>>>> Street Photography eXchange #11 <<<

Started May 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
fad
OP fad Forum Pro • Posts: 15,612
Re: Confusion

It is good that the photo does not force any conclusions on the viewer, but leaves room for contemplation.

It is useful, however, to have the writing identified somewhat, because that information helps the viewer consider possible meanings and feelings about the situation. Information should be as neutral as possible, as Marco did in his series on OWS (not as I did in mine, but I was having fun.)

The idea is to give the viewer the best possible starting point for her own reactions to the work of art.

The classical example is HCB's photo of a Gestapo informer coming to rough justice:

He was one of the very few Frenchman who actually fought the Nazi occupation and was imprisoned and risked his life in repeated escape attempts. Yet the artist in him caught the humanity of the situation. When art does this, we learn things about our humanity that nothing else can teach us.

I am a political junkie from my youth, but great art transcends politics, even when its subject is political. The Iliad often makes the Trojans seem more sympathetic than the Greeks. The Aeneid, the story of the founding of Rome, clearly shows the human cost of the imperium. Rudyard Kipling is unsparing about the downsides of British colonialism.

Sacred art is the same. The Hebrew bible often portrays the waywardness of the chosen people. The new testament shows the apostles as followers who consistently get everything wrong.

There is a mystery there, that has to do with the catastrophe of human freedom.
--
Frank

All photos shot in downtown Manhattan unless otherwise noted.
Thanks in advance for the kindness of your comments or critiques.

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