Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gullible Me

Having been a fan of Richard Misrach for quite some time, I quickly perused his new work from Destroy This Memory- particularly because they contained signs and graffiti, new for him but something I've long enjoyed incorporating into my own work. Having satisfied myself with my quick look see, I then read the text and realized... egads, these were taken with a 4 megpixel point and shoot! I had naturally assumed I had been looking at (the onscreen representations of) large format images. Everyone knows Misrach shoots large format, has for centuries, so why would I even suspect otherwise? So I looked at them again, more cautiously, much more cautiously- of course, they're obviously not anywhere as carefully composed and aligned as his view camera work. So, uh... very, obviously obvious...

Point is- I got played. What does that say about viewer expectations and preconceptions?  Hhmmm... But enough of my petty foibles. These photographs serve to remind us that these broken homes (and dreams) continue to haunt the lives of very real people, unseen but very much outside the confines of the picture border- not unlike the vast amounts of oil that still inhabit the gulf, beneath the surface.

Update: Just saw the book, and it's quite impressive what 4 little megapixels can do- quite impressive! Wonder how long it would have taken me to notice the above had I not seen it in print first?

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