About Photography

Comments are continually being made in an attempt to define what photography is; medium specificity can be meaningful for working photographers. Here are some quotes from David Campany (University of Westminster, London) …

“Photography appeals because it escapes narrative and wrongfoots the easy explanations it can seduce us into making. Like the visitor with fresh eyes, the camera takes in everything. It sees without hierarchy or intention, with no knowledge of the before or after. In fact, it sees more than any human can, recording surfaces and objects with unimaginable realism. Its voracity and its veracity are inseparable. In the final print the smallest things may become insistent signs, calling inexplicable attention to themselves across time.

This capacity for unpredictable significance is what troubles photography’s artistic ambitions. All photos, indeed all films, end up documents, no matter what the makers’ intentions. And the value of that documentation cannot be known in advance. Who is to say which detail from which image may prick our personal memory, or cause us to re-evaluate our shared history?”

from David Campany on the influential photographers who captured London in Tate Etc 25

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