Just Ponderin’

Art, Photography, Poetry, Words of Wisdom

Today I heard a quote by Nan Goldin. It went something like this..

“I started photographing after my sister died, because I never wanted to lose anyone again.”

This pulls me back to that area of truth. We all photograph to remember, to document. It is fact, it is one of the most generic uses of photography there is. This quote, it’s honest. A photograph gives us something, something not tangible, something that we don’t need to ever be tangible. It gives us something better then physical actuality. It gives us the power of memory and recollection.  But which is real? Which is the authentic experience? Theres some sort of ambiguity with photography that people think they NEED it to gain validity. People take their cameras on vacations to prove of “these authentic experiences.”  My boss was telling me of a time, she was at an art museum in Paris waiting to meet a friend. She sat back and began observing. What she noticed was peoples complete disconnect with actual reality. One man completely encountered ALL the art on the wall, filtered through his camera lens, glued in front of his face. Because a photograph is a document of experience?

But again, how real is that experience? How does the photograph truly function? Is it a defense mechanism, like Nan Goldin, a way to hold on and recall the things you never want to let go of? Or can it be a valid replacement for the actual?

“Everyone’s waiting for this authentic experience, preventing them from actually having it.”- Dr. Sara Cochran.

2 thoughts on “Just Ponderin’

  1. Perspective. And we use others perspectives that coincide with our own to validate ourselves, each other, and our continued existence: collective and individual. While this might be considered stating the obvious, and the venue tasteless, the aforementioned is offered up that one might consider the perspective of the people who we think are so blatantly wrong in the way in which they choose to exist and experience the world around them.
    Not to suggest that your perspective is wrong, accusatory, or aimed at telling people they are missing the bigger picture while trying to capture small ones; this comment, soon to be novel, is an attempt to get the reader, you, to consider all that is outside yourself from a perspective completely unrelated to your own. That you might see through the eyes of those whose perspectives you comment on.

  2. Perspective is a very good point. It is extrememly important. With that in mind, this is my perspective, as a college student at art school responding and thinking about the various ways in which photography and art function in the world I am living in. In no way is this blog meant to define a certain truth, rather it is my outlet to provoke thought and respond to my surroundings.I rarely state an exact side rather ask questions, that hopefully aid to form your own opionion.You statement “that one might consider the perspective of the people who we think are so blatantly wrong in the way in which they choose to exist and experience the world around them.” is valid, but I have no intentions of stating that anyone is blatantly wrong in how they experience the world, I am intrigued by this alternative use of sensory.

    As for seeing through the eyes of those I comment on…Nan Goldin’s perspective is unrelated to the ideas I am thinking about. She is a successful woman photographer that is famous for documenting the not always appealing life of her and her friends. I think her quote is beautiful and correctly articulates how I, as a photographer feel. However, a non-photographer could have said it and for me, it would still be equally profound. As for people who experience life filtered through a screen… I would love to hear their perspective on the authentic experience. Thank you for your comment, it really made me think about the true function and motive of my blog.

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