Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SFMOMA Symposium: "Is Photography Over?"

SFMOMA is hosting a symposium this Thursday focusing on the question, "Is Photography Over?" As someone who does photography, and who is part of an organization that encourages youth to express their own selves through photography, I have a difficult time answering this question with anything but a knee-jerk, emphatic "NO."

[As a side note: I mean, really, "over"? As in, "Oh photography? That is soooooo 1936"?]

The 13 participants of the symposium have posted their thoughts on the question, which will be used as a jumpstart for the conversation. A lot of these responses involve the definition of "photography" and "over," as well as the space that photography occupies in the intersection of art, truth, and time. It made me start thinking again about the role of photography, and what it signifies (see: On Photography by Susan Sontag and Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes)

However, as someone who really resonates with the "freeze time" aspect of photography, I like this quote by Jennifer Blessing (one of the participants):

In the end, what makes a photograph a photograph is its ephemerality, its special connection to a moment in time that is always already lost.

I like that. Though I prefer to think in terms of the alternative: photographs allow you to capture a moment in time before it is lost.

kaiten burning
kaiten burningkaiten burning
(Zero Project Kaiten by Katsushige Nakahashi)

1 comment:

Molly said...

Photography will never be over. It was the best invention since sliced bread. Or before sliced bread. Either way, it's here to stay.