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Author Topic: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?  (Read 17233 times)
KLaban
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« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2013, 06:29:42 AM »
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Rob, I'm staggered that a photographer who has had his say in over 10,000 posts here on LuLa believes he has never had anything to say with a camera.
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Rob C
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« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2013, 08:04:25 AM »
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Ah, trying desperately to have your pictures be worth no words at all. And succeeding. Your art is surface art, sir.

And no, you never indicated otherwise. But you keep telling me I have to feel the beauty in my gut somewhere. But an empty feeling of a missed lunch seems all I detect.

;-)


Not today: I had a lousy lunch which I really wish that I had missed: paella that was a reheat and frito Mallorquin that was probably the leftovers from yesterday or possibly the day before! (My own Sunday paella, made by my gentle hand, is wonderful.) Some you win, and some you lose: yesterday's lunch was fantastic- fish soup and calamar ŕ la plancha - same place, same exhausted chef, go figure. And you want excitement in art! Luncheon roulette is enough for any sane man-about-village.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2013, 08:19:22 AM »
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Rob, I'm staggered that a photographer who has had his say in over 10,000 posts here on LuLa believes he has never had anything to say with a camera.


Keith, what would you have me say? Should I pretend that all my pictures were an expression of the impermanence of now captured on the transient latency of film? An ephemeral moment preserved on the butterfly wings of perhaps, only to be fixed forever in the acid baths of the darkroom?

Man, I could write crap like the above for ever and not run out of words, metaphors to mix nor infinitives to avoid splitting...

So what do your images offer as message'? I see plenty of beauty, travel images and records of what's decaying all around us as we sleep it all away. But that ain't you: that's my take on what I see. I have no idea what you see and where you envisage the client structure to lie. For all I know your vision might be of a symphony in colour, a magical meld of moods and impressions I have never had the pleasure of enjoying.

Writing is easy and as I think I've said before, can be as explicit or as opaque as the mood takes. Images are fixed as what they are, bound by the difficulties that mechanics and electronics put in the way of free expression. Worse, they are old before you see them.

;-)

Rob C
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KLaban
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« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2013, 08:58:22 AM »
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Keith, what would you have me say?

Rob, I wouldn't have you say anything, it's for you to decide.

I can't believe that your motivation consisted solely of earning a buck and getting one up on your competitors. Just because many artist's statements or comments on their work are complete bollocks doesn't mean yours has to be. As far as my own work is concerned I comment where I feel it is necessary as can be seen on my website. Now, it might be that you think that what I have to say about my own work is complete bollocks, that’s your call.

You obvious have had a great affinity for and rapport with women and have gone to great lengths to capture their power, beauty and sensuality. But WTF do I know, perhaps you should just replace WYSIWYG with WTF, or WTF is the point?

Hey, WTF, I'm done.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 09:15:57 AM by KLaban » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2013, 10:49:48 AM »
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Rob, I wouldn't have you say anything, it's for you to decide.

I can't believe that your motivation consisted solely of earning a buck and getting one up on your competitors. Just because many artist's statements or comments on their work are complete bollocks doesn't mean yours has to be. As far as my own work is concerned I comment where I feel it is necessary as can be seen on my website. Now, it might be that you think that what I have to say about my own work is complete bollocks, that’s your call.

You obvious have had a great affinity for and rapport with women and have gone to great lengths to capture their power, beauty and sensuality. But WTF do I know, perhaps you should just replace WYSIWYG with WTF, or WTF is the point?

Hey, WTF, I'm done.

But Keith, that is not the totality of what I have claimed:

a.  earning a buck and getting ahead of the local pack was truly a delight, and winning a commission more cool than I can say; I thoroughly enjoyed much of my work – that didn’t mean I was doing anything other than making the best shots I knew how, which was bliss enough;

b.  I never passed an opinion about what you have to say of your own work – its up to you to say something or leave it open to viewer opinion; I did just that in my preamble on my own website;

c. thanks for the comment on my aptitude for my genre – appreciated indeed! Again, I enjoyed it mostly, it gave me my dreams – Vogue and calendars – and what’s not (for me) to like about that? But it’s all about pretty pictures or it’s about nothing. For me, getting that right, on and off, is something really, really worthwhile. Still is, when I find the enthusiasm for something special.

I just can’t understand why anyone feels there should be more. Isn’t it enough to create beauty and enjoy those moments when success comes tripping along? Maybe I need to be more cerebral – but that’s a frightening direction for stumbling feet!

;-)

Rob C

« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 10:51:37 AM by Rob C » Logged

fredjeang2
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« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2013, 02:53:54 AM »
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The meaning is only linked to the programming.
It means that something has to be previously "learned"
(Some datas have to be stored in our brain)
For ex, the Meca cube has a meaning for the muslman.
For a mative american it's just a form with no particular
Association.
And the programming generate value system and
Emotional patterns that aren't under our control
Precicely because we are conditionned from the very roots.
Rob's women are only considered as beauty in a
Specific context of time and space. But if Rob were
Born 200 years earlier, those same bodies would
Have been considered as hugly. That's what does a
Guy like Botero;  he paints bodies that are the exact
Opposite of what our time and space is considering
Acceptable as woman's body shape.
The locations: beaches, boats, sunshine...has
A lot to do with the congés payés culture. Not such
A long time ago, beaches, sunshine, hollidays and. Bikinis
Were absolutly irrelevant.
A high heel is not a sexy object by itself. It only becomes
Sexy if there is a specific data that tells us what it "is"
And the kind of emotions that derivate from the function.
But for a man from the Fuji islands, a high heel is
An uncomfortable and ridiculous way to walk, untill
Western culture comes into his world and pass the
Information: "hey look, this shape is 1:associated with
The woman gender, 2: it is sexy"
Doc Martens were just orthopedical shoes that nobody
Wanted until the punk fashion. Now Doc Martens is
A respected and desirable brand. The datas changed.
Got a few Clarks in my shoe collection. I remember that
When I was young, Clarks were not desirable at all. Now
The same brand generates desire.
Same happens in art.
The very same definition of art fluctuates a lot within
The space-time and therefore all our beleifs.
All is unsubstancial but only a programming.
All this is a big illusion folks.


 
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 03:07:18 AM by fredjeang2 » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2013, 03:35:29 AM »
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Absolutely; can't argue with that, Fred.

At best we are but conduit for the ethos of the time. It's why we do what we do. We know no better. It's why I yearn for the grainy Sarah Moon era of veiled cloche hats, of droopy eyes heavy with loads of mascara... it's my magical potion, my drug of choice. Why would I crave or understand today's plastic, Photoshop skins?

As I wrote earlier, for me at least, it's all emotions.

Rob C
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amolitor
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« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2013, 10:29:09 AM »
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There is this depressing problem with the way we talk about Art with a capital A.

We use words like "message" and we say things like "a good piece says something" and these phrases get interpreted to mean, roughly, that a work of Art corresponds in a fairly literal way to a written or spoken message, that Art somehow "encodes" a paragraph or so of actual language. This is a natural way to interest phrases like "it speaks to me", or "it says something to the viewer"

When I stupidly bandy around phrases like this, at any rate, it is NOT what I mean. What I mean is that the piece provokes a reaction in most viewers, that it generates an emotion or a response. It doesn't have to be emotional, but it usually has a strong emotional element.

If Art was just encoded text, we'd surely just write the text down and be done with it, right? Why bother hacking up a 2 ton chunk of marble when all we're trying to say is "humanity suffers and becomes beautiful for its suffering" or whatever literal message I might have in mind. I could spend 10 seconds with a slip of paper and a pen, instead of 2 years with chisel.

A piece of Art that does merely encode some literal paragraph of language is arguably a failure. It ought to be connecting at a more primitive level, or in a different way. That's kind of the point.
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mezzoduomo
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« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2013, 08:00:50 PM »
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We use words like "message" and we say things like "a good piece says something" and these phrases get interpreted to mean, roughly, that a work of Art corresponds in a fairly literal way to a written or spoken message, that Art somehow "encodes" a paragraph or so of actual language. This is a natural way to interest phrases like "it speaks to me", or "it says something to the viewer.

Your words resonate with me, amolitor. There's all kinds of chatter on photo blogs and podcasts lately about 'storytelling' in photography as in, "I'm not trying to just capture compelling images, I'm trying to tell a story." "I see myself as a 'storyteller' through my images." "I want to tell the story of how I experienced this scene." "Great images tell a story...", and on and on.

I have a hard time fully understanding this, and maybe its me being dense or uncultured, or maybe 'story' is not exactly the right word. I can certainly concoct a 'story' from many images, and I think decisions we all make in framing, exposing, presenting images can certainly suggest a mood or feeling, or can influence a viewer's inferred, concocted story. But to me, this is all emotion, and subjective interpretation...not 'story' as such.

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Rob C
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« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2013, 04:22:44 AM »
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Amen! I'm happy to see, at last, a few folks understanding my stated problem with photographs and 'message'!

Don't be shy; iconoclasts often have a very good point to make, and within photography - especially within photography - it often consists of cleaning out the bullshit.

If it leaves us all with not a lot, then at least let that tiny bit be honest.

Rob C
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Gulag
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« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2013, 12:59:13 AM »
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Amen! I'm happy to see, at last, a few folks understanding my stated problem with photographs and 'message'!

Don't be shy; iconoclasts often have a very good point to make, and within photography - especially within photography - it often consists of cleaning out the bullshit.

If it leaves us all with not a lot, then at least let that tiny bit be honest.

Rob C

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« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 12:20:29 AM by Gulag » Logged

“For art to be art it has to cure.”  - Alejandro Jodorowsky
Manoli
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« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2013, 02:01:42 AM »
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NOW I understand ! Simple.
Couldn't you find something slightly more esoteric to make your point ?

Of course, Jean Baudrillard, Frenchman, sociologist, philosopher and post-structuralist ...

quote
With the attack on the World Trade Center, we have now witnessed the ultimate event, the mother of all events, an event so pure it contains within it all the events that never took place ...and to the fascination that it exerts... directly proportional to the prodigious jubilation felt at having seen this global superpower destroyed, because it was this insufferable superpower that gave rise both to the violence now spreading throughout the world and to the terrorist imagination that (without our knowing it) dwells within us all.
unquote

http://www.egs.edu/faculty/jean-baudrillard/articles/the-mind-of-terrorism/
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Rob C
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« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2013, 03:17:56 AM »
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Tried to read that link; for some post-modernist reason much of it contains gremlins that distracted me from its message.

On the whole, of what I could grasp, it's rubbish; bullshit wrapped in cling film.

Exactly the kind of 'post' that, had it appeared here, in LuLa, would have found folks reaching for the imaginary red button that can't be implemented.

But look at it like this: the time he wasted writing was his own; the time I spent reading was educational and confirmed yet again my suspicion that gurus are not to be trusted.

Rob C
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Manoli
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« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2013, 04:15:02 AM »
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bullshit wrapped in cling film.

That's got to be the understatement of the decade, particularly coming from you, Rob.
I'm (fairly) sure that Gulag posted that placard with a humorous sense of the ridiculous. But the offensiveness of the quoted content beggars belief and certainly puts ANY other of the Frenchman's pearls of wisdom into context.

Guru ? I can think of many, somewhat more appropriate descriptions.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 04:18:32 AM by Manoli » Logged
jjj
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« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2013, 04:46:28 AM »
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Doc Martens were just orthopedical shoes that nobody
Wanted until the punk fashion. Now Doc Martens is
A respected and desirable brand. The datas changed.
Got a few Clarks in my shoe collection. I remember that
When I was young, Clarks were not desirable at all. Now
The same brand generates desire.
You may find this interesting then.

Quote
Same happens in art.
The very same definition of art fluctuates a lot within
The space-time and therefore all our beleifs.
All is unsubstancial but only a programming.
All this is a big illusion folks.
The illusion commonly known as Fashion.
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Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography
Rob C
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« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2013, 10:42:27 AM »
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You may find this interesting then.
The illusion commonly known as Fashion.



My daughter actually burst into tears in the shop on one occasion when her Mum was buying her 'sensibles' for the new scholastic year... Thing was, they were reliable and came in many precise fittings, which is good for young feet and helps them develop as naturally as any shoe can. But I'm terribly grateful my wife loved stilettos.

Obviously another form of Golden Age...

;-)

Rob C
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jjj
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« Reply #36 on: August 30, 2013, 01:33:05 PM »
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The thing about fashion is that sensible shoes are fashionable at times as are stilettos or any other kind.
The thing with items being fashionable is they must by definition go out of fashion, to make way for the next new fashion.
Tattoos being trendy at the moment is really going to bite hard in the future as embarrassing clothes from 20 years ago have been replaced, whereas tattoos......may buy some shares in tattoo removal clinics.

I wore Clarks Nature Trek [had to google real name]  or 'pasties' as we called them to school and even a teacher commented on their oddness [at the time] during class, yet a year later they were the trendy shoes to wear. I of course had moved on to the 18 hole boot versions by then.  Grin

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Gulag
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« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2013, 10:07:35 PM »
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"[….] modern art: though seeming to deal with aesthetic problems, it is really performing a work of psychological education on the public by breaking down and destroying their previous aesthetic view of what is beautiful in form and meaningful in content. The pleasingness of the artistic product is replaced by chill abstractions of the most subjective nature which brusquely slam the door on the naive and romantic delight in the senses and their obligatory love for the object. This tells us, in plain and universal language, that the prophetic spirit of art has turned away from the old object relationship and towards the—for the time being—dark chaos of subjectivism. [….]

Great art till now has always derived its fruitfulness from the myth, from the unconscious process of symbolization which continues through the ages and which, as the primordial manifestation of the human spirit, will continue to be the root of all creation in the future. The developments of modern art with its seemingly nihilistic trend towards disintegration must be understood as the symptom and symbol of a mood of world destruction and world renewal that has set its mark on our age. [1957]"

— Carl Gustav Jung / The Undiscovered Self / p.77
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 10:24:39 PM by Gulag » Logged

“For art to be art it has to cure.”  - Alejandro Jodorowsky
Telecaster
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« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2013, 01:30:29 PM »
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Apropos this thread, an interview with Alain de Botton regarding the new book "Art As Therapy" of which he is co-author.

http://www.denverpost.com/books/ci_24709853/alain-de-botton-offers-radical-way-see-art

A quote:

"We have too easily swallowed the Modernist idea that art which aims to change or help or console its audience must by definition be 'bad art' (Soviet art is routinely trotted out here as an example) and that only art which wants nothing too clearly of us can be good. Hence the all-too-frequent question with which we leave the modern museum of art: What did that mean?

"Why should this veneration of ambiguity continue? Why should confusion be a central aesthetic emotion? Is an emptiness of intent on the part of an artwork really a sign of its importance?"

Care to comment, Mr. Gursky?

-Dave-
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Digital Finger
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« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2014, 04:39:23 AM »
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I think the problem comes from the Art establishment convincing people that 'the message' is where it's at
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