I’d agree with Joerg that We Need Better Critical Writing About Photography. This is pretty simple task – just cut out the jargon. Having posted On Statements last month, Joerg is only demanding the same of critics as he is of photographers.
“One could argue that this work seeks to communicate ideas about how difficult it is to communicate. My images depend on photography’s inherit tendency to make each space believable, but there is a disturbing suggestion that all is not what it seems. The moment of recognition that there is something else going on, the all too crucial moment of suspended disbelief, is the highest point that one can achieve. This process of slow revelation and sense of temporal manipulation is crucial to the work. Above and beyond this, in having to shift between the various codes, the viewer becomes acutely aware of the process of looking, of the reconciliation required between sensory and cognitive understanding. As you rightly say, it is difficult to know for sure if what you are looking at is a photograph. However, they are photographs.”
I remember at the time thinking that the way Martins wiggled his way out of the controversy was skilled; he put all his energies into How can I see what I see, until I know what I know? a meditation on truth in photography, diluting his deception in M.F.A. critical theory references.
Martins confused 90% of his detractors with his busy response and sapped the energy of the remaining 10% who were looking for the next headline anyway.
He really intrigues me!
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Thanks to Alan Rapp for the tip-off.