotte Fløe Christensen, hints of Gregory Crewdson & Tom Hunter

    Ruth Wismayer, slightly disturbing but I like it :D

    Ariadne Xenou, I do like a bit of religious imagery

    Séamus Sullivan, great concept

    We get some heated debates at college (only 2 months to the new term :D ) about influences/ripping off/imitating etc. Personally I think there's nothing wrong with "doing an Arbus" or "doing a Crewdson" as it can inform your own style and lead you to new places. If all you do is imitate you're wasting your time but as a place to start I think it's fine.
  10. zuiko

    zuiko Well-Known Member

    Shame about the blurb that goes with the images. Here's one

    "Suspended forever in what seems a moment in time and space, these everyday found objects have been given a life that transcends their once mundane and pitiful existence. Through the careful detachment from their surrounding world, they gain reverence and are elevated beyond their physical self and have become martyrs. For these objects, the real word no longer exists and they are given a second life within the void that exists between our real life and our memories and experiences."

    The item was a mattress.

  11. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    I was okay with that . . . . until the last sentence :(

    Part of the problem IMO is that art students need to develop a way of expressing their ideas in words when their preferred medium is photography (in this case). As Lewis Hine said, "If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera".

    This reminds me of a post in Alec Soth's blog by Gerry Badger on a conversation he had with the late John Szarkowski -

    John Szarkowski’s passing will be widely mourned by those of us in photography, although he was always a controversial figure. His vision of photography was maybe narrow, but at least it was a consistent vision, passionately and eloquently held, and importantly from my point of view, privileged photography before pseudo-painting with the camera. It’s also important to note that he was a photographer himself - he knew what was going on in photographers’ minds at that moment of pressing the shutter.

    I was always in awe of him. A long time ago, when I was a young whippersnapper, we were discussing his favourite subject, Eugene Atget.

    ‘Tell me,’ he said, referring to one of the major bones of contention in Atget studies - intentionality, ‘when he looked through the groundglass, did Atget totally know what he was doing?’

    ‘We can’t know that,’ I replied, taking the craven way out.

    ‘Of course he [****] did,’ snapped Szarkowski, dismissing me imperiously.

    Once out of his office, and rather chastened by this, I got to thinking about it. Damnit, of course he was right. Of course Atget knew absolutely what he was doing. He may not have thought of himself as an artist, he didn’t have a theory, he probably couldn’t articulate it. He was a photographer, he used his eyes. He looked through the groundglass, he liked what he saw, he took the picture.

    Thank you, John, for that fundamental lesson, and for many others.
  12. zuiko

    zuiko Well-Known Member

    I think that if a photograph or collection of photographs has to be explained to the viewer it says more about the photographer capabilities than the work itself. A great photograph needs no words what's over. I blame Charlie Waite and the Marks and Spencer food adverts myself with their flowery language for the thesaurus approach to student naval gazing.

    David. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
  13. zuiko

    zuiko Well-Known Member

    Ooops , navel of course. Damn spell checker.

    David. :eek:
  14. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    I dont entirely agree with that - why do you have to limit yourself to solely photographs, solely paintings, [/i]solely writing, solely anything. It could equally be judged as a lack of thought on the part of the viewer if they expect to have an instant succinct piece of information in a photograph.

    But apart from that, how do people LEARN to express themselves "purely" through any medium :D You dont just go overnight and BINGO! :D
  15. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    I'm not so sure, sometimes a bit of background knowledge is useful to help our understanding and to put the photographs in some sort of context. The best images, IMO, always contain some mystery . . . I think we're getting into Diane Arbus territory here :)
  16. zuiko

    zuiko Well-Known Member

    The problem is that by adding the wrong words i think you actually negate from the impact of the photograph. Rather than pondering and using your own imagination on the work in front of you the pretentious blurb is distracting and you end up on a web site forum discussing words rather than the image. Thats not what the photographer wanted i am sure.

  17. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yeah, I've had this discussion with Kyle Cassidy, amongst others. A picture whould indeed be able to stand on its own artistic merits, but sometimes a few words of context can take it on a level or two. However, as Zuiko says, they have to be the right words, not meaningless mumbo-jumbo.
  18. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Yes I agree. In some cases it appears as though they were given 10 minutes to come up with a 'mission statement' . . . . . and panic set in

    Maybe I'm being unfair, but they had 3 or 4 years to think about it :eek:
  19. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Funny you should mention Kyle, Nick, I was just looking at Armed America yesterday :)
  20. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Maybe if those mission statements were in plain(er) english, rather than the pseudo-intellectual drivel that appears to make up much the language of artsy academe, it might help.

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