Re: Rotating Josef was Actual Photograph

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;>
Date: 03/20/05-02:37:08 AM Z
Message-id: <>

On Sat, 19 Mar 2005, Richard Sullivan wrote:
> Nash editions has been selling Iris prints for better than 20 years now and
> you rarely see them in the auction catalogs. That says something. Joan Myers
> sells her Antarctica digital prints fairly well and she says they sell better
> than the pt's. So there are some exceptions.
> There is a certain sameness to a lot of the digital work being done. Last
> year Olivia Parker showed some of her vintage work and some of her new
> digital work. The general consensus from my students was the early work was
> sublime, as one student put it. The new work resembled the stuff on the
> Photoshop sample disk. Impressive for their manipulation but pretty shallow
> in the long run. She also had the prints labeled as "pigment" prints. Josef
> Sudek new nickname in heaven is now Rotating Josef.

As has been written (by persons or person I recall not) the most important
human sex organ is the brain (it was better expressed than that, maybe
someone has the exact quote) -- the most crucial art equipment is also the
brain. I found Olivia Parker's recent work had begun to pall even (I
believe) before the switch to digital... But a large quotient of "art"
photography" even in the holiest of "authentic" photographic media, in
every period since photography became widely available, is a tired repeat
of photographs previously seen. (Look at those old "American Photography"
magazines -- I have a bunch of them too. They're charming, but.... the
"art" is strictly amateur salon -- that is, with the exception of a few
early salons run by Stieglitz & company, and those rarely made it to the
the photo press beyond Camera Work.)

Meanwhile, I have seen a couple of shows of digital photographs that were

The bench mark for digital photography IMO (so far) was the show last year
at ICP: "The War in Iraq." I think I posted something about it at the
time: photographed with digital cameras and printed by Modern Age Digital
(meaning with souped up colors, and "curve," I imagine digitally exposed
on "photographic" paper).

Bill William's example of Japanese woodcuts is also a propos -- they are
among history's highest expressions of art, yet they are indeed "flat" --
no matter how many blocks were used, the picture is "flat," much flatter
than a digital photograph. The problem, if any, is probably not so much
flatness, depth, or any graphic quality, as the mindset. The attempt to do
analog photography with digital means may be large part of the problem.
Digital is digital.

Meanwhile, speaking of carbon/carbro, I suggest a close reading of Gerard
Aniere's article in Post-Factory #9, describing his own re-invention of
carbro. Not only was his technical ambition, ingenuity, skill and
inventiveness awesome, but the prints (about 30 by 40," made for
photographer David Stewart), were if possible moreso, including several of
the most beautiful single prints I've seen in any medium -- right up there
with the "War in Iraq" prints.

But completely different.

Received on Sun Mar 20 02:37:19 2005

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