May 8, 2007

pondering place

in my last post i spoke about Zoe Strauss' I95 show this past weekend. i love how she has strips away the potential pretentiousness of her art for a time and presents it to her community in an accessible venue. the subjects in her photographs, and most that come to see her show under the interstate i imagine, could care less about the Whitney or Pew Fellowships. her photos, at least for one sunday a year, are all about the community and for the community. her photos, one by one, each different within the same geographical context, crescendo into a deafening exhibit of place. philadelphia.

i've wondered though, whether the popularity of Zoe's outdoor show has helped, or hampered, her image making. do her subjects know her, of her? know what she's after? is the inherent pessimism, or skepticism, eroded or heightened when a subject can visualize where their likeness might end up? does this complicate things?

I found what,i believe, to be an answer to my own questions last night while reading the new issue of photo-eye. in an interview with William Eggleston (about 5x7) he is asked about place. how he feels about being known as a "southern" photographer- he shakes of the broad brush strokes and narrows it down to the action of taking pictures- his answer:

"The best i can come up with is, you know, when people ask me what am I doing in my work, my reply is "I'm photographing life today." That's it. I don't continue on to say "life here" or "life there." That's how I feel. Just "life today." I don't mention any particular places. Life can be as is anywhere.."

also, Justin has some I95 photos here.

listening to Trashcan Sinatras

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