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Author Topic: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...  (Read 6441 times)

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #60 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.

D Fuller

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #61 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.
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elliot_n

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #62 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/
« Last Edit: May 12, 2019, 12:04:28 pm by elliot_n »
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amolitor

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #63 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.
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32BT

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #64 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...
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #65 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.

32BT

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #66 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.
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RSL

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #67 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.
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32BT

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #68 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...
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faberryman

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #69 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.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2019, 07:15:03 pm by faberryman »
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OmerV

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #70 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?

D Fuller

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #71 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.
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RSL

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #72 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?
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rabanito

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #73 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  :)
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RSL

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #74 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.
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32BT

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #75 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?

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OmerV

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #76 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.   

fdisilvestro

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #77 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”

RSL

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #78 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.
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RSL

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Re: And the $50,000 Scotiabank 2019 Prize in Photography goes to...
« Reply #79 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.
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