Friday, January 13, 2006

Answers to Comments

My words gleaned from various answers to comments about my work at Art critique sites.

There is a certain roughness to what I am doing here and there is a certain anarchism in my aesthetic. I enjoy chance in Photography and I don't mind if things are not so orderly. I don't mind if heads are arbitrarily cut off or if the composition is chaotic.
Back in the 1970's Phillip Glass and Steve Reich came to talk at the Philadelphia College of Art. The Philadelphia Academy of Music was across the street. The academy students were invited to come hear Mr. Glass and Mr. Reich speak. Almost none of them bothered to come.
I think that many photographers are concerned with formalism and technique and that chaos is very disturbing to them
I make no pretensions of Artiness for this photo. This is a humorous document and not Art. If I wanted to make a perfect composition I would remove Tim’s sandals from the scene. I’d crop out the witnesses and the sculptures on the floor. I’d set up perfect lighting and restage the event. I could then satisfy your criteria for nice composition and nice lighting. But this is not “Art” it is a document of a real event. This is a famous qajaq which was built by a 17 year old Maligiaq Padilla when he visited the US a few years back. It is the qajaq that he paddled in the John Heath video on Greenlandic paddling technique.
The sandals are part of the story Tim had to take them off in order to get his feet through the tiny cockpit.
The picture was taken in the studio of minimalist Artist Richard Nonas. The clutter of steel slabs on the floor are sculptures. The witnesses are all important parts of the document. The vested bearded guy is Richard Nonas sculptor/anthropologist/qajaqer. The guy in the shorts is XL an enthusiastic new student to Kayaking (I use qajaqing to refer to Greenlandic boats and paddles otherwise I use the normal American/English spelling) with a voracious appetite for knowledge and skills. The woman in this group is Nancy Brous a lithe and fast paddler who is usually at the front of any group on a paddling trip. She is also a kayak polo player and the Cinderella who easily fit the qajaq in the next photo which I haven’t posted yet.
The details that spoil the Art are important to the story. This is a real event and not a staged/composed/Artstic picture. I am more interested in capturing the scene as it was then in making Art.


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