Photo by Alec Soth
There's a great post on Colin Pantall's blog today about the significance of photography. It struck a cord with me because of the quote he pulled from an excellent interview with Alec Soth that I'd read earlier. "I also just think photography was much more interesting 50 plus years ago, and now there is just this overabundance of photography," Alec said. "It’s like saying 'What type of art do you do?' 'Oh, I do Twitter.' I just put these little fragments out in the world, but I would rather call myself a novelist than a Twitterist. And I sometimes feel photography is that."
I can't help agreeing with Soth in many respects. Pantall uses this quote as a launching point to discuss the catalysts for this degradation of what has always been controversial in its consideration as an art-form, but despite the oversaturation of photography that Soth so accurately points out, I can't help feeling, like Pantall, ultimately optimistic about photography and its future.
The moment one takes the time to venture out to view the walls of a gallery or a museum, to see an actual print, to see the subtleties of tone and texture and/or the sheer vastness of the print, all of which allude the viewer observing on a computer screen or a small commercial reproduction, is the moment you are confronted with impact photography can have. You only have to go to the Met (starting today) and view Robert Frank's THE AMERICANS for proof.