Photography

Michael Penn

Veteran
Sep 14, 2010
68
Philadelphia
“A realist is not someone who produces a copy of a natural object, but someone who takes an existing copy and copies it again. This definition comes from Roland Barthes. I completely sympathize with his idea, as, in addition to copying the outside world, I keep copying those copies, and then the copies of the copies. And while I’m at it, I even copy my own image.
But there is always someone better, and in our case it’s the American artist Sherrie Levine. She borrows famous images from the works of renowned photographers, produces exact copies of them, and cheekily declares the results as her own creations. I once came across her works exhibited together in one corner of a museum., and I could only take my hat off to the astonishing hilariousness of what I saw. Magnificent ! That stuff made me look like a bloody rookie.
It goes without saying that every photograph is a copy of reality, and a fake depiction of the world, incorporating notions of realism and actuality. Henri Bergson once said something along the lines of, “The whole world has already been depicted down to the last inch,” and from the perspective of my daily routine working with the camera, I would second that claim. The infinity recorded by the camera is of course a Moebius strip. The eyes of countless human beings have in fact been observing/depicting the world, continuously and interminably producing a copy of it since prehistoric times. This procedure, totally bare of originality, is exactly where the only strength of photography lies.
For us street photographers there is no other option but to buzz around things like flies and see where we can scrounge something.” - Daido Moriyama
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
123
the mistake is probably in taking too seriously (or too literally) the idea that a photograph is a depiction of "reality"
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
Sounds like Camera Lucida to me.

The real issue at hand is the freedom to think, redefine and create a new photo philosophie.
What I mean is this. It's great to pay Homage to Bresson, Kertesz, Winogrand ect. We must always pay our respects to the old masters because they have carved the way for us.

It is our responsibility to rethink, relearn and find a new definition of the concepts that lay before us and eventually behind us. By doing this we pay the deepest respect because we take what we have learned and move forward to take things in a new direction.

The hard part for us is to let go. It's almost impossible. We work with the past instilled in our creative mind and when we try something new, there is not much solid ground to compare and rest upon. It's easier and safer to gaze upon history. That history if left unchallenged, will force us to repeat it over and over.
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
123
very eloquently put, Don ...
it's so easy to think that, with the billions of photographs being made, all possible images have been taken into captivity already ... yet it's patently not true ...
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
Mike, you very well could be right about Steve. I don't know anything anymore. Seriously.
I am only at ease with the world when I'm on the street. Tomorrow I'll be at one with the world... Market Street calls...
When I try to express thoughts into words anymore, I doubt what I write as soon as I write it.
When I raise the camera... Well....click!
 

Michael Penn

Veteran
Sep 14, 2010
68
Philadelphia
Mike, you very well could be right about Steve. I don't know anything anymore. Seriously.
I am only at ease with the world when I'm on the street. Tomorrow I'll be at one with the world... Market Street calls...
When I try to express thoughts into words anymore, I doubt what I write as soon as I write it.
When I raise the camera... Well....click!
Over the last couple of years I've met Daido 3 times and was able to have a quite long discussion with him through an interpretor and sat in on a discussion with Robert Frank. Both have almost 50 years behind a camera and it's almost amazing the clarity in which they see the world and photography.
 

Grant

Veteran
Nov 12, 2010
68
Lunenburg Nova Scotia
A cery interesting statement by Daido. Linking Roland Barthes, Sherrie Levine, and Henri Bergson almost in the same paragraph. We have a critic, a philosopher, and a self proclaimed artist and their only binding similarity is non of them are photographers. I suspect they the started sentences with, "Well I think ... " instead of "I feel … "
 

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