2010-01-09

Milan ordinary landscapes. Porta Garibaldi #3



The questions raised in the last post by Kent's comment, here is his blog Man Made Wilderness, made me try to find out an possibly short reply. I've found any. Not short I mean. Recently I followed an interesting set of speaks offered by the "CIVICA RACCOLTA DELLE STAMPE ACHILLE BERTARELLI", the site is in abandoned state. Among them I've found the one from Olivier Lugon, a very interesting photographer, who analysed the question in the light of several possible interpretative ways. The extreme endpoints are one the exclusive decision of an Historian and the other the intentional documentation of something by a photographer as part of a chain of decisions ending with him. Interestingly this is a distinction that some modern European Anthropologist, looking on our own culture as a scientific object, make between cultural artefacts intentionally left for historical memory an non intentional ones. Well this includes almost the whole spectrum of taken photos. An interesting point lies in the side of intentional documentation. In the last years with the advent of digital photography we've seen the introduction of extra medium rules to state what was a "truthful" document and what was not. It is the case of an obliterated pair of legs, if I remember correctly, and the last a "nicely" coloured village. The "conservatives" in photography felt, them too, and it was time, that no longer the medium itself was a warranty of "objectivity". To obey these rules , however, may mean that  intentional documentation may be stated only as something "official" or approved by an "authorized" source.  Who has the authority to state the objectivity otherwise ? The slippery side here is that rules tend to get changed to reflect the momentary common sense. In a world where every body is used to hyper saturated kodachromes a desatured photo will still be truthful ?

12 comments:

gia said...

I like these, especially the first two. Is there any kind of post production (gimp or photoshop) on those? Bye, gianpaolo

Alessandro said...

The first picture is amazing!I like in particular how you played with the depth of field and the soft tones of the buildings in the background.

Unknown said...

Dear Gianpaolo there is a lot of postprocessing. Or a little it depends on how you see it. Generally I don't alter the light, color and content relations. But starting with raw files always requires processing to being with the choice of the white balance till sharpening. No I do not use The Gimp but PS it is the only unfortunate case in which I have to use windows. Sometimes in Linux I resort to RawTherapee that is simple and effective but very limited.

Unknown said...

Alessandro, I'm not satisfied for the third one. But since I'm documenting a "walk" it was needed to chain the next three.

Kent Wiley said...

But Mauro, it was only the fools who ever thought there was any "truth" to a photograph, even from the earliest times.

And this afternoon I've returned from the "experience" of living through Avatar, what one might consider James Cameron's "documentary" about the planet Pandora. The 3D gimmick is not particularly glaring. But it's a technological ploy to get us off our couches and back into the communal cinemas again. At the same time, it's an attempt to create the experience of being in a time/space ever more believably. What else could a documentarian wish for, than to have us live amongst the people and places he wants to show us? In fact the main character lives a dual life, one in which he is a paraplegic, and the other a superhuman member of "the People" on a distant planet. He's living the ultimate video game. It's no longer a documentary for him: he's gone totally native and become one of the Pandorans. It's an interesting twist on this question of truthfulness in photographs. Because we know it's a complete sham and artifice.

Kent Wiley said...

Oh yeah...

Mauro, I agree that the third of these three is nowhere near as powerful as the first two. I really like them.

I see you too have had snow recently. (Ours is still lingering, but nothing new for 3 weeks.)

Unknown said...

Kent, I totally agree on the third. However, as I said, the series is a document of a walk around the fabric just to see how the landscape looked like. As careful editor I'd have to cut it off. It is one of the unfortunate backsides of conceptual acting. Still I confess I do a lot of editing and selection (even altering the time sequence if needed). I still have to decide for a consistent conduct. But as Gia and Alessandro know very well I'm a bit allergic when it comes to coherence.

As for the time. Unfortunately the snow lasted only a few days, it was followed by a thick and heavy rain. Yesterday there was even a distant feel of spring in the air.

It must be the effect of the global warming.

Kent Wiley said...

I think I understand what you're saying Mauro, about trying to follow a concept. But how important is knowing the location to following your concept? In other words, not knowing where you are photographing, I tend to think it would make no difference to me if you left out the third photo. But then, I don't really know your concept or where you're headed with it. Just wondering...

Unknown said...

Kent,
the conceptual side here is to try to define the space in which the new building is growing. To do this I'm trying to order the sequences on the walk direction. In picture terms it mean that I'm trying to choose images that are connected for some detail. In the next post you'll see the continuation of the third.
Generally in conceptual art practices one defines the general terms on which the play will be carried on.I do almost the same establishing, on a subjective basis, a path along which act as a photographer. But I think that I should reconsider the idea under a more clear and self evident way.

Kent Wiley said...

"reconsider the idea under a more clear and self evident way"

This is what I'm uncertain about. If I understood the terms of your concept better, I might feel you've cheated by leaving out the third photo. But as it is, without some kind of diagram or map of the space to accompany the photos, I don't really understand the relationships between them well enough to miss the third view. Does this make sense?

I really like the concept of trying to define a location through a group of photos. It's something we do all the time, isn't it? But to create a group that relate is something more... conceptual than we usually bother with.

Unknown said...

Kent,
yes, the idea I'm caressing now is to use a gps map to associate to the walk.

In reality the images are far more and I have made some choices.

In this case I've stopped for about an hour to take pictures (after the second) and then restarted from the third and changed direction getting back.

I do not really want to show everything I picture, I'm not a google camerabot :-). It is more a question of trying to recall the walk in my memory while editing. Generally when taking pictures I enter in mental state more oriented to what I see and do not remember exactly the order or the reasons why I, just to exemplify, turned left or right.

Kent Wiley said...

"the idea I'm caressing now is to use a gps map to associate to the walk"

Looking forward to seeing the complete work...