Today I launched my website. It has been a long road to get here. This summer has been an endless stretch of scanning, dusting, color correcting, printing and reprinting for my portfolio and the minutia of designing my site. It has made me think about how much of an artist’s time is spent on post-production. In fact, as hard as I worked on making my images, I have worked equally hard on all of this. But by looking at my images in this context, I have developed a healthy distance from them. I am now able to both critical and positive. While creating them, I am completely unable to separate myself from the work – I can be harsh. But having time to work with them, as outside objects, gives me the necessary time and distance to evaluate them in a more productive way.
It has also made me consider the process and work of artists that relies on post-production or is process-driven. I have tried to imagine the experience of creating the image not in the camera but later? I am printing digital and using photoshop, but my image is still made, or not made, in camera. But there are many artists whose process continues or begins after the image is made. Gregory Crewdson’s last show was a good example of this kind of work. While the work was exceptionally crafted, there was something about the ‘created reality’ of the image that was not reconciled for me. While there are many artists who make great conceptional work that explores ‘process’ as its subject, there does seem to be work out there that seems caught up in conceptual ideas, or exploration of medium. I will admit to having a bias for work that has some emotional meat, but I open to how someone gets there. There is a very delicate balance bet thinking about making work, making work, and making something of your work, I am still trying to find my way.
Image from the last Crewdson show, wonderful to look at for sure…
Gursky is the forefather and king of photo-manipulation. He somehow makes use of post-production to make us question our culture, our habits, sensory perception….
Jeff Wall in his best work, stretches the bounds of a photograph to fit his own historic and conceptual framework, but the result is magic and translates both on the highest and most simplistic level.
And then there is Wolfgang Tillmans, who I often don’t quite get, but he seems to always be interesting and able to make a photograph out of anything.