12 January 2009

No one moment is most important. Any moment can be something. - Garry Winogrand

New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
San Francisco, CA

January 2004

I ran across the above quote while I was living in London and subsequently wrote it down and taped it to the wall of the flat I was living in, along with a selection of street photography prints I had shot.

I ran across it again this morning following a link from A Photo Editor. He has a post today that links from photographer Emily Shur's blog. She says:

“I always feel as though there’s supposed to be some deeper meaning behind my pictures, a meaning other than ‘Something inside me connected with what I saw in front of me, so I pulled out my camera and took a picture.’ That does not seem to fly as an artist statement. Why, I’m not sure.”
Shur's quote resonates pretty strongly with me, especially right now as I'm pulling stuff together for contests. The dreaded artist statement. I feel pretty strongly that at least 90% of photographers' artist statements are total bullshit. Maybe I'm just overly cynical, but some of the crap these people pull out of their ass...it's just badly regurgitated art school hokum.

A Photo Editor says Shur's quote reminds him of another Winogrand quote: “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.”

Simple enough. And why is that any less valid than the typical "I felt a deep connection to the subject, and wanted to better understand the relationship of the blah, blah, blah..."

All this is helping my shape my artist statement for Santa Fe. It's a total longshot for me to get in (or win), so why not just be honest in my artist* statement? And that's what I'll do.

*I don't consider myself an artist, by the way. I barely even consider myself a photographer.

1 comment:

Plug1 said...

“I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.”

i agree. i am not that deep - i just like taking pictures.