Landscape Division

Activity gaps: things we do that we seem to share, instead they show our difference. The gap between what, why, how of those that do a thing as a casual undertaking and those for whom that same thing is what drives meaning in their life. Art addiction, or deriving personal satisfaction.

When you think about photography, is it about the hobbyists you know; their shared aspiration of appreciation of mastering a skill. Or, is it about inclusion among those of the artworld. Do you say that in mature voice, or in smug contempt — you are above such things — you float above the world, as a god!

this, today: two landscape books from those who make books, and show in galleries.

Beate Gutschow: Relieving the Contingency


“‘Constructed Landscapes’ is an ongoing project by photographer Dafna Talmor that consists of landscapes created through a process of collaged and montaged colour negatives shot in different locations. While reconfiguring the images, she generates a space that defies specificity; transient landscapes that blur place, memory, and time in a conflation of reality and the imaginary. These reference historical processes, such as early pictorialist tendencies of combination printing and modernist experiments with the materiality of film, yet her work also engages with contemporary discourses on manipulation, the analogue/digital divide, and the effects these have on photography’s status.”

Making books is the way of preserving concerns and concepts; a way of talking to the future. Exhibits have impact that is short lived. Exhibit catalogs have been the resting place of great ideas for decades. They seems to have been the support income for both photographer and writer.

Become a viewer of both to become a maker of both.

Eliot Porter Wars

We draw lines; we make selections, interpret them, and write history. Drawing upon sources means we sort thru the fog of distance and lost debates. What remains is a result of who wrote, why and, in response to what. This is the distance of time; remote memories remembered to meet this day’s question.

Too often, the audience wants a story to support their own; their hero should face the same problems with outcomes the reader understands and wants. We want to think we could have done that so we explain our choices with the hero’s story. Our path is the same as theirs…

We have spent all this time, a life getting something, only to find that we didn’t get anywhere.

Eliot Porter is a standard bearer of craft .. complex craft; something taking much effort, time, intense focus of energy. Something so difficult that few doubt its value. Something like Dye Transfer. Reality being what it is, those who have taken the longest to make a dye are those who consider it the hardest way to print. In some ways, they are correct. Making a dye transfer is time consuming, requiring attention to a process with many possible alterations. The key skill is energy.

So, where does this get. What is the history? Actually, what is the question?

Groupings of people view Eliot Porter’s work differently. The craft forum or the artforum come to differing conclusions about the importance of Mr. Porter’s work. They also hold different versions of Eliot Porter’s time at the Radiation Laboratory during World War II.

These versions, simply, are:

  • he was a machinist (meaning he could make precise craft items in later years)
  • he was a scheduler

he was a machinist

helped develop radar

And in 1987, the fuller tale: he was a clerk who expedited (scheduled) work within the shops at the Radiation Laboratory. He did help develop radar, along with several thousand others at the Rad Lab.

We use other’s war stories to fight our wars — tell our story. But as we all know, growing up is up to us.

So, is it necessary to be a machinist, or a scheduling clerk, or a Doctor, chemist to make Dye Transfer prints?

NO. Some of my better students had to rely completely on the step by step worksheets for the ‘craft’; however, they had the harder skill: they could see what they wanted the picture to look like.

[ I am doing edits on a post on the ways of making dyes in the early years …]

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