Monday, April 16, 2007

Stephen Shore interview

Joerg at Conscientious links to an interview with Stephen Shore on the re-publication of his book The Nature of Photographs:

Extracts: "the other that stimulated me to write it is an experience with a friend of mine, a neighbor, who was a potter, very talented and smart woman, very cultured. In one point in our discussion, she said to me: ”I just don’t get photography, I just don’t know where to begin to look, I don’t know how to begin to look at a photograph. I don’t get what you’re doing.” I thought, here’s this person, who in other media, is very sophisticated, but there’s something different about photography that she’s not relating to. When she goes beyond the subject matter, she said “I don’t know what the photographer is thinking about”. That was the other audience, like this person, who is so cultured, yet photography is somehow foreign....

.... One is that there is something arbitrary about the decision making that a photographer engages in. What I mean by that is this: I can get out of the car and stand by the edge of the highway and take a picture that looks like a totally natural landscape, untouched by the hand of man. I could move back six inches and include the guardrail in the picture and the meaning of the picture changes dramatically. There is a marginal point where I can stand here and it’s one picture or I can stand there and it’s a different picture. And this decision, of what is the meaning of what’s in the rectangle is entirely my decision. It sounds wrong, because I didn’t create the landscape, but that decision so drastically alters the meaning that the weight of the decision becomes very interesting".
(Colberg also linked to an interview with Wolfgang Tillmans)

btw, I must say I didn't find The Nature of Photographs an especially stimulating book - it was a bit of a let down in fact - which I wasn't expecting. I've got much more from any number of John Berger Essays, or John Szarkowski's books or Steve Edwards excellent little book Photography: A Very Short Introduction

hmm and searching for Shore pictures, I found another interview

No comments: