Wednesday, March 14, 2007

art history still plagues welding artists

geoffrey : tell me you read the Jeff Wall article in the NYT

geoffrey : but my annoyance is not as much with Wall as it is the critics and writers being fucking morons as to what painting is and what photography is.

geoffrey : i would be embarrassed if i was wall

geoffrey :

Ashes77 : hmmm no i didn't see it

Ashes77 : where is it ?

geoffrey :

[ NOTE: well deserved pending Link Rot acknowledged ]

geoffrey : it's long

Ashes77 : ok let me look at it

Ashes77 : it sounds like Winkelman territory

geoffrey : i try to stay away from all this "realm of the senses" crap

Ashes77 : yeah, it is just like "Big Photography" right ?

geoffrey : worse

geoffrey : photo tableaux

geoffrey : montage

geoffrey : PShop

Ashes77 : really ? how creative

Ashes77 : why not put it in a magazine ?

geoffrey : take 200 photos and tie them together getting EXACTLY what you want

geoffrey : none of god or man's silly mistakes

Ashes77 : i don't want to read it

geoffrey : dude

geoffrey : can i give you highlights

geoffrey : ?

Ashes77 : yeah go ahead

geoffrey : k

Ashes77 : better than reading this crap

geoffrey : Velasquez paintings at the Prado influence Wall to use lightboxes for his paintings :"I began to think, It’s luminous, Velázquez was luminous, I’ll try it."

Ashes77 : right

geoffrey : ...Where a painter must employ tricks of foreshortening and tonal gradation to simulate what the eye perceives, a photographer need only point the lens to have everything emerge in instant perspective. Although a smooth photographic surface may be less tactilely pleasurable than a textured layer of paint, it arrives unburdened by the weight of art history. “There’s just a whole lot of problems that photography doesn’t have to engage with,” says Michael Fried, a prominent critic and art historian who has championed Wall’s work. “The photograph shifts the register to a different place. The missing ingredient is everything to do with touch and sensuous surface. It’s a big price, but by paying that price there’s a lot that is sidestepped.”

geoffrey : that's the worst paragraph ever

Ashes77 : haw

geoffrey : i lose count of how many things are wrong with this

Ashes77 : maybe

Ashes77 : i don't think it is that bad, but i can't really read the ny times

geoffrey : There’s just a whole lot of problems photography doesn't have to deal with

geoffrey : ?

geoffrey : ?

geoffrey : yeah, like that whole pesky human experience element

Ashes77 : that whole sensual surface problem

Ashes77 : those sensual surfaces just keep mucking up my experience

geoffrey : these are critics?

geoffrey : speaking of art as if it were limited to a realms only percieved by eyes and touch?

Ashes77 : good point

Ashes77 : oh michael fried yeah he is only about 40 years ago

geoffrey : yeah, you can tell he is just in awe of his Canon Sureshot

geoffrey : and his iPhoto

geoffrey : iPod

Ashes77 : i thought he was still welding

Ashes77 : welding and then cleaning up for the reception

geoffrey : ha

geoffrey : "it arrives unburdened by the weight of art history"

Ashes77 : what a burden all that history is

Ashes77 : better to just not know any of it

geoffrey : art history is now separate from humans?

Ashes77 : art history plagues welding artists

geoffrey : hahahah

geoffrey : the whole thing just spells dettachment.... all of it

geoffrey : and ooooo

geoffrey : here let me find this one paragraph that says it all

geoffrey : A more startling piece of autobiographical material lies buried (or out in plain sight) in “The Destroyed Room,” the breakthrough light box that depicts a woman’s brutalized bedroom. Wall made the picture in 1978, which was the year his wife, Jeannette, left him for another man. (After that relationship ended, Jeannette returned to Jeff, bringing with her a third son, whom they have raised together.) To construct the scene in the picture, Jeff used Jeannette’s clothing. “I borrowed her clothes because we were still on good terms and she had the good clothes,” he told me. For all the talk of allusions to Delacroix and feminist art criticism, I wondered if the most crucial piece of subtext for “The Destroyed Room” might revolve around a spurned husband’s rage. “You’re probably right, but it doesn’t feel right to me,” he said. “I don’t remember feeling particularly angry at that

geoffrey : He acknowledged that he “might express a feeling through a series of mediations.” But the subject didn’t intrigue him. “I don’t find my own experiences very interesting,” he said. “I find my observations interesting. Maybe that’s why I’m a photographer. Maybe an observation is an experience that means more to you than other experiences.”

geoffrey : maybe photography is a way of being even more dettached in your observations?

geoffrey : (that was me)

Ashes77 : good sounds sort of protestant to tell the truth

geoffrey : Rather than employ professional actors, Wall usually prefers to hire people like those they are portraying. It’s a device he lifted from cinema. “One of the things I liked about Italian neo-realism was just using people as they were, in situations similar to their real situations,” he says. “If you’re interested in the actual, it’s the closest to the actual.” In later years he has tried to elide the distinction to the vanishing point, engaging actual art restorers in “Restoration,” field anthropologists in “Fieldwork” and day laborers in “Men waiting,” the picture I watched him shoot. The performers are playing themselves. However, they are also clay in the hands of the artist.

Ashes77 : everyone has got ugh who wrote this shit ?

geoffrey : they are also clay in the hands of the artist

geoffrey : hahahahahaha

geoffrey : that's when i barfed

geoffrey : seriously

Ashes77 : yeah clay

geoffrey : just barfed

geoffrey : artists are god.

geoffrey : oooo

geoffrey : wait wait

geoffrey : another gem

geoffrey : hold it

geoffrey : don't move

Ashes77 : HAW

geoffrey : “My love of depiction is just affectionate,” he told me. “I’m a more affectionate person than I thought I was. I like trees or I like people’s faces. That’s one reason I think my work has changed. I realized I wasn’t interested in filtering my affection for things through certain levels of mediation.”


Ashes77 : well as long as he is not filtering


Ashes77 : whatever that means

geoffrey : hahahahaha

Ashes77 : Maybe he has learned to mediate his filters

Ashes77 : this is true ass-hattery to be sure

geoffrey : dude, i am trying to find this one part...

geoffrey : “Painting could be topographical realism or it could be angels — in the same medium. Why couldn’t photography do the same?”

geoffrey : because with photography it is a lie.

Ashes77 : oh brother

Ashes77 : who said that last part

Ashes77 : ?

geoffrey : i said the last part

geoffrey : oh you mean the quote?

geoffrey : he did

geoffrey : wall

geoffrey : i just chose to answer him in frustration

Ashes77 : yes you mean that his underlying assumption

Ashes77 : is that ptgy is a lie ?

geoffrey : no i am saying the reason that he cannot accomplish what he is setting out to... combine topographical realism with angels, is because if it was done through photography, it would be a lie

Ashes77 : hmmmm ok i think

geoffrey : and im holding no morality tales in the word lie there

geoffrey : just chew on it a sec

Ashes77 : what the fuck is topographical realism ?

geoffrey : i was hoping you would tell me

geoffrey : its words that photographers use to describe painting

Ashes77 : alright i will write a blog post about it

geoffrey : i was so hoping you would

Ashes77 : but it seems like Winkelman turf too

geoffrey : that is why i came to you

Ashes77 : HAW

Ashes77 : stop it

geoffrey : i started to, and i realized i couldn't do it justice

Ashes77 : oh i am too dismissive of this asshattery

geoffrey : i must say though, if you do read it i think you will like parts

Ashes77 : i just bash Michael Fried

geoffrey : i actuallly admired a couple things

geoffrey : but now i have forgotten what they were

Ashes77 : well honestly i don't think i mind the guy's fotos

Ashes77 : i just would like them in a magazine

Ashes77 : so i could see them while i am on the train

Ashes77 : i don't see what the MOMA has to be involving them selves in that shit for

geoffrey : the one part i wanted to show you is where Wall gets frustrated with everyone only focusing on the gimmicks of how it was all captured and says "Everyone is just so focused on the process, they aren't seeing the big picture..."

geoffrey : cuhlassic

Ashes77 : haw yeah that is dumb

Ashes77 : alright i am going to take a nap

geoffrey : Having chosen not to live in an art capital like New York or London, Wall professes that he could just as easily have lived anywhere, with little effect on his work. “One thing I hate with small cities is the myth of their specialness,” he says. “It’s like in Europe, everywhere has its own ham, its own wine, its own cheese, and they’re all nice, but it doesn’t interest me.”

geoffrey : hahahahaha

geoffrey : sleep well on that note

Ashes77 : oh god

Ashes77 : i am getting a headache

Ashes77 : alright i'll catch you later

geoffrey : ite

geoffrey : later

Ashes77 : ciao-zle

geoffrey : it lies because photography is bound the realm of light bouncing off surfaces only. Painting is not limited only to that, it can share more truths.

geoffrey : that's all im sayin

geoffrey : k

geoffrey : goodnite

Ashes77 : i am not sure i can write about that fucking article

geoffrey : o don't bother

geoffrey : its a wast

geoffrey : e

Ashes77 : so ed wankleman

geoffrey : but did you at least read the last two lines

Ashes77 : no what were they ?

geoffrey : they went along with our conversation the other night

geoffrey : Thanks in part to Wall’s pioneering pictures, “artists using photography” no longer feel a need to distance themselves from others in their medium. They have emerged from their clumsily confining, defensive chrysalis.

Ashes77 : oh jesus that really is awful

Ashes77 : who wrote that thing ?

geoffrey : arthur lubow

Ashes77 : god pathetic

geoffrey : yeah, got phone call brb


  1. I hate those 'special" cheeses too. but don't get me started on ham...I am from VA afterall

  2. i AM my own special ham.

    ...that convo cracked me up.