Preconceptions

Rosalind Krauss’s essay “Photography’s Discursive Spaces: Landscape/View” made me think again about my response to the “Preconception” exercise, and in particular that I hadn’t considered how I would present a landscape photograph. When I made my sketch I had no thought about how it would been presented, or who would view it. I was however conscious that what I was drawing was a representation of a photograph, and not the view itself.

I have been taking photographs all my adult life, since I could afford my first camera, and for over forty years now I have kept prints in photo albums but not elsewhere; they are intended for me and my family and close friends. Generally I never considered my photographs as ‘Art’ and saw no need to present them as such.

One exception is a photo I took of Blackpool illuminations

Blackpool Illuminations

This is the only one of my photographs that I have wall mounted. It is placed on an otherwise bare wall together with a print of a Whistler painting. We (my wife and myself) hadn’t thought too much about the placement other than there was available space. In the same sense that Rosalind Krauss says that Timothy O’Sullivan’s work only becomes “Art” long after he took these photographs, does my photograph have a different meaning because it is¬†mounted on a wall ?

IMGP9796

It hasn’t become “Art” in the same sense that O’Sullivan’s has; this is in a room that we don’t much use when other people visit, so it won’t get seen much by anyone else. I hadn’t so much intended this as art but rather as an experiment with ISO settings and shutter speed. The fact that the experiment worked doesn’t make it art either. In the album it is just one of many, mostly organised chronologically, mostly a record of technical success in obtaining the photograph I intended. Mounted on the wall here it perhaps exists only as decoration ?

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