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Author Topic: Art or Just Plain Creepy?  (Read 58027 times)
kencameron
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« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2013, 11:59:28 PM »
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Both artistic and a bit creepy.  The two aren't mutually exclusive.
Agreed. Just as likely to be mutually supportive. But also, if we hadn't been told how he shot them, thus generating a conversation, would anyone be up in arms, or even particularly interested? To me many of them aren't obviously voyeuristic, unlike most street photographs they don't allow the subjects to be recognised (except maybe the dog), and while they are elegantly composed and coloured, I am not sure I would give them a second look (maybe make that a third look) if I didn't know the back story.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 12:23:05 AM by kencameron » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2013, 03:53:38 AM »
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Does it? And whose responsibility is it to protect your privacy? Does it fall to strangers who can easily see you through your open window, or is it yours?


Here you show how you miss the point: the point is that you shouldn't have to protect anything. It should be a matter more simple: you should have the right to go about your business without fear of somebody spying upon you and making records of your personal life. It isn't a matter of being seen; it's a matter of being spied upon and recorded. Surely, you are able to differentiate?

Nobody is denying the fact that undrawn blinds allow visual access; that's not the same thing at all as undrawn blinds being considered carte blanche for the making of a graphic report of what's visible. However you choose to paint it, you simply can't escape the basic fact that photographing people without their being aware or even giving permission is a violation of their person. It might please you to think otherwise, allow you comfort in the execution of similar intrusions, but it don't make it right, regardless of legality.

But obviously, that matters not at all to you; in your argument, at least.

I spent much of my life photographing models with little on; it would never cross my mind to photograph a woman on the beach wearing as much/little without her consent; more to the point, why would I want to photograph her without a commission? And there lies the trouble: it's the desire to shoot people without their knowledge that is the unpleasant factor underlying the entire exercise, that gives the distaste of the Peeping Tom, the little man in the soiled Gannex, the thumping little heart and the damp finger on the shutter button.

There simply isn't a moral justification possible.

Rob C
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petermfiore
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« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2013, 07:12:11 AM »
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Here you show how you miss the point: the point is that you shouldn't have to protect anything. It should be a matter more simple: you should have the right to go about your business without fear of somebody spying upon you and making records of your personal life. It isn't a matter of being seen; it's a matter of being spied upon and recorded. Surely, you are able to differentiate?


Here is the basic issue, I don't see this as spying but rather observation in a pure artistic sense. Spying implies a nefarious intent.
Not at all how i view these images. I think that tells us how viewers will bring their "baggage" to the party.

Peter
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petermfiore
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« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2013, 07:42:42 AM »
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Peter, Hopper also worked in a time of different laws.

I mention Hopper as an artist that took an existing genre and brought it into the twentieth century. These photos are another take on the same. Art has and will always build on what went before.

Peter
 
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Gulag
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« Reply #44 on: May 19, 2013, 08:59:55 AM »
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An NYC photographer is coming under fire for an exhibit of a series of images he shot of people in neighbouring buildings through their windows without their knowledge.  Put me in the 'just plain creepy' vote column.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/new-york-artist-faces-backlash-over-voyeuristic-photos/article11987801/

What about Philip-Lorca diCorcia's work in Times Sq back in 2000?  Was he also creepy? And he got dragged into a suite for doing that but found not guilty.


http://youtu.be/bpawWn1nXJo




« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 09:02:27 AM by Gulag » Logged

“For art to be art it has to cure.”  - Alejandro Jodorowsky
petermfiore
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« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2013, 09:01:04 AM »
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Not Guilty!!! Otherwise there goes STREET.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 09:10:08 AM by petermfiore » Logged

Gulag
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« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2013, 09:10:27 AM »
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Not Guilty!!!

Peter

Exactly.

What about Gustave Courbet's the Origin of the World?
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petermfiore
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« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2013, 09:15:56 AM »
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Exactly.

What about Gustave Courbet's the Origin of the World?

Absolutely. Great painting!

Any infringement on Art could be considered a crime.

Peter
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2013, 10:10:29 AM »
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Street photography is different.  There is no expectation of privacy when one is in a public place.  I do street photography, but I wouldn't even consider doing what Svenson did. 

Courbet's painting used a model, reputedly Joanna Hiffernan.  It is in no way similar to what Svenson did.  It would be the same as hiring a model to do nude studio photography.  Entirely different situation.
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Gulag
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« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2013, 10:23:53 AM »
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privacy? what privacy? every single one of your email, phone call, text messages, online forum postings and social media postings, and etc is monitored and stored by the authority up to 75 years. the largest us gov's data center just newly built in Utah for this purpose is supposed to be live and running as we speak. And, of course, people are only worrying about their images viewed by others.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 10:26:15 AM by Gulag » Logged

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petermfiore
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« Reply #50 on: May 19, 2013, 10:27:03 AM »
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Street photography is different.  There is no expectation of privacy when one is in a public place.  I do street photography, but I wouldn't even consider doing what Svenson did. 

Courbet's painting used a model, reputedly Joanna Hiffernan.  It is in no way similar to what Svenson did.  It would be the same as hiring a model to do nude studio photography.  Entirely different situation.

If it make you feel better.
As an artist there is no need to equivocate.

Peter
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #51 on: May 19, 2013, 01:58:34 PM »
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Gulag, maybe in your country.  Not mine.  The simple fact is a right to privacy does exist in law.

Peter, that may well be the most arrogant piece of codswallop I've ever read.
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petermfiore
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« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2013, 05:42:58 PM »
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Gulag, maybe in your country.  Not mine.  The simple fact is a right to privacy does exist in law.

Peter, that may well be the most arrogant piece of codswallop I've ever read.

Bob, I understand you are a commercial photographer and your concerns are appropriate.
However I am not. I make whatever I choose and how I choose. I am a painter and as an artist i won't edit my work nor worry about others opinions. Then I decide whether to show said work or not. But to edit yourself and create rules about subject matter is nuts. Thats not Art. I am open to explore. The entire world in blank canvas, including the darkest side.

Peter

PS.  You keep saying it's the LAW. However, your  original post asks whether It is ART or Creepy. I am telling you it is ART not creepy. That is the narrative you bring to his work.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 06:09:54 PM by petermfiore » Logged

RFPhotography
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« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2013, 08:15:19 PM »
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Peter, I also do artistic photography so I understand that side of things as well.

WRT the legal aspect, I didn't bring that in initially but others have chimed in on that so that's where the discussion has gone.  But, on that, simply labelling something as art doesn't obviate its legality.  By that measure, child pornography would be acceptable because some people consider it art. 

Even putting legal considerations aside and coming back to simple respect and morality; which I have tried to do repeatedly, I don't find this type of work remotely acceptable.  And whether you want to admit it or not there is a massive difference between a photo or painting or sketch done with a model, where the model has full knowledge of what's happening and has given consent and surreptitiously recording the private and personal actions of others without their knowledge or consent.

As far as working under the concern of what other people think, look at my sig line.  Pretty self evident.  I wouldn't do this type of work, not because of concern of what other people would think but rather because I think it's objectionable and offensive.  Masking it as art doesn't change that.  I wouldn't want someone doing it to me so I wouldn't do it to someone else.
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kencameron
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« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2013, 08:50:15 PM »
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Street photography is different.  There is no expectation of privacy when one is in a public place.  I do street photography, but I wouldn't even consider doing what Svenson did. 
I get that street photographers would want to draw a line between their practice and Svenson's, but I am not sure the distinction is all that clear. A street photographer who never published anything without the permission of everyone recognisably depicted would have some right to the moral high ground, but one who fell below that standard would be doing something  Svenson actually doesn't do, because the people in his images, or at least those I have seen, are not recognisable. IMO, this makes a difference. Privacy inheres in people, not in unfocussed or partially hidden body parts. And while I share the disquiet about shooting unsuspecting people in their homes, I think the concept of a public place is a bit slippery. How about a couple having a private dinner in a restaurant, or someone sitting on the balcony of their home, or even a homeless person in their particular spot under a bridge? I think Rob C's position, that it is all intrusion, is consistent (which is not to say that I agree with it) and I feel exactly the same way about the "art justifies everything" line. But when I hear a street photographer denouncing Svenson, I wonder whether he or she might not be protesting too much and not paying sufficient attention to what is actually going on in his images and in their own. 
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nemo295
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« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2013, 09:42:19 PM »
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Here you show how you miss the point: the point is that you shouldn't have to protect anything. It should be a matter more simple: you should have the right to go about your business without fear of somebody spying upon you and making records of your personal life. It isn't a matter of being seen; it's a matter of being spied upon and recorded. Surely, you are able to differentiate?

Rob C

No, Rob, it's you who doesn't get it. It's not spying if you look at a person in an open window in the apartment building across the street from yours. It's not immoral if you publish faceless and anonymous photographs of your neighbors who choose to hang out in full view of you. There's nothing in Svenson's photos that he and everyone else in his apartment building couldn't see with their naked eyes when they looked out their windows.

In your perfect world I suppose you'd arrest anyone who's ever taken a picture of someone standing in their window or lying on a public beach or even out on the street. It's everyone's responsibility to protect their own privacy and not naively assume that what they choose to show the world will remain unnoticed.

Svenson's neighbors were lucky that it was he and not someone like Eugene Smith or Robert Frank living in the building across the street. I doubt they would have been nearly as concerned about protecting their anonymity.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 10:01:13 PM by Doug Frost » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #56 on: May 20, 2013, 03:22:33 AM »
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Well, Doug, it's your life perspective v. mine; I'll  be happy to settle for the one I have.

As for making attemps at comparisons amongst utterly diverse snappers, it's also pointless and succeeds in proving zilch.

For me, this topic is closed. You have to live with what you are, and that defines what you believe and what you do.

Rob C
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brianrybolt
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« Reply #57 on: May 20, 2013, 04:26:42 AM »
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So what would your arguments be about Walker Evan's Subway Photographs?  Was he being creepy or subversive? I don't think so.

Brian
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #58 on: May 20, 2013, 06:04:25 AM »
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Inevitably, it seems this discussion comes back to legalities and the inherent right to privacy.  Evans' subway images were made in an environment where there is no inherent right to privacy. 

Ken, I'll come back to what I said earlier.  That we can't recognise the people in Svenson's photos isn't relevant.  The people who the images are of know and, quite probably, their neighbours may know who they are.  The shots are not 'unfocused'.

On the legal aspect, Svenson is apparently on safe ground (although no one has challenged that..... yet) because he didn't show any full faces (there are partial faces).  I think if someone challenges they could stand a reasonable chance of success.  But if not, it comes down to a moral question.  It seems the majority of people in this discussion find what he's done to be morally objectionable.   
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brianrybolt
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« Reply #59 on: May 20, 2013, 06:11:27 AM »
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I certainly don't find them morally objectionable. 

Brian
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