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Author Topic: Olive Cotton Award Controversy  (Read 2092 times)

tom b

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Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« on: July 29, 2017, 01:18:30 AM »

Olive Cotton Award: Is it a photo? Is it a portrait? Should Justine Varga's grandmother be given the prize money?

The article

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tom b

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 03:44:24 AM »

The "photograph". Oh yeah, a reminder it is a portrait competition.



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« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 03:49:36 AM by tom b »
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opgr

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 03:54:42 AM »

[ X ] True Artist with a capital A

She managed to think truly and utterly out-of-the-box, created a real and honest representation of the character of her grandmother on photographic film via photographic process and teaches us that this is exactly what we try to capture in a good portrait, and that therefore this too can be thought of as a portrait.

The thinking behind it alone is worthy of a prize, so that such an artist can continue to experiment and develop work that provokes us to engage our mind, without being provocative in itself.

I love it. I don't think it is particularly beautiful, but the thinking behind it: A+

As for the copyright debaters: Let's leave Art to curators and law to lawyers. To those who triggered that discussion I'd only say this:
"Jealous much?"

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Regards,
Oscar

GrahamBy

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 07:17:46 AM »

via photographic process

Please define "photographic process." Note that no light was involved, it is not a photogram.
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Rob C

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 10:09:30 AM »

[ X ] True Artist with a capital A

She managed to think truly and utterly out-of-the-box, created a real and honest representation of the character of her grandmother on photographic film via photographic process and teaches us that this is exactly what we try to capture in a good portrait, and that therefore this too can be thought of as a portrait.

The thinking behind it alone is worthy of a prize, so that such an artist can continue to experiment and develop work that provokes us to engage our mind, without being provocative in itself.

I love it. I don't think it is particularly beautiful, but the thinking behind it: A+

As for the copyright debaters: Let's leave Art to curators and law to lawyers. To those who triggered that discussion I'd only say this:
"Jealous much?"

Now you have proved you have a fantastic sense of humour! Of course! put the power to make or break into sterile hands! Love it - wish I'd thought of that first!

;-)

Rob

RSL

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2017, 10:42:16 AM »

 ;D ;D ;D And to answer the question posed by this forum branch: "No!"

amolitor

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2017, 01:11:46 PM »

It's not clear what it is, technically. The claim appears to be that it's some sort of photogram, but that doesn't seem to hold water. There are technical details given in the artist's statement that don't make a lot of sense.

I like the idea, I like the story. The other works in contest catalog suggest that this is pretty much the deal with this contest -- distinctly outré pieces that are, in some sense, portraits.

The thing does depend, more or less, on the story being true, and the story is in fact pretty questionable.

Duchamp would have loved it, though. And I kind of do too.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2017, 02:48:03 PM »

Art ...possibly; photography...nope.

tom b

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2017, 04:43:59 AM »

Probably a link that only Australians would get, she was married to Max Dupain.

Olive Cotton Wikipedia

Her photography from the Art Gallery of NSW. Apparently her nudes were too racy for the internet.

Her photos


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James Clark

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2017, 02:27:08 PM »

Well, look..  it's a record of an individual captured on a medium that depends on the interaction of light with the medium to produce the final result. (I assume the film was exposed after it was scratched etc. and a print was made)

I'm not sure I'd buy my own argument, but one could make it ;)
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Rob C

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2017, 04:41:13 PM »

Well, look..  it's a record of an individual captured on a medium that depends on the interaction of light with the medium to produce the final result. (I assume the film was exposed after it was scratched etc. and a print was made)

I'm not sure I'd buy my own argument, but one could make it ;)


Indeed, just as with wooden wings: stay away from high places if you want to try test flights.

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2017, 05:14:26 PM »

Well, look..  it's a record of an individual captured on a medium that depends on the interaction of light with the medium to produce the final result. (I assume the film was exposed after it was scratched etc. and a print was made)

I did the experiment 40 years ago in high-school art class: if you scribble directly on an emulsion, you ionize some silver halides in the same way that a photon does. You then develop it directly, no light necessary.

I guess it was then printed... or more likely the negative was scanned, so I guess that could squeak you into the "photographic" requirement.
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Otto Phocus

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2017, 06:26:24 AM »

This is one of the reasons I choose not to participate in photography contests.  How can one have a competition about something as subjective as art?
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GrahamBy

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 06:39:40 AM »

How can one have a competition about something as subjective as art?

Exactly. I think it was Rubinstein who commented that if you are an artist, competition is absurd because if you aren't the best at what you do, you should stop. Whatever someone else thinks is irrelevant, you can't accept to be the 2nd or 3rd best at someone else's thing.

Ironically, there is an Arthur Rubinstein piano competition...  :D
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one iota

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2017, 06:42:32 AM »

Define Portrait. (that is the fundamental basis for the award)

Normally that goes undefined.

If the conventional Oxford Dictionary definition isn't current then it might help the next aspirants to know what the new definition is.

The primary criterion for short listing and award appears to be whether the entrant is known or unknown. Celebrity photography debases art.
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Mahn England

Rob C

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2017, 07:11:54 AM »

Define Portrait. (that is the fundamental basis for the award)

Normally that goes undefined.

If the conventional Oxford Dictionary definition isn't current then it might help the next aspirants to know what the new definition is.

The primary criterion for short listing and award appears to be whether the entrant is known or unknown. Celebrity photography debases art.

Possibly undefined, but reasonably understood.

Rob

JNB_Rare

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2017, 07:41:48 AM »

Define Portrait.

Possibly undefined, but reasonably understood.

Rob

At the local photography club, there is a gentleman whose expertise is underwater photography in rivers and lakes – snorkeling, not scuba, and he still does this in his late '70's. He has some impressive and interesting photos. And he keeps entering pictures of snapping turtles and underwater logs and root balls into the club's portrait competitions.  ;D  However, in the last couple of years, the highest marks in the portrait category have gone to portraits of dogs.

opgr

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2017, 08:33:07 AM »

Art bends rules. Not the other way around. Now get your heads out of the sand you bunch of stuffy old ostriches...






;-[
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Regards,
Oscar

Rob C

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2017, 08:50:49 AM »

No, Oscar, it isn't about flightless birds: it's about a sense of balance, of bearings.

There are recognized forms of portraiture that are dedicated to our furry or feathered friends and even, for all I know, to goldfish; that's fine, and insofar as it goes, perfectly laudable. Those who are into these esoteric forms of life and photography are all aware and highly cognizant of what makes them tick. (Ouch.)

There is no believable way to stretch that "winning portrait" to fit any sound definition of the portrait genre for which, basically, you are obliged to include the subject as a basic ingredient. If you abandon that, you could photograph a football and call it Beckham, and then find yourself getting sued by Rooney for invading his privacy and/or using his image without an existing contract. Do you see the problem when one abandons basic, common sense rules?

It's why anarchists are such dumbeffs.

;-)

Rob

Otto Phocus

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Re: Olive Cotton Award Controversy
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2017, 09:52:31 AM »


She managed to think truly and utterly out-of-the-box, created a real and honest representation of the character of her grandmother on photographic film via photographic process and teaches us that this is exactly what we try to capture in a good portrait, and that therefore this too can be thought of as a portrait.


I am not sure I can follow that this is a "real and honest representation of the character" If it requires a considerable caption to explain what this is representing.

I am pretty confident that if this product was shown to a group of people without any captioning or explanation that very few of them would state that this was a "real and honest representation" of someone's character.

They may remark on it being a abstract
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