I happened upon a couple of online portfolios recently: portraits
of people who participated in the Occupy movement of a couple
of years ago. You probably remember that so I won’t explain it
The thing that most struck me (and it might be, probably is, just
me) was how uninterested I was in them.
Funnily enough (I’ve never said I wasn’t “funny”) if these portraits
had been presented with less context (and had been more tightly
edited) I would probably have liked them more. But the fact that
they were so aligned with an actual event (as well as being so
repetitive) was was turned me off.
And that got me thinking about my preferences . . .
I’m quite sure that I’m most drawn, most interested in and most
affected by images that aren’t really about any one defined event
or movement. I guess I like images that are less historical, more
And in conjunction with those thoughts I bumped into an very
interesting article over on BagNews.
They (BagNews) look at how photographs of some of the poorer
parts of Washington, D.C., shot by Susana Raab, are “changed”,
or re-contextualized, with the addition of extended (and pointed)
captions, by Politico, the magazine that featured some of the images,
from Ms Raab’s (pre-existing) series.
It’s not like the captions added by Politico place Ms Raab’s fotos
into specific “events”, but what the captions do do is narrow the
viewer’s ways of reacting to the images by making them more
Specificity is fine sometimes, but complexity, subtle symbolism
and a coherent yet open-ended point of view are enough for me.
Susana Raab: XXXX
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