Larry Sultan interview

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by jtk, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. jtk

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    https://www.americansuburbx.com/2012/01/interview-ben-sloat-with-larry-sultan.html

    " Part of the difficulty facing photographers is that almost any subject matter has accumulated a representational history, so to find a new discursive space, a space to wander around those subject matters, is a real challenge. If I know too much, if the narrative is too well formed, I’m making pictures that are illustrative, and as a maker, that’s not interesting. As a viewer, that’s not interesting. "

    "I’ve actually thought about stopping photographing for a while and just writing, maybe that would get closer to the bone."


    Larry Sultan had a reflex Graflex for sale, 3.25X4.25 when he was an instructor at San Francisco Art Institute, a few years after I decided on a different path. I decided not to buy that camera.

    In this interview, Sultan doesn't find illustrative photos interesting...whereas me, I like to see how the a photographer has dealt with the challenge of the subject. I think some "art photographers" might find their work more fulfilling if they embraced challenges, just as commercial photographers typically do...rather than merely capturing moments.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  2. Lachlan Young

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    Or that after having co-created 'Evidence' which made such a major impact early in his career (and created a new 'discursive space' of the sort he talks of), he spent the following decades trying to do something just as original in art/ academic terms and (to his mind) failing. Not that unusual in wider academia, especially amongst his generation.
     
  3. OP
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    jtk

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    Please expand on your observation. What are you trying to say? I might agree if you expressed yourself more fully.

    https://www.amazon.com/The-Valley/d..._rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=VWK4QTHSFYTYCXDQDZGF
     
  4. Lachlan Young

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    Been trying not to write an essay... Essentially, I think he had a prolonged period of struggling with being acclaimed as a pioneering conceptual artist using aspects of photographic archives & what his own perceptions of 'photography' were. His later work, as much as he tries to put literary dress on it, is largely social documentary with a mildly surrealised veneer & even then it definitely lacks the tongue-in-a-light-socket effect of 'Evidence'. In consequence, there's perhaps a case to be made that later in life, he came to regret having been too concerned with being a 'photographer' rather than a contemporary artist who used photography as part of their practice alongside other media?
     
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    jtk

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    Seems reasonable, based on the evidence of his work... I like your "tongue-in-light-socket" phrase and I'm not at all a fan of the recent stuff we see online. Age happens.
     
  6. Lachlan Young

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