The world of art photography fascinates me. I especially love those who refer to themselves as “artists”, their art being typically exemplified by boring, flat, sad photos where the “artist” himself is shown with vacuous eyes, half naked, a cigarette maybe, with another sad human or animal being by his side. Or empty landscapes showing detritus and crap with not an ounce of interestingness.
I find it wildly entertaining and maddening at the same time their ability to write so much and with so many complicated words about the void their art is made of.
I love even more critics that find meaning in these empty images. It leaves me cold and a bit angry, I admit, that some of these “artists” are even able to pay their bills with this shit they (and nobody else) call “art”.
artist and dioramas
Consider this japanese “artist”, Hiroshi Sugimoto.
He takes photographs to dioramas in the Natural History museum in New York, and his rationale is that two representations of reality (number 1: the diorama; number 2, the camera) they cancel each other so that the result is a “true” image of the past being depicted in the diorama.
As Mr. Sugimoto writes in [his website](http://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/diorama.html:
Upon first arriving in New York in 1974, I did the tourist thing. Eventually I visited the Natural History Museum, where I made a curious discovery: the stuffed animals positioned before painted backdrops looked utterly fake, yet by taking a quick peek with one eye closed […] suddenly they looked very real.
So what he does is basically takes photos of these dioramas like any other guy that visits the museum. Only, he does it better, because due to his artist’s status, he’s allowed to take tripod and assistants and all the time he needs.
So an assistant, Hiroshi Sumiyama, got inside the curtains, dressed head-to-toe in solid black — a cheap Halloween ninja costume that everyone on the team, including Mr. Sugimoto, wore that day to eliminate the possibility of reflection. Holding up a black pole, he energetically waved a placard attached to the top of the pole during the length of the three-and-a-half-minute exposure, to “dodge” down the brightness of the clouds in a way that is usually done in the darkroom.
Alright, these diorama crap may be just a divertissement, made it on purpose to have guys like me go mental. Let’s have a look at his portfolio then.
To me, this is even worse than the dioramas.
So how come Mr. Sugimoto can call himself an “artist”? Well, that’s because
Like many contemporary photographers, Mr. Sugimoto’s work grapples with questions of perception and photography’s claims to truth.
Pretty clear. While I take pictures of things I see in my daily life, of my family or friends sometimes, the artist asks himself deep (and vague) questions about… perception, right. And the truth. Maybe even politics and religion. Taking photos of fucking dioramas.
the artist’s statement
I would love to see people that take photographs stop calling themselves artists and then write this junk:
I treasure the power of revelation and completeness that images contain however I know this power is activated only at the threshold of destruction.
In my opinion the effectiveness of an image is inscribed in its potential as a ruin. I am interested in revealing the conceptual strength of an image by turning it into a ruin. I have found in the classic media of painting as well as analog photography, the most effective way to perpetuate this moment.
Recently I have developed a series of works in which I use archival photographic material which I wrinkle, cut or fold to be used as a model for my paintings. The subject portrayed in each photograph allows me to travel from one genre to another, such as landscapes or portraits but always conceived from the perspective of a still life painter.
Note that this guy maybe fears that someone would steal his precious words so the text is locked with some web-trick and you cannot copy and paste (you don’t need to be Mr Robot to go look at the source HTML and find the text there, perfeclty prone to copy-and-paste).
Look at this other statement:
My work explores the relationship between acquired synesthesia and multimedia experiences.
With influences as diverse as Nietzsche and Andy Warhol, new tensions are synthesised from both opaque and transparent textures.
Ever since I was a pre-adolescent I have been fascinated by the ephemeral nature of relationships. What starts out as hope soon becomes debased into a manifesto of futility, leaving only a sense of decadence and the inevitability of a new understanding.
As wavering replicas become distorted through diligent and academic practice, the viewer is left with a tribute to the darkness of our world.
Makes you puke this one too, right? Turns out, this is automated junk courtesy of artybollocks generator. It is rather similar to many more of these artist statement you can find online.
You think I made the first one up (I didn’t, I also put the link), listen to these other artists saying their thing:
Really, none of this make sense.
And then you get to the actual “art”, and things get tricky. Can I quote Andrew Molitor? Look at these piece of shit. I mean this one:
Or this one:
But then I stumble in this guy Hin Chua, I hear him talking at the LPV show and he is rather engaging and interesting, and good things are said during the course of the show about his photos — I mean the guy was even featured on the NY Times Lens blog. So I’m hesitant to call him a fraude and I start questioning me instead.
And this other Noel Camardo too. He also makes me think.
- Are these photograhers geniuses? by Allen Murabayashi.