Video on Nan Goldin, and looking at photographs.

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#1
I know this won't be everyone's cup of tea, but this is from one of the youtube channels I follow. It touches on several repeated topics, such as the relevance of seeing photographs as a sequence, rather than stand alone images, and the effects of knowing the images are from a famous photographer etc. As always, some of it goes over my head, but I still found it useful.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ0suAocrLU
 
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#2
I enjoy that channel too. (y)
 
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#4
Really like Nan Goldin's photography, a remarkable woman too, thanks for the heads up.
 
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#5
Unfortunately, its a struggle to find channels like this one, but I find them much more interesting and challenging than the more "mainstream" photography youtube channels.
Ted Forbes's Art of Photography used to be OK until he sold out and became a gear reviewer like most of the photography channels. I haven't found any others to follow on a regular basis, just odd videos I stumble across now and again. I expect it's difficult to come up with that kind of content on a weekly basis.
 
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#6
Really like Nan Goldin's photography, a remarkable woman too, thanks for the heads up.
I didn't 'get' Goldin's photography until I saw it in book form. As a body of work it made far more sense and changed my opinion of it. As Graham suggests, photographs don' have to be stand alone images.
 
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#7
I didn't 'get' Goldin's photography until I saw it in book form. As a body of work it made far more sense and changed my opinion of it. As Graham suggests, photographs don' have to be stand alone images.
Me too. I picked up Fantastic Tales on eBay and it transformed my opinion.

Thanks for this. (Cross posting the video here.)
 
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#8
I didn't 'get' Goldin's photography until I saw it in book form. As a body of work it made far more sense and changed my opinion of it. As Graham suggests, photographs don' have to be stand alone images.
There's some striking shots but IMO some thoroughly uninspiring ones too even if viewed as a part of a wider whole. Overall although I can see the appeal there's a large part of me that thinks that she and some of the more positive critique come close to viewing some of the more negative aspects of humanity and behaviour in too positive or maybe that's the wrong thing to say, maybe it's better to say in just too artistic a light. Some things IMO shouldn't be in any way seen as anything other than negative and destructive and I see no art in it and I take no enjoyment in viewing. Just my VHO.
 
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#9
Ted Frobes's Art of Photography used to be OK until he sold out and became a gear reviewer like most of the photography channels. I haven't found any others to follow on a regualr basis, just odd videoes I stumble across now and again. I expect it's difficult to come up with that kind of content on a weekly basis.
I found Ted Forbes, just as he changed (and his most recent video hinted at why he had started to do gear reviews), but I'm still working through his older videos. I've heard a few youtubers complain that Youtube needs you to produce at least two videos a week and for it to be content that appeals to advertisers, before youtube will promote/recommend your channel. Thus making it almost impossible to find this type of channel except by accident.
 
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#10
Having watched the video I now know what the name is for those strange mirages you sometimes see over the sea - a fata morgana.

But as far as Nan Goldin is concerned I've been kind of aware of her "work" over the years and always wondered what the big deal was. She photographed herself and the LGBT/ heroin scene - and wondered why on earth had she had received so much critical attention. I put it down to voyeurism on the part of the critics. As if they had always wondered what it was like to be part of that scene, that maybe if they were bolder and braver they would dip their toes into that water as well. But Goldin let them experience it second-hand.

As for her landscapes the narrator put it very well, although he did not take this point of view himself - "Only someone of Goldin's stature could get away with it". And if you don't accept that Goldin's stature is well-deserved the landscapes have very little value at all.

I do agree that images seen as part of a sequence or a theme often have a value way beyond that of the individual image.
 
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#12
I take no enjoyment in viewing
Heh. Hence my choice of words above. I found the book to be very sad. Is it about content or aesthetic? I'm not clever enough to understand, but for me, it's probably a blend of both. Don McCullin is doing landscapes these days isn't he? When I saw his work after seeing his documentary, I thought that perhaps he deserved to be doing stuff that was a bit more resftul.

As an aside @Ed Sutton : Ted Forbes does a podcast "Art of Photography Off Camera" in which he talks about photography much more than gear (there's even a podcast about why he's so gear focussed). Worth a dig through if you just ignore everything with the word Sony in it.
 
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#13
But as far as Nan Goldin is concerned I've been kind of aware of her "work" over the years and always wondered what the big deal was. She photographed herself and the LGBT/ heroin scene - and wondered why on earth had she had received so much critical attention. I put it down to voyeurism on the part of the critics.
I can see value in it and even a need to document it but I have no interest in any critique of it let alone any sort of discussion on the art of it. Maybe it's just me.
 
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#14
Heh. Hence my choice of words above. I found the book to be very sad. Is it about content or aesthetic? I'm not clever enough to understand, but for me, it's probably a blend of both. Don McCullin is doing landscapes these days isn't he? When I saw his work after seeing his documentary, I thought that perhaps he deserved to be doing stuff that was a bit more resftul.

As an aside @Ed Sutton : Ted Forbes does a podcast "Art of Photography Off Camera" in which he talks about photography much more than gear (there's even a podcast about why he's so gear focussed). Worth a dig through if you just ignore everything with the word Sony in it.
Content I hope.
 
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#15
As for her landscapes the narrator put it very well, although he did not take this point of view himself - "Only someone of Goldin's stature could get away with it". And if you don't accept that Goldin's stature is well-deserved the landscapes have very little value at all.

I do agree that images seen as part of a sequence or a theme often have a value way beyond that of the individual image.
My take of what he said is different. I came away with the idea that because the images were by someone like Goldin, we look at them more carefully and the lesson is that when looking at photographs by someone who isn't famous, we should put more effort into looking at their photographs before dismissing them as having no value. But equally, as you say, some of the time photographs need to be viewed (evaluated) in terms of how they work as body of work, and not at an individual level.
 
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#16
William Eggleston made a comment about being at war with the obvious. He's not alone, hence 'artists' make stuff like Goldin's pictures. 'Artists' tend to be searching for different ways to make pictures. Photography can be restrictive in that respect which leads to experimentation.

Using the 'snapshot aesthetic' is one way to overcome the rules of photographic acceptability.

And then there's the notion of pictures which aren't meant to be illustrative, but to provoke an emotional/visceral response.

Sometimes I find the literal nature of photography somewhat restrictive too. If only I had Goldin's stature maybe my landscapes would get noticed by the art world. :giggle:

_7503269.jpg
 
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William Eggleston made a comment about being at war with the obvious. He's not alone, hence 'artists' make stuff like Goldin's pictures. 'Artists' tend to be searching for different ways to make pictures. Photography can be restrictive in that respect which leads to experimentation.

Using the 'snapshot aesthetic' is one way to overcome the rules of photographic acceptability.

And then there's the notion of pictures which aren't meant to be illustrative, but to provoke an emotional/visceral response.

Sometimes I find the literal nature of photography somewhat restrictive too. If only I had Goldin's stature maybe my landscapes would get noticed by the art world. :giggle:

View attachment 239708
I love your sheepscapes, "every superstar begins with a single fan"! To paraphrase Meo.:)
 
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#18
As an aside @Ed Sutton : Ted Forbes does a podcast "Art of Photography Off Camera" in which he talks about photography much more than gear (there's even a podcast about why he's so gear focussed). Worth a dig through if you just ignore everything with the word Sony in it.
Thanks. I'll check it out.(y)

The only photography podcast I listen to is A Small Voice - https://bensmithphoto.com/asmallvoice/. (Can be a bit sweary at times.)
 
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#19
My take of what he said is different. I came away with the idea that because the images were by someone like Goldin, we look at them more carefully and the lesson is that when looking at photographs by someone who isn't famous, we should put more effort into looking at their photographs before dismissing them as having no value. But equally, as you say, some of the time photographs need to be viewed (evaluated) in terms of how they work as body of work, and not at an individual level.
There was a discussion here a while ago about another photographer who had gained a (well-deserved) reputation for his documentary work, and had then begun doing landscapes. In my opinion his landscapes were rather average but because of his reputation they were lauded by the art establishment.

There seems to be an expectation that if someone can do one thing well, anything else they do will also be good; which is quite clearly nonsense if you take it to the extreme.

Given that Goldin's work as a documentary photographer had some value, it still doesn't follow that she would be successful in any other genre. But becuase of the way that the art world works the critics find it difficult to be objective about what she produces.
 
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#20
There seems to be an expectation that if someone can do one thing well, anything else they do will also be good; which is quite clearly nonsense if you take it to the extreme.
There is a counter to that of being pigeon-holed as a photographer of one subject/style and the assumption that they can't do anything else well.
 
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#21
Given that Goldin's work as a documentary photographer had some value, it still doesn't follow that she would be successful in any other genre. But becuase of the way that the art world works the critics find it difficult to be objective about what she produces.
That may well be, but none of your response actually relates to the point I made in the part of my post you quoted :-(
 
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#22
That may well be, but none of your response actually relates to the point I made in the part of my post you quoted :-(

Sorry about that. You did make a good point; the unknown always has a mountain to climb to get their work recognised. I would even like to think that I suffer from that myself.
 
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#23
Overall although I can see the appeal there's a large part of me that thinks that she and some of the more positive critique come close to viewing some of the more negative aspects of humanity and behaviour in too positive or maybe that's the wrong thing to say, maybe it's better to say in just too artistic a light. Some things IMO shouldn't be in any way seen as anything other than negative and destructive and I see no art in it and I take no enjoyment in viewing. Just my VHO.
Justin Jones (person behind the video I posted), in another video, makes a similar criticism about Michael Kenna's concentration camp photographs. Its just part of the video, and I can't remember which one it was :-(
 
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#24
Justin Jones (person behind the video I posted), in another video, makes a similar criticism about Michael Kenna's concentration camp photographs. Its just part of the video, and I can't remember which one it was :-(
I watched that video, he claimed Kenna "glamourised" the Holocaust if I remember correctly. I thought they were very good and got the atmosphere of the place.
 
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#25
I watched that video, he claimed Kenna "glamourised" the Holocaust if I remember correctly. I thought they were very good and got the atmosphere of the place.
It was along those lines, my memory of what he said is similar, that Kenna had been looking for "good" photographs rather than capturing the horror of the place.

Photographs are here
 
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#26
I watched that video, he claimed Kenna "glamourised" the Holocaust if I remember correctly. I thought they were very good and got the atmosphere of the place.
It's that balancing act - you want to make the photo compelling to look at for the viewer but not so it glamorises it and looses the horror. I find some of Salgado's stuff beautiful to look at but also horrifying at the same time. Not many people can do it right like that.
 
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#27
It's that balancing act - you want to make the photo compelling to look at for the viewer but not so it glamorises it and looses the horror. I find some of Salgado's stuff beautiful to look at but also horrifying at the same time. Not many people can do it right like that.
Could not agree more, only "discovered" Salgado a few years a go through this forum, he has become one of my favourite photographers.
 
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