Re: And how sharp I am was/Re: Temperaprint & Gum

From: Christina Z. Anderson ^lt;>
Date: 02/02/04-05:42:26 AM Z
Message-id: <003d01c3e981$a6407140$6101a8c0@your6bvpxyztoq>

<Judy said, big snip> I don't think it's individuals who need super archival
or super sharp to
> bolster confidence (although obviously on this list some are more
> concerned with it than others). I have the sense that it's the field as a
> whole, that it has become so engrained and automatic, those who wish to be
> "good" photographers internalize the value(s).

I agree it's the field, and is the legacy of the history of the medium. Two
things were of great concern, over and over in the BJP: sharpness of detail
most, and, of course, permanency. Photos faded, negative varnish peeled and
bubbled...gum was supplanted by carbon which was sharper in detail, or
compared with albumen and never measured up...I feel so sorry for gum
because it was like the forgotten or tossed out bastard child.

Having taught in a photo department with 200 majors, archivalness was
certainly an issue, especially when we discovered that for the last three
years the lab tech had been diluting the fixer wrongly.

Seeing Bechers' work at the Walker Art Center in Mpls I was appalled to see
spots of silvering out creeping in their work.

The issue of archivalness of RC paper has continually been a concern.

The issue of fugitive colors and yellowing paper is also of great concern
in watercolor painting, so it isn't just confined to photography. In my
painting major fat over lean was discussed as a method of preventing
cracking in the long term.

Archivalness is also a major issue in the digital realm.

I personally think it is a sign of the times; we want our art to last.
We've seen art that doesn't, especially photography now that it is over 160
years old. Maybe it's tied up in hubris, or the anxiety of the times, but
I like to think it is about quality and investment and care.

As far as sharpness, Gerhard Richter has been of great influence to me in my
use of blur. Use of blur (selective focus, too) has been the one change in
advertising photography since Irving Penn revolutionized it with his spare
style of sharp and clean.

I agree with John, Photographist; there are many negatives I never printed
when I first started photography because they were blurry; luckily I did not
throw them away, and am printing them now.

Sharp/detail and fuzz are not an either/or proposition. Archivalness is
moreso; witness the loss of the 2 million dollar Marc Quinn sculpture head
of his own frozen blood that melted all over Saatchi's floor when the
workmen turned off the freezer accidentally. This is one mere example among
many curatorial nightmares.

My two cents, at 6:30 AM when I haven't had more than half a cup of
Received on Mon Feb 2 05:42:45 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : 03/02/04-11:35:07 AM Z CST