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"I like photographs that don’t look altogether the way photographs are supposed to look. We don’t really know how photographs are “supposed to look.” The existing conventions make it seem that we do, because they are authentic and central to photography, but they cannot predict what the next interesting photograph is going to look like. Nobody claims to be able to predict what the next good painting will look like."

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Jeff Wall and Lucas Blalock: A Conversation on Pictures

While there is no doubt that this interview rewards careful reading and makes a number of trenchant, rigorously argued points about some of the more “conceptual” issues facing the contemporary practice of photography, Wall’s mastery of the unanswerable rhetorical flourish is also much in evidence here. Indeed there is something disingenuous about the extent to which his own undeniably accomplished writing has shaped critical perspectives on his photographic output, which too often is reduced to scavenging for presumed art-historical sources.

The most obvious consequence of this has been to elide those aspects of the work that come from within the medium itself, a critical dialogue about what photographic images are and how we encounter them that is perhaps its most lasting achievement. To suppose, as Michael Fried has done elsewhere, that Wall is the inheritor - if not the actual savior - of the Western pictorial tradition, and to locate the re-establishment of those values as the fundamental use of photography, does a grave disservice to both, despite the fact that Wall does not seem averse to this particularly conservative reading of his work.

(via theincoherentlight)

(via roxanaazar)