From the tumblr of David Simonton:
@1 day ago with 21 notes
#Art #Photography #Laura Gilpin #David Simonton #The Being Time
"I think it’s a question of trying to produce a superb design in photography, and making a print that is adequate to that aim. There is no creative thing, whether it be writing, art, painting, architecture, or music that does not have structure and design. It just doesn’t stand up without it.”
@3 days ago with 467 notes
#Art #Photography #Viviane Sassen #Portraiture #Orientalism #Fetish #The Great Leap Sideways #Criticism
“In Anansi or Ivy, supine black bodies fuse together into sculptural oddities that are borne out of a soluble relation to the earth. And yet a certain ironic dissonance is produced by the whiteness of a shirt in shadow, or the presence of England’s Three Lions on a pair of shorts. The antinomies of blackness and whiteness, of the earthly and the intellectual, the savage and the saviour, are here overt structuring elements of the image. But such tensions as these contrasts evoke do not trouble a long history of ethnic degradation – they reinforce it as a further instance of the theatrical acquiescence we have come to expect from subservient, primitive blacks. (…)
Sassen claims to “focus on the process of addressing the viewer,” arguing that her portraits are “about the gaze of the viewer and about my own perspective” as opposed to “some truth about the photographed subject.”
We are thus invited to consider the extent to which these images, in their repetitive subjugation of nubile black bodies, might expand our sense of ourselves or of the photographer’s perspective – that is, we are invited to consider ‘Africa’ as an expression of the West. On this logic, Africa’s representational function is purely to mirror the pressing nature of largely western preoccupations. And so the bodies in these images exist purely to serve.”
— The Stilled Life of the Pikinini: Viviane Sassen’s Pikin Slee, just published at thegreatleapsideways.com
"Wandering - unsettledness, rootlessness, estrangement - is a classical American characteristic: much of the country, at least in the West, is still on the raft with Huck and Jim. Certainly major areas of American culture celebrate mobility, the poetics of the open road. A literary genre from Twain to Whitman to Kerouac to innumerable contemporary writers, it is perhaps the central theme of country music with all its rolling stones and lost highways, its strain whistles and truck-driving epics; and it cuts a wide swath through American film, whose favorite subjects have always been tramps, outlaws, and cowboys (and whose recent swarm of road movies have at last included women as coequal wanderers rather than as milestones in a male journey). It is a psychic condition in which landscape and the freedom to move through it compensate for loneliness and disassociation, the internal exile of the outsider. It is a connoisseurship of the bittersweet taste of melancholy, of the blue of distance, of landscapes with a road running through their center, the horizon as a promise rather than a boundary. Wandering was supposed to be a finite part of American experience: you left the old world and came to the new world, a literal transplant complete with roots, but a huge portion of the population kept moving."
@5 days ago with 45 notes
#Art #Landscape #Culture #Rebecca Solnit #Richard Misrach #History #The Desert
@1 week ago with 119 notes
#Art #Photograhy #Steven Smith #Street photography
“Nephi, Utah, 7-14-14," by Steven Smith - follow his tumblr here. This one gets better and better the closer you look.