As I worked up to changing photographic horses I turned to Europe, especially Wetzlar, Germany. My first experience with a “really good” camera was a Leica III F, loaned to me for 3 months by a college classmate. When I could afford film I photographed with it, grayscale. Years later, when I got back from Vietnam the person who taught me darkroom was a Leica enthusiast. Consequently my opinion of what is “good” is Leica. Frankly, I’ve used Nikon and Canon cameras for years and been very satisfied with the results. But those camera systems have gotten heavier and heavier. I appreciate some of their “features” but I’m glad to let go of the weight.
I’ll dispense with the “… it has this and this” stuff and move on to following the generations of photographers who have used Leica almost by default as a reason, in part, for considering the move. The reason I ‘m talking about this at all is that I’m beginning to look at global photographers and learning to appreciate their work. This round in Europe brought some people into view; Gabriele Basilico, Fulvio Bugani and Maik Scharfscheer. I’ll leave it to you to go on the web for their work. They’re worth it. There are many others, not hard to find… rounds out one’s view.
Franca and I also made contact with Projectspace 70, in particular Patrizia Castano in Glorenza, Italy. Projectspace 70 is a physical space and effort directed toward modern design.
From their website…
“A space for Art, Design and much more. // Projectspace70 was conceived in October 2013 as an innovative space centered principally on contemporary art and design, but available to anyone seeking to present their own cultural project or to promote unique products of excellence. Our intent is to initiate an exchange of ideas in diversified areas by creating new contacts. Our program showcases established artists and designers, but especially emerging and innovative ones, from Italy and around the world.
Projectspace70 is purposely located in a small medieval village in northern Italy, South Tyrol, far from modern urban centers and large cities in which programs of contemporary art usually develop. The idea is to capture the attention of the viewer of art outside its usual context because today’s environment of museums and galleries has become a form of trendy social gathering: places to “be seen” rather than a platform for appreciation of personal expression and the creative process of artists. This space is isolated and exclusive; a rare treasure for true art lovers and for anyone looking for something distinctive and innovative.
Projectspace70 is located in the “Schallerhaus”, a building dating back to 1500, restored in 2013, situated in Via dei Portici in the picturesque hamlet of Glorenza, a few kilometers from Switzerland and Austria. The location and its rich historical environment create an extraordinary contrast with contemporary art, a unique experience for the visitor.”
I hope to find some exposure there. I think they may be more open to color exploration and alternative applications in photography than American galleries who (IMO) tend to go with fads and often exhibit questionable craft.
There’s a line of thought I’m following which will show up here for a while, I think. Not to beat a dead horse but where does photography stand in the overall scheme of art? I keep thinking these issues are simpler than most allow and I know many of the viewpoints expressed on the subject are by those who “need a job.” I’m reading a book now on color photography and the “givens” of perception are so jaundiced by comparisons to painting I find it almost unreadable.
Photography has no ax to grind. Sure, I look at painting with interest because painters can choose their point of view, orchestration and degree of inclusion from the stuff that’s out there (or in there). And I make decisions occasionally based on a “painterly” idea, but the involvement ends with suggestion not dictation. I also don’t believe photography “works” as art unless the photographer has an almost totally eclectic point of view. I think “projects” or “series work” are often temporizing moves, one can get stuck temporizing. The whole point to photography is intercepting what appears not necessarily mechanically but as a candidate for interception in a prepared consciousness, in actuality taking many forms. If the craft of the discipline is treated with respect, utilized properly, craft disappears. The work becomes an extension of the artist’s eye and senses. The only possible expansion beyond that is what the viewer brings to the mix. And that’s true for any art.