Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => But is it Art? => Topic started by: luxborealis on May 08, 2019, 07:50:54 pm

Title: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: luxborealis on May 08, 2019, 07:50:54 pm
...Canadian photographer Stephen Waddell for Sunflower, 2018.

What do you think? Article from TheStar (https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/visualarts/2019/05/07/stephen-waddell-wins-50000-scotiabank-photography-prize.html)

In respect of copyright, I have not posted the image here; you’ll need to see it online.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 08, 2019, 07:57:00 pm
They wouldn't want to know what I think.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on May 08, 2019, 07:58:48 pm
I would love to read the statement by one or more of the jurors on what exactly they see in this photograph.
Yes, it has sunflowers, and it has s person.

I wouldn't be moved to hang it on my wall.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 08, 2019, 08:57:51 pm
Is this some sort of weird Canadian humor? $50K for that snap (or shall I say "crap")!?

As for copyright, no problem to post it here for discussion, as it is exactly what the fair-use doctrine has in mind (at least here, in the U.S.)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: FranciscoDisilvestro on May 08, 2019, 11:34:37 pm
I would love to read the statement by one or more of the jurors on what exactly they see in this photograph.

Believe it or not, renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, who is supposedly the jury chair, said this:

Quote
“Stephen’s refined photographic explorations evoke his keen awareness about the poetics of space and the history of painting, while also walking the line between documentary and intimately personal visualizations,”
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: MattBurt on May 09, 2019, 12:51:36 am
Weird, I don't get it.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: 32BT on May 09, 2019, 03:23:27 am
Ah, yes, I do get it. It's contemporary and you need to see the body of work as Andrew M keeps telling us. For the lazy amongst us, here is a quick link: http://www.monteclarkgallery.com/artist/stephen-waddell/

If Burtynsky tells us it's worthy, then we'd better attempt to give it a second thought with an open mind.

Perhaps I can get Da Beat to enlighten us with some drivel later today...

Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: drmike on May 09, 2019, 03:40:46 am
It's the body of work thing. This shot is consistent with many of the photographs provided by that link.

Taken in isolation I'd say at best it's challenging and really only works if the composition is pretty much perfect and the colour pallette is pretty much perfect.

You do have good colours, they do work together and they are varied.

You do have repeated diagonal lines from the various cables.

Hosepipe lady is standing surrounded by ever spreading pool of water - which is of her own making. And, stating the obvious, the lower area is well bounded by the kerb. The woman's stance looks 'just right' as well.

If you're a story type person you might ask yourself why this riotous border is there. Clearly there's a big wall or fence behind so you won't get benefit from the property it's the boundary for.

The houses don't seem relevant except they give the context but if you crop it or cover them up it loses all balance. Which probably suggests the composition has been thought about so snap may be a little harsh.

I notice it's a big print and I think that would help. Piddly images on a screen maybe don't do it justice.

I wouldn't have thought to take that photograph. I wonder if it was posed.

Mike
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 09, 2019, 06:21:41 am
They wouldn't want to know what I think.


They wouldn't want to know what we both think!
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 09, 2019, 06:22:50 am
Believe it or not, renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, who is supposedly the jury chair, said this:


If you are part of the gig you have to assume certain obligations... or reject that gig.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 09, 2019, 06:24:11 am
Ah, yes, I do get it. It's contemporary and you need to see the body of work as Andrew M keeps telling us. For the lazy amongst us, here is a quick link: http://www.monteclarkgallery.com/artist/stephen-waddell/

If Burtynsky tells us it's worthy, then we'd better attempt to give it a second thought with an open mind.

Perhaps I can get Da Beat to enlighten us with some drivel later today...

Is it a prize for a single image or for a series, though?

Rob
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: 32BT on May 09, 2019, 06:50:44 am
Is it a prize for a single image or for a series, though?

Rob

Series probably:

Quote
Scotiabank Photography
Award Nominees

Candidates may live and work anywhere in the world, and must have Canadian citizenship.

Eligible nominee(s) should demonstrate:

  • Excellence and inventiveness in photographic narrative and art form
  • Singularity of vision integrated with the highest level of technical expertise and quality production
  • Commitment to a career in photo-based art and demonstrated potential for growth and evolution Meaningful and relevant form and content with capacity to engage a broad audience
  • Potential to communicate ideas effectively on a national and international stage
  • National profile and broad history of exhibition and publication
  • Completed and ongoing projects are accepted
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: faberryman on May 09, 2019, 09:17:56 am
Ah, yes, I do get it. It's contemporary and you need to see the body of work as Andrew M keeps telling us. For the lazy amongst us, here is a quick link: http://www.monteclarkgallery.com/artist/stephen-waddell/

Okay. I still don't get it, or much of contemporary photography. I guess that is my shortcoming.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 09, 2019, 09:46:09 am
Looks like our Ivo might get rich next year ;)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 09, 2019, 10:04:36 am
Okay. I still don't get it, or much of contemporary photography. I guess that is my shortcoming.


I'd be more inclined to think that there's not a helluva lot to get; it's perhaps when you do start to imagine that you do get these banalities and confuse them with art that you should worry.

It's the same with street street: some guys do it and you understand they have a point of view and an eye, whereas other people shoot the same material but nothing comes through: you just get a picture of a few people doing nothing remarkable. How to spot the difference is usually beyond words, but you sure can feel it.

Music seems to be the same sort of medium: you can listen to the same song sung by five different artists and one will usually pop up as the real deal - I guess it's the artist's ability to interpret that does it.

Rob

P.S.

All of that said, wish somebody had given me that bit of spending cash!
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: stamper on May 09, 2019, 12:32:35 pm
I can understand the negativity towards it. It might get a few favs on Flickr.....but only a few.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 09, 2019, 03:20:35 pm
I can understand the negativity towards it. It might get a few favs on Flickr.....but only a few.

But then what you really show here is the gulf between the opinions of the average punter and the mindset of the gallery fraternity.

I have a wonderful monograph on the late Jeanloup Sieff, himself not only a very successful fashion photographer but with an amazing list of gallery shows to his credit too. His opinion of those gallery folks, however, is not one of love: in the main, he thinks of them as clueless parasites.

There may be a genuine star somewhere in the breed, but as I have had nothing but the most slight of relationships with a couple, I tend to think Sieff was on the money.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Peter McLennan on May 09, 2019, 07:39:05 pm
If Burtynsky tells us it's worthy...

Agreed.  Burtynsky is unassailable.

Quote
then we'd better attempt to give it a second thought with an open mind.

I did.  I still see nothing of value in that image. 

Reminds me of another "famous" Canadian photographer, who in my opinion produced similar pedestrian images.  Jeff Wall.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: luxborealis on May 09, 2019, 08:26:06 pm
I think the first point says it all...
Quote
Eligible nominee(s) should demonstrate:

1.  Excellence and inventiveness in photographic narrative and art form

In other words, if it’s been done before, forget it. Understandable in the art world – which is exactly what breeds the “inventiveness” we see, even if no one would want it on their wall.

If you take the name and backstory off most “art” these days, it simply wouldn’t count for anything.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 10, 2019, 07:19:52 am
I think the first point says it all...
In other words, if it’s been done before, forget it. Understandable in the art world – which is exactly what breeds the “inventiveness” we see, even if no one would want it on their wall.

If you take the name and backstory off most “art” these days, it simply wouldn’t count for anything.


Therein paradox: if nobody wants it on their walls, why would they buy?

Surely, the only art bought for investment comes from the big names when, okay, a safe may serve as a place to keep it. But for the new people - seems to fit neither wall nor safe deposit room.

Junk remains junk: some can be recycled and some not. Most of mine remains in HDs...

:-)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: petermfiore on May 10, 2019, 07:42:53 am
The art world is about NEW( the unfamiliar, never saw that before, WTF is that and anything that leaves you scratching you head) ...always has and will remain. They will sell "traditional work" by the original artist's that made it as NEW. All else, or to work with a nod to the past is a non starter today.

Peter
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: FranciscoDisilvestro on May 10, 2019, 08:38:55 am
I don’t see anything NEW in that winning image.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 10, 2019, 09:21:00 am
I don’t see anything NEW in that winning image.

I don't think there is any New at all. Unless one considers Photoshop fantasies. I don't consider them, and see Photopshop as a convenient way of doing traditional darkroom work with greater ease. In the end, the image has to look reasonably sensible or it is junk - pour moi.

All the photographers I admire produce(ed) work that looks real, with just a few blurs - real or faked - or double negatives combined for effect.

I suppose most of us go through phases of trying out different tricks that PS allows - blur being one such - but unless one is very careful it becomes a trap, where the same goddam shot is made interminably; sure happened to me a couple of years ago.

Rob
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 10, 2019, 09:25:38 am
+1
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: OmerV on May 10, 2019, 10:03:58 am
Well, I like the picture. It is an everyday, moment, the result of which is wall of wonderful flowers. The composition is pleasant and unpretentious, without the maudlin, melodramatic, directional lighting that has become popular. Kinda reminds me of the Daguerre picture of the working shoeshine in Paris.

Personally, I’m grateful it isn’t one of the “me too,” incessant photographic tropes used mostly for filling up hard drives. A bit surprising really, considering the contest was sponsored by a high profile commercial enterprise, which like most other high profile companies, undoubtedly has an absolute aversion to controversy.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 10, 2019, 10:11:36 am
Well, I like the picture. It is an everyday, moment, the result of which is wall of wonderful flowers. The composition is pleasant and unpretentious, without the maudlin, melodramatic, directional lighting that has become popular. Kinda reminds me of the Daguerre picture of the working shoeshine in Paris.

Personally, I’m grateful it isn’t one of the “me too,” incessant photographic tropes used mostly for filling up hard drives. A bit surprising really, considering the contest was sponsored by a high profile commercial enterprise, which like most other high profile companies, undoubtedly has an absolute aversion to controversy.


The other side to that coin tells us that there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Anyway, it's sure to be deductible.

:-)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 10, 2019, 10:22:27 am
... It is an everyday moment...

Shot by a Google Street View car.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 10, 2019, 11:04:02 am
Are we really surprised any longer when the commercial art market makes a silly mistake?
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: OmerV on May 10, 2019, 11:14:44 am
Are we really surprised any longer when the commercial art market makes a silly mistake?

No mistake at all. It’s a pleasant image, not a tiresome cliché.

Shot by a Google Street View car.

The Deep Blue of street photography.  ;D
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 10, 2019, 11:28:30 am
C'mon, Omer, you certainly don't believe that a street photograph can be made by a car. Yes, a car can make a photograph of a street. A car even can make a photograph of the rear end of a girl in front of a bunch of sunflowers. And a car probably thought that's a good photograph. Maybe it was the car that made the decision on the winning picture. Considering what I see here, I'd bet it was a car that selected the winner. If the decision was made by a human, the guy desperately needs a radiator flush.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: OmerV on May 10, 2019, 11:56:06 am
C'mon, Omer, you certainly don't believe that a street photograph can be made by a car. Yes, a car can make a photograph of a street. A car even can make a photograph of the rear end of a girl in front of a bunch of sunflowers. And a car probably thought that's a good photograph. Maybe it was the car that made the decision on the winning picture. Considering what I see here, I'd bet it was a car that selected the winner. It the decision was made by a human, the guy desperately needs a radiator flush.

Heh, Russ, you would not be hired to curate art for IBM, etc. That’s probably a good thing. But since when has art, chosen by commercial interests, ever been more than pleasant, at best?

OK, I guess during the Renaissance commissioned art turned out really good. But now, who’s afraid of twitter? Everyone it seems.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 10, 2019, 12:12:22 pm
I think we've reached a meeting of the minds, Omer.

And I'll go further: Truly powerful art rarely is something you can put your mental hands on. The effect is, well, elusive. If you try to focus on the effect you get from great art your mind slips past the effect and you get words, visual segments, notes. Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," is a fine example. The words themselves are gibberish, yet for those who understand English the effect can be very powerful.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: 32BT on May 11, 2019, 08:39:44 am
It's seeks poetry in the mundane, sometimes with multiple layers of subtle narrative.

It's very clearly not for the instant gratification instagram in your face generation. With advancing tech, extremely well executed, highly skilled, amazing imagery is being created every day, except that, due to that same skilled and technologically advanced execution, it is completely devoid of soul or substance. It's like watching another galaxy rise timelapse with amazing resolution on the latest wallwide 8k hdr screen, and yet feeling completely dead cold from the inside, as dead cold as all the amazing tech before you. The tech took over the wonder and amazement, sucking all the mystery out of our own galaxy.

Where did that go wrong? I don't know. But it seems like a disease if next we dismiss the products of an established artist, recognized by his peers, exhibited as far back as 1989, who attempts to depict that feeble precious wonderment in the occurrences of everyday life, in tiny slices of visual poetry, a poetry of muted colors,  the poetry of the mundane.

Poetry usually about the individual in his/her environment, depicted in such a way that you can't do anything other than think about that relation. Depicted in such a way, that the faceless individual becomes a metaphore for the human factor, or even humanity in general. That you're forced to think about your own inner connection with that human individual, that human factor, and humanity.

That's pretty potent stuff in such mundane images. And don't underestimate the achievement: it is a fairly consistent theme, look & feel throughout his images. It has the same demarcation as street street vs random street. Not all mundane images are created equal, and these images tend to fall consistently on one side of the fence. No doubt for most of you it falls on the trash pickup side of the fence, but for those of you that judge this accordingly I challenge you to go out in your mundane neighbourhood and come back with an image that depicts visual color poetry, with a human factor, interesting enough to look at for longer than a second.

And don't be fooled: street street isn't street just because it's shot on the street. Similarly, a random human in a random mundane environment does not make you the next contemporary photography prizewinner. Try to catch that ever so slightly ungraspable odd character trait in either the human or the environment.

Like a sunburned wallflower in front of a wall of sunflowers that almost seem to all face her direction.




Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: rabanito on May 11, 2019, 09:21:28 am
The art world is about NEW( the unfamiliar, never saw that before, WTF is that and anything that leaves you scratching you head) ...always has and will remain.

But the problem is that looking at that so called "art" you are not left scratching you head but realizing that you are looking at "more of that garbage"
If it were God who made it, I would scratch my head and try to interpret.
But not because some jury does.

Just MHO
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 11, 2019, 09:41:35 am
It's seeks poetry in the mundane, sometimes with multiple layers of subtle narrative.

It's very clearly not for the instant gratification instagram in your face generation. With advancing tech, extremely well executed, highly skilled, amazing imagery is being created every day, except that, due to that same skilled and technologically advanced execution, it is completely devoid of soul or substance. It's like watching another galaxy rise timelapse with amazing resolution on the latest wallwide 8k hdr screen, and yet feeling completely dead cold from the inside, as dead cold as all the amazing tech before you. The tech took over the wonder and amazement, sucking all the mystery out of our own galaxy.

Where did that go wrong? I don't know. But it seems like a disease if next we dismiss the products of an established artist, recognized by his peers, exhibited as far back as 1989, who attempts to depict that feeble precious wonderment in the occurrences of everyday life, in tiny slices of visual poetry, a poetry of muted colors,  the poetry of the mundane.

Poetry usually about the individual in his/her environment, depicted in such a way that you can't do anything other than think about that relation. Depicted in such a way, that the faceless individual becomes a metaphore for the human factor, or even humanity in general. That you're forced to think about your own inner connection with that human individual, that human factor, and humanity.

That's pretty potent stuff in such mundane images. And don't underestimate the achievement: it is a fairly consistent theme, look & feel throughout his images. It has the same demarcation as street street vs random street. Not all mundane images are created equal, and these images tend to fall consistently on one side of the fence. No doubt for most of you it falls on the trash pickup side of the fence, but for those of you that judge this accordingly I challenge you to go out in your mundane neighbourhood and come back with an image that depicts visual color poetry, with a human factor, interesting enough to look at for longer than a second.

And don't be fooled: street street isn't street just because it's shot on the street. Similarly, a random human in a random mundane environment does not make you the next contemporary photography prizewinner. Try to catch that ever so slightly ungraspable odd character trait in either the human or the environment.

Like a sunburned wallflower in front of a wall of sunflowers that almost seem to all face her direction.

Very well said, Oscar. Two thumbs up!!!
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 11, 2019, 10:26:35 am
I can't make up my mind about Stephen Waddell's work. Is he doing anything that Jeff Wall hasn't done already? Perhaps it is what he is not doing – staging – that gives his pictures some currency? A lazy Jeff Wall?
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: OmerV on May 11, 2019, 10:42:21 am
It's seeks poetry in the mundane, sometimes with multiple layers of subtle narrative.

It's very clearly not for the instant gratification instagram in your face generation...

Again, well said.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 11, 2019, 10:45:47 am
Very well said, Oscar. Two thumbs up!!!

Goes to show that art is not “Art” unless it needs paragraph after paragraph of intellectual justification and post-conceptualization to work.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 11, 2019, 11:05:29 am
Exactly the opposite, Slobodan. Art isn’t art unless it kicks you in the gut and you can’t explain why it’s doing that. That’s essentially what Oscar just said.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 11, 2019, 11:14:38 am
Exactly the opposite, Slobodan. Art isn’t art unless it kicks you in the gut and you can’t explain why it’s doing that. That’s essentially what Oscar just said.

Mundane, even its “poetry,” rarely, if ever, kicks me in the gut. That’s exactly the opposite of what Oscar said. Oscar tried to kick me in the gut with words.

Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 11, 2019, 11:37:15 am
To paraphrase a Clintonism, Slobodan: I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "it" is. Maybe Oscar will explain.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 11, 2019, 12:49:58 pm
It is a truism that of you have to explain it, it's not art.

But why? Why isn't something that requires an explanation (for you) not art? Is an airplane unable to fly because you don't understand aerodynamics?

If it's not art, what is it?
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: faberryman on May 11, 2019, 12:59:27 pm
It is a truism that of you have to explain it, it's not art.

Because I am not an expert, I have always thought explanation gives me greater insight into art. It is why I say I don't get contemporary photography. I have never read a cogent explanation of it. Note: I do not consider artist statements cogent explanations - more like MFA-babble.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 11, 2019, 01:06:23 pm
It is a truism that of you have to explain it, it's not art.

But why? Why isn't something that requires an explanation (for you) not art? Is an airplane unable to fly because you don't understand aerodynamics?...

What if I understand aerodynamics, but the explanation offered, in not so few words, is that it is God's will it flies?
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: OmerV on May 11, 2019, 01:35:08 pm
What if I understand aerodynamics, but the explanation offered, in not so few words, is that it is God's will it flies?

Heh!  :D
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: KLaban on May 11, 2019, 04:40:56 pm
The arts challenge, confront and open the door to controversy.

Photography as an art form should challenge, confront and open the door to controversy.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 12, 2019, 04:28:42 am
The arts challenge, confront and open the door to controversy.

Photography as an art form should challenge, confront and open the door to controversy.

Possibly; however, the photograph in question does absolutely none of that. The only reason we discuss it is because this is LuLa and there's not a helluva lot more we can do here. If nobody had raised the topic, had I just stumbled onto the image online - without its backstory and the fact somebody had wanted to talk about it - I'd have rapidly flicked to the next image.

I understand perfectly exactly what Oscar is saying; the problem for me, is this: none of it applies to the picture under discussion. It does not ignite the touchpaper.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: KLaban on May 12, 2019, 04:40:22 am
Possibly; however, the photograph in question does absolutely none of that. The only reason we discuss it is because this is LuLa and there's not a helluva lot more we can do here. If nobody had raised the topic, had I just stumbled onto the image online - without its backstory and the fact somebody had wanted to talk about it - I'd have rapidly flicked to the next image.

I understand perfectly exactly what Oscar is saying; the problem for me, is this: none of it applies to the picture under discussion. It does not ignite the touchpaper.

Three pages of comment here says it does.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: rabanito on May 12, 2019, 06:00:02 am
The arts challenge, confront and open the door to controversy.

Why should that be valid? Is just an opinion.
I don't see these characteristics in Leonardo, Turner or Rembrandt.
Just awesome
Modern "artists" just cannot reach those heights.
Then one redefines Art to fit what one has.

We have three pages of controversy, but it is about why those things should be praised at all, not for their content.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: KLaban on May 12, 2019, 06:26:48 am
Why should that be valid? Is just an opinion.
I don't see these characteristics in Leonardo, Turner or Rembrandt.
Just awesome
Modern "artists" just cannot reach those heights.
Then one redefines Art to fit what one has.

We have three pages of controversy, but it is about why those things should be praised at all, not for their content.

You have to be joking.

Turner was an expressionist before expressionism was even a twinkle in the eye of the expressionists. Leonardo challenged the accepted scientific and medical knowledge of the time. Rembrandt brought a new understanding of light, shade and realism. They all challenged the mores of their time, as do 'modern artists'.

Long may they continue.

 
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 12, 2019, 06:28:54 am
Why should that be valid? Is just an opinion.
I don't see these characteristics in Leonardo, Turner or Rembrandt.
Just awesome
Modern "artists" just cannot reach those heights.
Then one redefines Art to fit what one has.

We have three pages of controversy, but it is about why those things should be praised at all, not for their content.

Exactly.

There's a huge difference between discussing art and something that is just symbolic of another naked emperor. A real naked emperor would have been more interesting. It doesn't open any discussion about its intrinsic, visual value because it doesn't have any, but discussion of how it gatecrashed the party. You could put a photograph of a turd in its place and at least that would have forensic interest: is the turd fresh or old; is it of herbivore, carnivore or possibly clue-busting mixture of both, designed to throw off the hunter after truth?

Sobering to think there is more to be said about a turd than about a lousy photograph.

;-)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: rabanito on May 12, 2019, 07:12:02 am
You have to be joking.

Turner was an expressionist before expressionism was even a twinkle in the eye of the expressionists. Leonardo challenged the accepted scientific and medical knowledge of the time. Rembrandt brought a new understanding of light, shade and realism. They all challenged the mores of their time, as do 'modern artists'.

Long may they continue.

Njet.
Leonardo Turner and many more did more than that.
They are awesome in their own right.
Then and NOW

I mean:
They ARE STILL considered art, even without the "challenging, confronting or controverting" thing.
ART in capitals.
No excuses or pioneering deeds needed.
Because we are here and now and we lowly amateurs who perceive this as ART don't need explanations to enjoy and appreciate it.
Just maybe sometimes a little push but not theories
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: KLaban on May 12, 2019, 07:27:15 am
Their work is up there on that pedestal because they used their undoubted talents to challenge the existing mores and in doing so their remarkable work changed understanding, opinion and the very direction of art and artists.

Please note, I have not expressed any opinion on the image or body of work that this thread referenced.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: KLaban on May 12, 2019, 07:30:17 am
Exactly.

There's a huge difference between discussing art and something that is just symbolic of another naked emperor. A real naked emperor would have been more interesting. It doesn't open any discussion about its intrinsic, visual value because it doesn't have any, but discussion of how it gatecrashed the party. You could put a photograph of a turd in its place and at least that would have forensic interest: is the turd fresh or old; is it of herbivore, carnivore or possibly clue-busting mixture of both, designed to throw off the hunter after truth?

Sobering to think there is more to be said about a turd than about a lousy photograph.

;-)

There were those who at the time thought much the same of Leonardo, Turner and Rembrandt.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: rabanito on May 12, 2019, 07:46:50 am
Their work is up there on that pedestal because they used their undoubted talents to challenge the existing mores and in doing so their remarkable work changed understanding, opinion and the very direction of art and artists.
But the artists that followed them were also artists.
There is a difference between pioneers (artists in our case) and "just artists", who were ALSO artists, no doubt
I guess you are referring to the former.
I shouldn't have named names. My fault
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 12, 2019, 07:48:21 am
Rabanito, Stephen Waddell's work – like the work of Jeff Wall before him – is very much engaged with the tradition of painting you rightly admire. I suspect you would find much to savour in an exhibition of his work. Remember these are sizeable prints (painting-sized), not teeny jpegs to be liked on Instagram.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: faberryman on May 12, 2019, 08:08:21 am
This is exactly my point... truly NEW art is not understood.
One difference is the half life of movements. It would seem things are changing so fast that you can't understand them before they are superseded. And if they are rapidly superseded where they ever more than just a photographers style.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: rabanito on May 12, 2019, 08:11:07 am
Rabanito, Stephen Waddell's work – like the work of Jeff Wall before him – is very much engaged with the tradition of painting you rightly admire. I suspect you would find much to savour in an exhibition of his work. Remember these are sizeable prints (painting-sized), not teeny jpegs to be liked on Instagram.

That's a point. It could very well be.
A Rembrandt (or else) in a book is not the same as in nature :-)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 12, 2019, 08:38:24 am
Rabanito, Stephen Waddell's work – like the work of Jeff Wall before him – is very much engaged with the tradition of painting you rightly admire. I suspect you would find much to savour in an exhibition of his work. Remember these are sizeable prints (painting-sized), not teeny jpegs to be liked on Instagram.


So, in essence, you are saying a big turd is justifiable even if its smaller brother is not?

Is it, then, a matter of critical mass on the pavement?

:-)

Rob
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 12, 2019, 10:18:39 am
... I understand perfectly exactly what Oscar is saying; the problem for me, is this: none of it applies to the picture under discussion...

Amen, brother!
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 12, 2019, 10:29:46 am
What exactly is NEW about the OP image? As of when is mundane, even in its “poetic” incarnation, defined as new? Mundane, by definition, is the very antithesis of new.

You might just go to your local machine-printing lab, spend an hour watching it spit postcard-sized print after print, close your eyes and pick one at random, and there you go: another $50,000 award for the mundane.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: D Fuller on May 12, 2019, 11:30:17 am

So, in essence, you are saying a big turd is justifiable even if its smaller brother is not?

Is it, then, a matter of critical mass on the pavement?

:-)

Rob

No. I believe he's saying that size matters in images.

I rremember when, as a young student studying 20th century painting, I struggled with the abstract expressionists. I struggled especially Jackson Pollack. My professor showed slides, I looked at books, but I got... nothing.

Then I went to an exhibit (at the Met, I believe) where a Pollack was installed at the landing of a staircase, so that as you came up the stairs, it filled your entire field of view. As I walked up those stairs, I came to understand Pollack. With the painting filling my entire field of view, I saw the energy, the visual rhythm, the subtlety of color choices as I'd never been able to understand them before. I "got" abstract expressionism in that moment, and it has been my favorite period of painting since that day.

I don't know what the OP image is like at 50" wide, but I'd be very surprised if the impression it gives were not very different from the one it gives on my computer screen.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 12, 2019, 11:46:31 am
I don't know what the OP image is like at 50" wide, but I'd be very surprised if the impression it gives were not very different from the one it gives on my computer screen.

The print is 93" wide x 60" tall.

There's a slideshow of installation shots here (click on the image below 'Exhibition Images'):

http://www.monteclarkgallery.com/exhibition/stephen-waddell-2/
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 12, 2019, 12:46:32 pm
I find it depressing to see photographs, which are built upon technologies which make them inherently reproducible, resizable, transmittable, choosing to lean on the inherent properties of paintings instead.

It feels like an error, and not a new one.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: 32BT on May 12, 2019, 01:02:21 pm
What exactly is NEW about the OP image? As of when is mundane, even in its “poetic” incarnation, defined as new? Mundane, by definition, is the very antithesis of new.

You might just go to your local machine-printing lab, spend an hour watching it spit postcard-sized print after print, close your eyes and pick one at random, and there you go: another $50,000 award for the mundane.

Mundane itself isn't new. But what you do with the mundane in an art expression can certainly be new. Van Gogh being a prime example. Though I'm sure if you spend an hour in a retirement home watching some paint-by-numbers and a bingo session, you'll probably find yourself another potato eaters...
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 12, 2019, 01:16:17 pm
Mundane itself isn't new. But what you do with the mundane in an art expression can certainly be new...

Agreed. But that works for painting, because you can paint it in a new way. Photography, by its very nature, is chained to veracity, so a mundane photographed is still as mundane as it gets.

P.S. It is possible that a mundane can be photographed in a new way, with or without veracity, but that is definitely not the case with the OP.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: 32BT on May 12, 2019, 01:32:04 pm
Agreed. But that works for painting, because you can paint it in a new way. Photography, by its very nature, is chained to veracity, so a mundane photographed is still as mundane as it gets.

P.S. It is possible that a mundane can be photographed in a new way, with or without veracity, but that is definitely not the case with the OP.

I don't believe the OP picture meant to photograph the mundane in a new way. There are an infinite number of ways to use and approach the mundane in a way that would still make it novel. Choosing the mundane as a backdrop for snapshot style images singling out individuals that then make you question the combination of human and surround is novel, but certainly doesn't attempt to approach the mundane itself in a new way.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 12, 2019, 01:55:00 pm
Right, Oscar. He didn't attempt to approach the mundane in a new way. He approached it in an old way, with predictable results.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: 32BT on May 12, 2019, 02:07:44 pm
Right, Oscar. He didn't attempt to approach the mundane in a new way. He approached it in an old way, with predictable results.

It's not about the mundane having to be any different than what it is. The mundane part therefore is likely predictable and unremarkable. It does however make other elements all the more remarkable, although perhaps every mundane town has a sunflower wall somewhere kept by a suntanned blond...
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: faberryman on May 12, 2019, 02:16:35 pm
It makes me despondent that I am so hopelessly out of touch with what constitutes exceptional photography. I probably spend too much time on forums populated by old guys with old opinions who post old photographs. Maybe I should figure out how to find stuff on Instagram and bring myself into the 21st century.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: OmerV on May 12, 2019, 02:23:44 pm
Right, Oscar. He didn't attempt to approach the mundane in a new way. He approached it in an old way, with predictable results.

Russ, beyond the fact that the shoeshine photo Daguerre made might be considered the first street photo and as such has historical value, does that picture mean anything to you?
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: D Fuller on May 12, 2019, 02:27:36 pm
The print is 93" wide x 60" tall.

There's a slideshow of installation shots here (click on the image below 'Exhibition Images'):

http://www.monteclarkgallery.com/exhibition/stephen-waddell-2/

My mistake. But that only further reinforces my point about the experience being different from a screen image.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 12, 2019, 03:33:07 pm
Russ, beyond the fact that the shoeshine photo Daguerre made might be considered the first street photo and as such has historical value, does that picture mean anything to you?

Trying to connect that photograph with Daguerre’s shoe-shiner seems a stretch too far, Omer, unless you’re guessing the photographer told the girl to stand still while he shot.

But yes, what the picture means to me is that an established artist in mid or later career rode or walked by a fence with sunflowers being watered by a girl and probably said to himself: “Here is a refined photographic exploration which evokes my keen awareness about the poetics of space and the history of painting, while also walking the line between documentary and intimately personal visualizations.”

Who wouldn’t shoot such a provocative scene, especially knowing that the prize was fifty grand?
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: rabanito on May 12, 2019, 03:56:41 pm

But yes, what the picture means to me is that an established artist in mid or later career rode or walked by a fence with sunflowers being watered by a girl and probably said to himself: “Here is a refined photographic exploration which evokes my keen awareness about the poetics of space and the history of painting, while also walking the line between documentary and intimately personal visualizations.”

Who wouldn’t shoot such a provocative scene, especially knowing that the prize was fifty grand?

I'm a serious admirer of your writing style  :)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 12, 2019, 04:06:30 pm
Thanks, Rab. I've always wanted to write artist's statements. I'm sure I could come up with even more outlandish horse hockey than Deborah Dundas, the Star's Books editor did in her explanation of why this picture won.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: 32BT on May 12, 2019, 04:21:56 pm
Trying to connect that photograph with Daguerre’s shoe-shiner seems a stretch too far, Omer, unless you’re guessing the photographer told the girl to stand still while he shot.

But yes, what the picture means to me is that an established artist in mid or later career rode or walked by a fence with sunflowers being watered by a girl and probably said to himself: “Here is a refined photographic exploration which evokes my keen awareness about the poetics of space and the history of painting, while also walking the line between documentary and intimately personal visualizations.”

Who wouldn’t shoot such a provocative scene, especially knowing that the prize was fifty grand?

And where exactly was that essay of yours again that you wrote about Streetphotography and that you keep linking to us over and over and over again, you know, as if it will teach us to take a decent street shot when we simply drive or walk past a scene and say to ourselves: Here is a refined photographic exploration of human beings and their artifacts, or whatever other drivel we collectively came up with to NOT define street street?

He doesn't know the prize is fifty grand, because you don't get to submit your own work for this award. Blame the curators and jury, including Burtynsky if you have to, but don't blame the poor guy for taking snapshots to keep himself busy.

Besides, it's an award designed for "Commitment to a career in photo-based art and demonstrated potential for growth and evolution". Well, if it's such a lousy example, there must be significant potential for growth and evolution, no?

Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: OmerV on May 12, 2019, 04:27:45 pm
Trying to connect that photograph with Daguerre’s shoe-shiner seems a stretch too far, Omer, unless you’re guessing the photographer told the girl to stand still while he shot.

But yes, what the picture means to me is that an established artist in mid or later career rode or walked by a fence with sunflowers being watered by a girl and probably said to himself: “Here is a refined photographic exploration which evokes my keen awareness about the poetics of space and the history of painting, while also walking the line between documentary and intimately personal visualizations.”

Who wouldn’t shoot such a provocative scene, especially knowing that the prize was fifty grand?

Russ, while I do like the OP picture and see a similarity with the Daguerre, I’m clear on what you think of the comparison, or non.

Still, I am genuinely curious about what you think of the Daguerre, but if that’s another thread, well OK.   
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: FranciscoDisilvestro on May 12, 2019, 04:28:00 pm

So, in essence, you are saying a big turd is justifiable even if its smaller brother is not?

Is it, then, a matter of critical mass on the pavement?

:-)

Rob

It follows the old saying: “If you can’t make it good, make it big”
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 12, 2019, 07:11:02 pm
Russ, while I do like the OP picture and see a similarity with the Daguerre, I’m clear on what you think of the comparison, or non.

Still, I am genuinely curious about what you think of the Daguerre, but if that’s another thread, well OK.   

Hi Omer, I probably need to do some research on the subject. I think the picture you’re talking about has a shoe shine going on on a corner below the location of the camera and some distance away. I’ve always wondered whether or not Daguerre got the two participants to hold still until he signaled them to relax. On the other hand, if you look closely you see that both the shiner and his customer have moved during the exposure. In any case, the picture is quite arresting, not so much because of the shoe shine but because of the architecture of mid nineteenth century Paris. This, by the way, would qualify as street photography but not as very good street photography. A better example would be Atget’s picture of a shoe shine. But he got the participants to hold still.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 12, 2019, 07:13:28 pm
Well, if it's such a lousy example, there must be significant potential for growth and evolution, no?

I'd say this is a case where there's vast room for growth, Oscar.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 12, 2019, 08:00:42 pm
Bottom line, it's a pretty picture. In spite of all the high-sounding garbage from Edward Burtinsky: “Stephen’s refined photographic explorations evoke his keen awareness about the poetics of space and the history of painting, while also walking the line between documentary and intimately personal visualizations" I suspect pretty has something to do with it.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 13, 2019, 07:35:05 am
That there's anything further to say about the magnificent prize winning image astounds me: as Tina sang, it's simply the best, better than all of the rest!

Let's just say it's worth a small fortune and the other competitors must have been sooooo close to winning too! It's so terribly difficult having to disappoint so many other good people entering into the spirit of the thing in such selfless manner, oh but that were prizes to go to everyone!

But, as ever, the cream rises right to the top, even when it's gone off.

:-)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 13, 2019, 07:57:07 am
...as Tina sang, it's simply the best, better than all of the rest!

Which may tell you something about all the rest.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 13, 2019, 08:50:32 am
The rest:

https://www.scotiabankphotoaward.com/en/scotiabank-photography-award/nominees.html
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 13, 2019, 08:56:38 am
Well, there you go.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: drmike on May 13, 2019, 08:58:47 am
Based solely on the three images from each photographer Marlene Creates for me.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 13, 2019, 09:03:28 am
This award seems to be for Canadian Artists and, to be honest, if you're an established artist living and working in Canada you're probably not very good. Not because Canada sucks, but because if you really are something good, you go someplace else. Canada simply doesn't have the density of the kinds of people you need to be hanging around with.

That said, I think I am beginning to get what Waddell is doing with these vernacular-ish things. What I am beginning to understand is simply not that interesting. It's Düsseldorf-Lite, and anyways I mostly don't have much time for the Düsseldorf people.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 13, 2019, 09:17:08 am
It's Düsseldorf-Lite, and anyways I mostly don't have much time for the Düsseldorf people.

In what way? Waddell's work seems more closely related to fellow Canadian Jeff Wall (who is hardly a minor artist).

Canada has a rich tradition of photographic art practice:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_School
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 13, 2019, 09:40:10 am
Canada has a rich tradition of a lot of second rate art. They have second rate novelists, second rate painters, second rate photographers, second rate playwrights. Second rate doesn't mean terrible (ok, well, a lot of the writers were fairly dreadful) it just means not first rate.

Again, this isn't an indictment of Canada, it's simply that if you're first rate you move to New York, or LA, or Paris, because that's where you need to be to have that first rate career.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 13, 2019, 09:59:25 am
Photographic artists such as Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas and Rodney Graham may be 'second rate' in your opinion but they are firmly established in the artworld pantheon.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 13, 2019, 11:09:05 am
Sure, they're well established in the artworld pantheon. They, like, I dunno, several thousand other photographers, and a few 10s of thousands of other media artists, have representation, are collected by some museums and collectors. They're not nobodies, they're not failures.

They are not A-list, they do not in general get major travelling shows like Diana Arbus, or Sally Mann, Richard Avedon, and a small handful of others (is that the "A-list"?) Nor are they particularly dominant on the international stage while not getting major travelling shows like, say Crewdson, Ruff, Struth (photographers recognized as Good and Important, but pathologically incapable of drawing anything resembling a crowd).

The Vancouver School photographers are never described as Important Photographers, or Major Artists. No, these guys are always Important Canadian Artists, the recognized Great Men of the Vancouver School of Photoconceptualism. Which, you know, makes a lot of people who aren't canadian say "the Vancouver School of what, now?" and then you look it up and you see that it is/was a real thing, with a real aesthetic and some ideas. It looks a bit like some of the Düsseldorf School, but it's not as Important. It might, if you squint, have some evolutionary ideas from New Topographics, if only in that the latter opened the door to Dreary Photos of Crap in the Americas, but again it's not as Important.

The Vancouver School isn't exactly Bauhaus, but then it also isn't Fishboy. It lands somewhere in between

Like Emily Carr, they are seen as major and important artists in Vancouver, and as you move away from Vancouver, they tend to shrink. They do not vanish, but they shrink.

Personally, I dislike all of them, but as often as not I recognize roughly what they're trying to do, and recognize also that they're a bit clumsy. They lack the deft touch of the truly brilliant. As a person who also lacks that deft touch, I have a certain sympathy for them.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: 32BT on May 13, 2019, 11:13:24 am
... but pathologically incapable of drawing anything resembling a crowd).

Hah, I'm at least half way en route to be an A-list artist then...!

;-)     <-------------------
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 13, 2019, 11:58:17 am
Canada has a rich tradition of a lot of second rate art...

Andrew, the honey badger! A sight to behold  ;) :) ;D
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 13, 2019, 12:02:54 pm
Andrew, whether you like him or not (and I have my reservations), Jeff Wall is of massive importance in the history of contemporary photographic art practice. He has major retrospectives around the world and his prints sell for millions. He's up there with Andreas Gursky, Richard Prince and Cindy Sherman. Sure, a Leibowitz or Avedon exhibition will have greater footfall, but that doesn't make them greater artists (if they're artists at all). Whilst Stan Douglas and Rodney Graham haven't achieved the fame of Jeff Wall, they're still major players. You need to brush up on your history.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 13, 2019, 12:10:12 pm
We are once again encountering the distinction that I described long time ago as between phtotograhers trying to create art and artists which happen to be using photography as a medium. The former are much better known, respected, and emulated by the LuLa crowd. The latter, not so much. But the curators and artsy crowd apparently knows them well.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: faberryman on May 13, 2019, 12:18:31 pm
Andrew, whether you like him or not (and I have my reservations), Jeff Wall is of massive importance in the history of contemporary photographic art practice. He has major retrospectives around the world and his prints sell for millions.
Does contemporary photography have a history? Seems like an oxymoron to me. And while I have heard of Gursky and Sherman (and Richard Prince because he is a fraud), I've never heard of Jeff Wall so I have no opinion on his work. I am not from Vancouver if that matters.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 13, 2019, 12:24:23 pm
Vancouver is currently best known as the money-laundering capital of the world. Perhaps that explains how those photographs sell for millions? ;)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 13, 2019, 12:32:38 pm
Does contemporary photography have a history? Seems like an oxymoron to me.
Yes, it begins in the early 70s (at the point where most Lula members tune out). Jeff Wall plays a central role.


Quote
And while I have heard of Gursky and Sherman (and Richard Prince because he is a fraud)
Prince is a clown, not a fraud. He's funny.


Quote
I've never heard of Jeff Wall. I am not from Vancouver if that matters.
So you're not that interested in art photography – that's ok!
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 13, 2019, 12:32:50 pm
Does contemporary photography have a history? Seems like an oxymoron to me. And while I have heard of Gursky and Sherman (and Richard Prince because he is a fraud), I've never heard of Jeff Wall. I am not from Vancouver if that matters.

I, like many people who are interested in but not immersed in the Contemporary Art Scene, had heard of Jeff Wall in that "hey, wikipedia, oh right he's that guy" way.

My list of "oh, right, that guy" probably has a few hundred photographers on it, which is quite a bit larger than the list of photographers I can actually cite off the cuff with some intelligence. I speculate that most of us are in roughly the same boat.

How it works in other media, I do not know, but in photography there is this interesting phenomenon where people, like me, who spend some effort to be mildly knowledgeable, have A List of Names that we're pretty sure are important photographers. The number of people who might reasonably turn up on this list is, I don't know, at least several hundred, maybe a couple thousand. It takes a while to realize that Your List and My List are not generally going to overlap that much, and that each of our lists mainly consists of a small handful of the actual A-listers, and then whichever half dozen or so B-listers we're heard of recently.

This doesn't mean that either of us is particularly wrong. It simply means that there are a hell of a lot of "kinda important, kinda influential, but not you know monumental" photographers out there, too many to reasonably keep track of unless it is literally your job, or your obsession.

I am reminded of a terrible zine I stumbled across, showcasing the work of a dozen rotten photographers, along with a little interview. It was eerie how many of them cited Ren Hang as an influence. It turned out that Ren Hang committed suicide a few days before submissions for this zine opened, and that news was covered on PetaPixel. Of course, there was not a trace of Hang in any of the pictures, and these photographers had not heard of him a week earlier, but it was a name that popped into their heads when they needed to write a list of Influences for their "interview" piece. I do not think they were lying, as such, I think they were simply struggling to come up with anyone who wasn't Avedon.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: OmerV on May 13, 2019, 12:51:00 pm
We are once again encountering the distinction that I described long time ago as between phtotograhers trying to create art and artists which happen to be using photography as a medium. The former are much better known, respected, and emulated by the LuLa crowd. The latter, not so much. But the curators and artsy crowd apparently knows them well.

An echo chamber is a security blanket. Nothing wrong with that unless one chooses never to leave their crib. And that goes for both camps.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: petermfiore on May 13, 2019, 12:56:40 pm
We are once again encountering the distinction that I described long time ago as between phtotograhers trying to create art and artists which happen to be using photography as a medium. The former are much better known, respected, and emulated by the LuLa crowd. The latter, not so much. But the curators and artsy crowd apparently knows them well.

That's the difference between commercial art and fine art....always will be.

Peter
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 13, 2019, 01:48:37 pm
It is perhaps difficult to get a take on Jeff Wall because his practice has many strands and each picture has its own internal logic – in contrast to the Dusseldorf photographers, who often photographed the same thing over and over again. Yet anyone familiar with Wall's work will see many tropes reappearing in the work of Stephen Waddell (whom I believe studied under Wall).

As Lula members have a thing for street photography, they might be interested in Wall's innovative use of a large format camera to create staged street photographs ('Mimic' is one of his best-known photographs):

https://www.americansuburbx.com/2016/06/evocations-of-the-everyday-the-street-pictures-of-jeff-wall-2009.html

(I haven't been able to glean whether Stephen Waddell's pictures are staged or found. I like the idea that they're found, but the styling of the sunflower girl looks too good to be true.)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 13, 2019, 02:21:08 pm
"Mimic" is one of those things that perfectly illustrates the sort of un-deft hand I mentioned earlier. Wall can ramble on about mimesis all he wants, but at the end of the day if you simply look at the picture, it reads easily and with a bit of a clunk. I agree with the politics, but find it an ungracious expression of them.

Contrast with "Dead Soldiers Talk" which is still highly charged, but treats its politics with a far defter hand. There is room for interpretation. The general thrust is clear, but to my eye it feels un-clunky.

Contrast with Stieglitz "The Steerage" which makes almost the same point, but again with grace, with a deft hand.

The ability to consistently make work that treads the extremely narrow path between it reads and ... but not clunkily, with a thud is what separates the great from the, well, not great.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Rob C on May 13, 2019, 02:29:59 pm
It is perhaps difficult to get a take on Jeff Wall because his practice has many strands and each picture has its own internal logic – in contrast to the Dusseldorf photographers, who often photographed the same thing over and over again. Yet anyone familiar with Wall's work will see many tropes reappearing in the work of Stephen Waddell (whom I believe studied under Wall).

As Lula members have a thing for street photography, they might be interested in Wall's innovative use of a large format camera to create staged street photographs ('Mimic' is one of his best-known photographs):

https://www.americansuburbx.com/2016/06/evocations-of-the-everyday-the-street-pictures-of-jeff-wall-2009.html

(I haven't been able to glean whether Stephen Waddell's pictures are staged or found. I like the idea that they're found, but the styling of the sunflower girl looks too good to be true.)


Thank you for that link; I literally couldn't finish it.

It just exemplifies everything that I have come to hate about photography, the people who sell and promote it. It's an emptyness and a fraud that depends on gigantism to pretend a validity. Like they say, if you are going to scam, scam big!

I don't think I'm going to read anything ever again about any of those people. I'm out of this one.

Rob
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 13, 2019, 02:46:01 pm
Quote
"Mimic" is one of those things that perfectly illustrates the sort of un-deft hand I mentioned earlier. Wall can ramble on about mimesis all he wants, but at the end of the day if you simply look at the picture, it reads easily and with a bit of a clunk. I agree with the politics, but find it an ungracious expression of them.

Contrast with "Dead Soldiers Talk" which is still highly charged, but treats its politics with a far defter hand. There is room for interpretation. The general thrust is clear, but to my eye it feels un-clunky.

Contrast with Stieglitz "The Steerage" which makes almost the same point, but again with grace, with a deft hand.

The ability to consistently make work that treads the extremely narrow path between it reads and ... but not clunkily, with a thud is what separates the great from the, well, not great.


I prefer his very simple (less 'readable') pictures. For example the two 'Diagonal Compositions' here:

https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/jeff-wall/jeff-wall-room-guide/jeff-wall-room-guide-room-5

I agree that a lot of his work is 'clunky', though to my eyes 'Dead Troops Talk' is clunky, whilst 'Mimic' isn't. For me, clunkiness manifests when the staging is over-elaborate (Crewdson does nothing for me).

Stephen Waddell's work, whilst similar to Wall's, seems to have a lighter touch, which I find appealing. It feels less cooked.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: faberryman on May 13, 2019, 02:52:17 pm
https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/jeff-wall/jeff-wall-room-guide/jeff-wall-room-guide-room-5

Someone want to try their hand at explaining in plain English what makes these photographs remarkable?
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 13, 2019, 02:56:49 pm
Someone want to try their hand at explaining in plain English what makes these photographs remarkable?

I like them because they're not remarkable.

I like some of your pictures for the same reason (the last 'Nashville' image, the first six 'Shadows' images).
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: FranciscoDisilvestro on May 13, 2019, 03:11:54 pm


https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/jeff-wall/jeff-wall-room-guide/jeff-wall-room-guide-room-5

 

Speechless!
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 13, 2019, 03:12:40 pm
We are talking about different worlds here. Like Venn diagrams that barely touch each other, let alone intersect.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 13, 2019, 03:20:51 pm
We are talking about different worlds here. Like Venn diagrams that barely touch each other, let alone intersect.

I don't think so – though I know what you mean :)

I was just looking a Faberryman's website, and he speaks of being informed by the work of the modernist photographers Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Minor White. Well, it seems to me that Jeff Wall's Diagonal Compositions are very much in that tradition. They are pictures for looking at - and that is all.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: faberryman on May 13, 2019, 03:53:49 pm
I was just looking a Faberryman's website, and he speaks of being informed by the work of the modernist photographers Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Minor White. Well, it seems to me that Jeff Wall's Diagonal Compositions are very much in that tradition. They are pictures for looking at - and that is all.
Essentially that is right. I have thought about hiring a recent MFA graduate to jazz up my artist statement with contemporary jargon to make it sound more important than that, but decided I couldn't live with myself if I did.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: petermfiore on May 13, 2019, 04:06:50 pm
Essentially that is right. I have thought about hiring a recent MFA student to jazz up my artist statement with contemporary jargon to make it sound more important than that, but decided I couldn't live with myself if I did.

The idea of modern changes as times slides by....those photographers are now past being modernists. The world of what most call Modern Art is quite old. Much of it going on 100 years ago modern. Today's work is called Contemporary Art. A huge difference in the world of Fine Art.

Peter
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: faberryman on May 13, 2019, 04:30:08 pm
Today's work is called Contemporary Art. A huge difference in the world of Fine Art.
I probably should have said mid-century modern, like the architecture. The thing about contemporary art is that it is a moving window. I took a contemporary art course in college in 1975-76, along with several more traditional art history courses. I was studying in Paris at the time. Since that was going on 50 years ago, I doubt the things we saw in galleries then would still be deemed contemporary art. And aren't we at post-contemporary art by now anyway?
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: petermfiore on May 13, 2019, 05:14:55 pm
I probably should have said mid-century modern, like the architecture. The thing about contemporary art is that it is a moving window. I took a contemporary art course in college in 1975. I was studying in Paris at the time. Since that was going on 50 years ago, I doubt the things we saw in galleries then would still be deemed contemporary art. And aren't we at post-contemporary art by now?

Contemporary always means what's being made today.

Peter
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Robert Roaldi on May 15, 2019, 06:47:12 am
It would be a fun thought experiment to present this photo in a different context, a criticism thread say, where no mention of prize money or jury was made.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 15, 2019, 06:53:57 am
It would be a fun thought experiment to present this photo in a different context, a criticism thread say, where no mention of prize money or jury was made.

https://petapixel.com/2011/07/13/why-you-shouldnt-give-too-much-weight-to-anonymous-online-critics/
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: petermfiore on May 15, 2019, 06:55:07 am
It would be a fun thought experiment to present this photo in a different context, a criticism thread say, where no mention of prize money or jury was made.

I bet it would have gone silently into the night...

Peter
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Ivo_B on May 15, 2019, 07:12:10 am
It reminds me to the Dutch grand prix Paul Huf (A Dutch photographer) It was an important photo contest for professional photographers. A few years ago the organisation was taken over by an old advertising agent. He transferred the grand Paul Huf contest into a Facebook contest with ridiculous rankings measured by the amount of likes and manipulated in the most bizarre sub ranking ever seen on this planet and beyond.
Some pro photographers returned their nomination and medals because the contest turned out to be a complete joke.
 
 
On one hand, if a contest is curated, peoples get upset because the curator is a so called idiot and don’t know a thing about art.
On the other hand, if the contest is a popularity game, peoples get upset because the contest is a nepotistic endeavour.
 
 
 
Other international photo contest are sick in the same bed. Most of the time it is just a contest organized to collect the subscription money and earn money on the back of naive amateur photographers.
I remember my period at photo.net, I got an envelope at home with a very fancy and expensive looking letter, I was selected and one of my picture would be published in a book. I could already pre order the book for only 75$. There was even a preview included on which page my picture would be published. We also had the unique chance to claim our trophy (Finalist trophy), an etched piece of glass on a ‘real’ Oak pedestal, only for 125$, transport not included.
One of my photo colleagues got the same letter and with exact the same preview, only instead of my picture, his picture was included.
Few weeks later, I got another letter, I was selected as finalist among 100 other. We were invited in San Diego to join the final contest. The cost was only 550$ for accommodation and meals. Travel to San Diego not included.
The winner (10k$) would be selected that day, not based on the selected picture, but every finalist would receive the same camera (And could keep it) and had to go in town to make a picture. The best picture of that photo safari would win the contest. (The camera was a 1.4mp fix focus point and shoot)
 
You can imagine how eager I was to fly from Europe to  San Diego to claim my price
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Ivo_B on May 15, 2019, 09:38:19 am
Looks like our Ivo might get rich next year ;)

Well, I prefer to enter my pictures in the Lula comment competition. The comments are worth a million. Eat that, Scotia bank.

 ;D
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 15, 2019, 10:36:20 am
https://petapixel.com/2011/07/13/why-you-shouldnt-give-too-much-weight-to-anonymous-online-critics/

Or, more likely, HCB wasn’t such a great photographer? Just another bored burgeois (or as kids say these days: boujee)  ;)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Ivo_B on May 15, 2019, 11:20:26 am
Or, more likely, HCB wasn’t such a great photographer? Just another bored burgeois (or as kids say these days: boujee)  ;)

Nothing new, this insight, imo  8)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 15, 2019, 12:39:42 pm
It is certainly a problem with photography, that the vast majority don't care about anything except if they're in the picture and is the picture sharp.

Next largest is the camera-owner population, who care largely about technical and formal properties. Is it in focus? How are the bokeh? Are there leading lines? Is there a tree growing out of the subject's head? Is the frame "balanced" and is the model "posed correctly"? Note that the concerns of this group do not overlap, even slightly, with  the concerns of hoi polloi.

Finally there are the Art Crew who care about whether the picture means anything, and if so, what.

There are probably other, even smaller, groups with concerns that are incomprehensible to me.

No group's concerns particularly overlap with any other group's, despite the fact that everyone claims that their concerns are truly the ones the unwashed masses will notice, perhaps subconsciously. Alternatively, and this one is hilarious, they will assert that the unwashed merely need to be educated, which is to put the cart several light years ahead of the horse.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Robert Roaldi on May 15, 2019, 01:26:15 pm
It is certainly a problem with photography, that the vast majority don't care about anything except if they're in the picture and is the picture sharp.

Why do you say "problem"? If this is what some want from their photographs, I don't see why that detracts from anyone else's usage.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 15, 2019, 01:36:47 pm
Why do you say "problem"? If this is what some want from their photographs, I don't see why that detracts from anyone else's usage.

Good point.

I did not mean that any specific set of attitudes is wrong, or "a problem," although it certainly reads that way, doesn't it?

My intent was that it's a problem in talking about photography. People tend to assume that other people share their criteria for judgement, and as often as not, one person's criteria have literally nothing whatever to do with the other person's. This leads to long, agitated, and pointless conversations.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: KLaban on May 15, 2019, 01:42:27 pm
And if all this wasn't enough, there's the problem of the cynicism of the righteous.

;-)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Robert Roaldi on May 15, 2019, 01:44:51 pm
Good point.

I did not mean that any specific set of attitudes is wrong, or "a problem," although it certainly reads that way, doesn't it?

My intent was that it's a problem in talking about photography. People tend to assume that other people share their criteria for judgement, and as often as not, one person's criteria have literally nothing whatever to do with the other person's. This leads to long, agitated, and pointless conversations.

Ok, I understand. Sounds like those Venn diagrams that Slobodan mentioned, circles rubbing up against one another.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 15, 2019, 02:18:04 pm
It is not just a body of work, though necessary. It is also a network and life path. These guys are in academia, from students to teachers, in galleries, art circles, mingling with curators, critics, other artists. Those others then become jury for a contest and they will look for those they know and whose work and philosophy they are familiar with. These awards and contests are not crowd sourced. You and I may snap thousands of sunflower walls and never stand a chance. I am saying it without any bitterness or criticism. It isn't a single, take-your-breath-away shot. It is a subtle leitmotif, flowing through the body of work and years, known to the initiated only. Again, I am saying it without any bitterness or criticism. It is just a different world, where you can't just jump in and out for the purpose of the contest. You have to belong.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 15, 2019, 02:46:43 pm
The history of the Impressionists is a case in point.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: petermfiore on May 15, 2019, 03:12:46 pm
The history of the Impressionists is a case in point.

The Impressionists are group that the artist's of today don't even look toward. Sure they know who is who, but that's about as far as it goes.

Today's anointed are their gods.

Peter
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 15, 2019, 03:20:28 pm
The Impressionists are group that the artist's of today don't even look toward. Sure they know who is who, but that's about as far as it goes.

Today's anointed are their gods.

Peter

Interestingly among the unwashed (that is, the people who go to Art Shows At Museums) The Impressionists are pretty much it for painting. Painting is Monet and, ok, that Leonardo guy as well, and then a bunch of crap.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: 32BT on May 15, 2019, 03:23:04 pm
It is a subtle leitmotif, flowing through the body of work

This.

And if you can exhibit at least some amount of consistency in reproducing that leitmotif, it might just end up becoming a genre.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: rabanito on May 15, 2019, 03:31:06 pm
It is not just a body of work, though necessary. It is also a network and life path. These guys are in academia, from students to teachers, in galleries, art circles, mingling with curators, critics, other artists. Those others then become jury for a contest and they will look for those they know and whose work and philosophy they are familiar with. These awards and contests are not crowd sourced. You and I may snap thousands of sunflower walls and never stand a chance. I am saying it without any bitterness or criticism. It isn't a single, take-your-breath-away shot. It is a subtle leitmotif, flowing through the body of work and years, known to the initiated only. Again, I am saying it without any bitterness or criticism. It is just a different world, where you can't just jump in and out for the purpose of the contest. You have to belong.

Hear!
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: RSL on May 15, 2019, 03:33:23 pm
The Impressionists are group that the artist's of today don't even look toward. Sure they know who is who, but that's about as far as it goes.

Today's anointed are their gods.

Peter

Right, Peter, but when the Impressionists started out they were banished from the Salon in the 1874 show. What they were doing simply wasn't acceptable.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Ivo_B on May 15, 2019, 04:42:24 pm
It is not just a body of work, though necessary. It is also a network and life path. These guys are in academia, from students to teachers, in galleries, art circles, mingling with curators, critics, other artists. Those others then become jury for a contest and they will look for those they know and whose work and philosophy they are familiar with. These awards and contests are not crowd sourced. You and I may snap thousands of sunflower walls and never stand a chance. I am saying it without any bitterness or criticism. It isn't a single, take-your-breath-away shot. It is a subtle leitmotif, flowing through the body of work and years, known to the initiated only. Again, I am saying it without any bitterness or criticism. It is just a different world, where you can't just jump in and out for the purpose of the contest. You have to belong.

Very true.

Curators determine what will hang in the next exhibition and artists are made that way.
I'm aware of one exception: Thierry De Cordier. Out of the blue he walked into a curator with his body of work, and he promptly got himself a solo exhibition. Very interesting artist. (he also uses photography as a medium)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: rabanito on May 15, 2019, 05:11:37 pm
As far as my humble experience goes, curators discuss with the artist what will hang and what not and where.
Usually an artist brings only a choice of images that he would let hang (anyone goes) so the curator only has to choose among them.
Of course one can discuss this or that but if you bring a lot of rubbish among the choice you just don't get an exhibition.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: petermfiore on May 15, 2019, 05:40:01 pm
Right, Peter, but when the Impressionists started out they were banished from the Salon in the 1874 show. What they were doing simply wasn't acceptable.

And now they barely get a nod in art school. Too traditional by today's students desires...boring and over played.

Peter
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: rabanito on May 15, 2019, 05:46:37 pm
And now they barely get a nod in art school. Too traditional by today's students desires...boring and over played.

Peter

Hahaha.
Like baseball  ;D

Boredom is in the eye of the beholder
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 15, 2019, 06:06:25 pm
And now they barely get a nod in art school. Too traditional by today's students desires...boring and over played.

I'm not sure why anyone would want to paint an Impressionist painting today. This makes just as much sense as building a 1970s era automobile. An interesting exercise in nostalgia, probably marketable to a modest audience, but ultimately an era of expression which has worked itself out fairly thoroughly.

Note that I distinguish between "Impressionism" and "Impressionistic" -- the latter, being a borrowing of style and conceptual notes from the former, is very much still with us periodically. The ideas live on, the actual movement is rightly concluded.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 15, 2019, 07:03:15 pm
And now they barely get a nod in art school. Too traditional by today's students desires...boring and over played.

But, boy, is it a good investment!
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: faberryman on May 15, 2019, 07:10:22 pm
But, boy, is it a good investment!
I wonder whose photography, if anyone's, they will be saying that about in 150 years?
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: petermfiore on May 15, 2019, 08:05:02 pm
But, boy, is it a good investment!

It's worth it because the buyer said so...It's a great painting, but not Monet's greatest. Now to debate taste and preference!

Peter
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 15, 2019, 08:08:58 pm
The Impressionists are group that the artist's of today don't even look toward. Sure they know who is who, but that's about as far as it goes.

Stephen Waddell, it seems to me, has looked at The Impressionists very closely.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 15, 2019, 08:36:49 pm
Stephen Waddell, it seems to me, has looked at The Impressionists very closely.

I think you could argue that he's looked at Millet just as well, if you're picking out painters (but I do not consider any claims to be influenced by painters to be credible, I simply don't see it)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: John R on May 15, 2019, 09:00:50 pm
After all these pages I had to look up this Waddell. Turns out he is also a painter, but not well known. The same Jeff Wall mentioned here, wrote something about him. Have to say, his images remind me of Ivo's work, which as we know is not that popular on this site. Here are some links:

http://www.artnet.com/artists/stephen-waddell/

http://time.com/3595580/off-the-radar-jeff-wall-puts-the-spotlight-on-stephen-waddell/

http://www.mutantspace.com/stephen-waddell-photographs-born-out-painting/

JR
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: D Fuller on May 15, 2019, 09:20:33 pm
It is not just a body of work, though necessary. It is also a network and life path. These guys are in academia, from students to teachers, in galleries, art circles, mingling with curators, critics, other artists. Those others then become jury for a contest and they will look for those they know and whose work and philosophy they are familiar with. These awards and contests are not crowd sourced. You and I may snap thousands of sunflower walls and never stand a chance. I am saying it without any bitterness or criticism. It isn't a single, take-your-breath-away shot. It is a subtle leitmotif, flowing through the body of work and years, known to the initiated only. Again, I am saying it without any bitterness or criticism. It is just a different world, where you can't just jump in and out for the purpose of the contest. You have to belong.

I think this is a really good point, Slobodan. The circle of contemporary photographers who appear in  museums have worked to appear in museums. Those of us who have worked for paying clients are not in that circle. We have different objectives and different measures of success. Perhaps a few of us will be recognized after our demises as museum-worthy, but not many. I guess that is OK. It’s not what we’re work8ng toward.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: amolitor on May 15, 2019, 10:01:26 pm
It is not quite true to suggest that the only photographers collected by museums are the MFA crowd with their artist's statements and postmodern conceits.

What IS true is that museums are not interested in work that is simply variations on a well-mined theme, photographs which are more or less commodities. Attractive landscapes, weddings, store-front portrait shops, product photographs, theater photography Suitable For The Brochures, Web Sites, and Posters, and so on.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 15, 2019, 11:34:45 pm
^^^

In other words, applied arts vs. fine arts.
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: FranciscoDisilvestro on May 16, 2019, 12:10:20 am
It is not quite true to suggest that the only photographers collected by museums are the MFA crowd with their artist's statements and postmodern conceits.

What IS true is that museums are not interested in work that is simply variations on a well-mined theme, photographs which are more or less commodities. Attractive landscapes, weddings, store-front portrait shops, product photographs, theater photography Suitable For The Brochures, Web Sites, and Posters, and so on.

So museums are not interested in the work of Sam Abell but they are interested in Richard Prince with a bad crop from a Sam Abell picture
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: elliot_n on May 16, 2019, 05:27:30 am
So museums are not interested in the work of Sam Abell but they are interested in Richard Prince with a bad crop from a Sam Abell picture

It was a good crop :)
Title: Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
Post by: D Fuller on May 16, 2019, 05:12:54 pm
It is not quite true to suggest that the only photographers collected by museums are the MFA crowd with their artist's statements and postmodern conceits.

What IS true is that museums are not interested in work that is simply variations on a well-mined theme, photographs which are more or less commodities. Attractive landscapes, weddings, store-front portrait shops, product photographs, theater photography Suitable For The Brochures, Web Sites, and Posters, and so on.

I'm not sure an MFA comes into it, but maybe. I think museums are mostly interested in photographs that express ideas, which is, perhaps, why advertising and higher-end fashion photographers sometimes are shown. But working with the objective of being shown at a museum would seem to me to require as much deliberateness in its persuit as working to get hired to shoot a TV commercial or a print ad campaign, but focussed differently.