Been catching up on the pile of magazines. Rather than reflect, I thought I’d just pass along a handful of obliquely related quotes:
Martin Parr as quoted in PDN:
Ultimately it’s the book that lives on and keeps the images going. If I had to choose one , the book would be it.
Bill Jay in Lens Work:
A major core characteristic of the medium since its inception has been its democratic nature, its ability to produce an unlimited number of identical copies, its very ordinary, everyday anti-art aspects.
I remember … (here we go again, the old fart in his dotage remembering the good old days)… when photographs were treated with love for what they depicted, for their love of life, not of cash value.
Now we are at the opposite extreme, and I cannot adjust. There is no way I could work in a museum and invest photographs with the necessary preciousness. I would love the images, but would not / could not care, beyond basic steps, about their multimillion dollar price tags. I would prefer to see them in a book.
Vince Aletti on Steven Meisel in Modern Painters:
It’s become apparent that Meisel isn’t concerned with exhibition prints or artworld exposure; his work is conceived for the printed page, and that’s where nearly all of it has stayed. (I doubt that he has more than a drawerful of what other artists call “personal work.”) He knows his place, occupying it with such assurance and authority that nearly everyone else looks like an upstart.
Vince Aletti on Annie Leibovitz in The New Yorker:
Annie Leibovitz has never been particularly good at translating her work from the printed page to the gallery wall. No matter how smashing her celebrity portraits may appear in Vanity Fair or Vogue, they tend to look merely clever in exhibition, at once overblown and oddly deflated.
Tod Papageorge in an interview in BOMB:
Why no book until now? I don’t photograph for exhibition, but to engage in this process of understanding photography itself. … We all have to deal with our strengths and weaknesses, and while I guess my strength is my willingness to engage repeatedly with this deeply difficult problem of making coherent pictures, my weakness is an equally strong tendency to want everything in my pictures to be part of a perfect web—not a very healthy or often-satisfied ambition when trying to clarify such complex chunks of the visual world.