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Author Topic: Stephen Shore  (Read 23661 times)
luong
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2009, 03:14:42 AM »
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Quote from: Geoff Wittig
Just my opinion of course; but to me Gursky's work is indeed all about technique. They're digitally polished photo-illustrations printed to huge sizes to visually bat the viewer over the head. I can appreciate the formalist beauty (ala Robert Adams) of images like his 99 cent or Shanghai 2000, but the implied sarcasm leaves me cold. The art world obviously loves it though.

They are printed to huge size to show in all its clarity their rich textures. Seeing that texture (which is often made of tiny figures) gives you the sense of immensity that I referred to previously. Like most works from the Dusseldorf school, Gursky adopts a neutral stance.  There is no implied sarcasm nor judgment passed. Judging from the success of his exhibits and books, there are quite a few folks outside of the art world who like him. I share many of your criticisms about modern art, however I think in general contemporary photography has remained relatively "accessible", which is the reason why it has become the most vital art form in the 21st century.
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free1000
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« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2009, 04:51:05 PM »
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Quote from: tonysmith
I want my photography to focus on the world in which I live daily, not on exotic places far from my ordinary life. I have done “by the book” landscapes in Arizona, New Mexico and Canada but have afterwards been bored by my own images and they never end up framed.

Hear, hear.

But you are being too kind, I'm bored by that sort of work whoever does it. If I see another blasted waterfall shot at 1/4 of a second I'll scream.

Stephen Shore's work is not about ugliness at all, its about seeing the wonderful in the everyday. It's not necessary to see these printed a meter wide for them to work. In his book of unpublished work there is a photo of a shop window in which are displayed a variety of lightbulbs... its one of my favorite photographs, utterly entrancing.
 
 

 
 
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« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2009, 06:19:10 PM »
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Quote from: Geoff Wittig
Nick Wapplington, I think is the fellow you're referring to. But it wasn't just his desperately poor background. If my memory serves, he took utterly pitiless photos of his drunken alcoholic father stumbling and falling ("Ray's a laff"), publishing them to great critical acclaim. This speaks for itself if you think it "fits right into the art world photography ethos".
Wrong name right idea.  But just because some work is awful in your eyes, does not means it's awful. I don't care for Billingham's work either BTW.
All modern art has been vilified in it's time. It later becomes so very acceptable and loses the 'Shock of the New' impact, so much so that it's hard to concieve anybody objected to such now quotidian work. Impressionisn, Ballet, Jazz....


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I can't agree with most of what you're saying, though it's always great to toss the ideas around. I still feel most strongly that contemporary art has removed itself from the realm of the typical educated layperson in ways that are far beyond historical precedent. Average folks nationwide lined up and paid money just for a glimpse at one of Bierstadt's paintings 150 years ago. It's difficult to imagine such popular enthusiasm for high art nowadays.
Well as there was so little other visual stimulus in those days, paintings could easily drew crowds - no competion was more the reason than the art itself being better. Sometimes as they were the only depictings/recording of news events such as the Raft of te Medusa by Théodore Géricault.
And as pointed above, modern art can certainly fill galleries even with cinema, TV, internet, DVDs etc as competiton. I often visit the Tate Modern when in London - never seen it quiet. Busier than the Tate [not Modern] from my experience.
I also find it baffling that people criticize some art as being elitist. What is actually wrong with that? Not everything has to appeal to average people. For them you have Thomas Kinkade   and I'd rather look at Billingham's art that Kinkade's populist work.
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« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2009, 06:31:21 PM »
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Quote from: KSH
..... I am wary of statements that today everything is completely different and much worse than it was in the past. I am certain that in every past that you are referring to there were a lot of people saying that THEIR present was much worse than what they perceived as the past - in the sense that "impressioniste" was originally conceived as an abuse.
Plus ça change!
One thing people don't realise that history is so often, the same thing repeated again and again and again, but with diferent costumes and locations. Here's some apposite music to soundtrack thread  History Repeating  Lyrics
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250swb
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« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2009, 02:46:50 AM »
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Quote from: luong
They are printed to huge size to show in all its clarity their rich textures. Seeing that texture (which is often made of tiny figures) gives you the sense of immensity that I referred to previously. Like most works from the Dusseldorf school, Gursky adopts a neutral stance.  There is no implied sarcasm nor judgment passed. Judging from the success of his exhibits and books, there are quite a few folks outside of the art world who like him. I share many of your criticisms about modern art, however I think in general contemporary photography has remained relatively "accessible", which is the reason why it has become the most vital art form in the 21st century.

There is nothing 'neutral' about the size of Gursky's work. The physicality of it is in the realm of shock and awe, not the intimate contemplative scale of Stephen Shore's work. So it can't be 'neutral' how the viewer perceives the work, the whole message is rammed down your throat in one big blockbuster bomb of information. That in other walks of life would be called kitsch, where all the information imparted by a novelty is able to be understood in one glance, and I tend to think the word should be applied to Gursky's work. The novelty is the size, and it is needed to get his intent across but after you first get the pun (message) it just isn't funny (interesting) any more.

No wonder it gets large crowds, and by the same token you'd go to the cinema for the full experience, it doesn't mean you come away wanting a full size cinema in your own home. So give me Stephen Shore any day, there is a beauty that can require some additional thought beyond what is presented on the surface of the print, a but like the difference between a poem and an advertising ditty.

Steve

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benuriyahmay
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« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2011, 09:50:43 PM »
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Interesting stuff. I'm really of two minds regarding Stephen Shore and his work. He's clearly a very smart, articulate fellow who has built a 'big name' career in the art world, and he's obviously given a lot of thought to photography as art form. On the other hand, his actual photographic art really grates on my own æsthetic sensibilities. His work celebrates the shabby, the prosaic, the ordinary. It's aggressively 'anti-pictorial'. I find myself returning periodically to the lucid essay by Katharine Thayer in Lenswork #53, which celebrates instead the traditional æsthetic virtues of pictorial beauty rather than hipster irony.

I've read Shore's book The Nature of Photographs; it's quite clever, but to me is clearly an imposition of contrived 'structure' on photographs after the fact, rather than any organic æsthetic theory.

The guy is an as*hole. I was at Photo Expo L.A. Saturday and he put me down in front of the whole crowd ironically much to their pleasure. He was saying that he doesn't use the term compose when tlaking about photography giving me the longest explanation possible explaining what the greek root of compose is the it's to put in order. Then he gave another words definition and tol me that he uses structure, as if it were more accurate and he was above me.

Dick. Also I agree that he has no organic theory on his work he just took a photo that the press and the critics read into far too much making his La Brea and Beverly picture an iconic photo. On whether or not it's art, well he said in effect that it's not. He said that he wanted the viewer to feel like he was there. That sounds an awful lot like it's a document, and artifact that allows the viewer to go there? I mean is the intention of art to take a viewer there. Maybe, kinda sounds right but art is about creating a world not possible. At least that's where it is now. Oh me, maybe I'm wrong but on composing and structuring a photo, I think we can all agree he's full of it. Why change a standard term. The only definition I've known for structure in photography is the amount and clarity of fine details. Now this definition comes from a plugin for photoshop, but there's nothing wrong with compose.
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GEOFFREYJAMES
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« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2011, 08:09:49 AM »
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Ben,

  Stephen Shore isn't the first to stop using the term  "compose," which John Szarkowski once called a "schoolmarmish" word.  Unless you are a tableau photographer like Jeff Wall,  you are really framing a part of the world in the viewfinder rather than composing the way a painter would on a blank canvas.  People in camera clubs use "composition" a lot.  I tend to avoid it. 
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2011, 08:26:22 AM »
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That's a great story.
I definitely get the impression that the rarified regions of 'High Art with a capital A' have a lot in common with the culture of middle school or high school, and not in a good way. If you don't sit at the cool kids' table in the cafeteria, nothing you say matters. And the reining "Heathers" have an apparent need to publically humiliate the uncool. It kind of speaks to character, IMHO.

"Structure" is very popular in contemporary 'art-speak', and I'm sure someone with a recent art degree could explain to you at great length how it's absolutely totally different from the outdated concept of "composition". But after a half hour lecture on the subject you still might not see any difference.
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RSL
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« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2011, 09:14:04 AM »
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Too late for "structure." Nik's already appropriated that word to mean mid-range contrast.
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Rob C
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« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2011, 02:45:02 PM »
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Thing is, charlatans were always able to sell their trick. As jjj says, plus ça change.

Another thing is, if you ever worked with LF commercially or within industy, you don't see its results as does the impressionable amateur; shock and awe of photographic quality are soon lost and their results taken for granted; then, content takes back its rightful place as key.

But most 'art' buyers are probably not professional photographers.

As for the work of a rotten photographer who wanted to be a painter but couldn't get models outwith the hearth... pleeeze, not even on LuLa! Might as well stuff sharks into tanks. Or plant bricks in the Tate.

Rob C
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