The first realisation I had during my PhD was the fact that what I was looking for, the objects of seduction I longed for, were already out there. I did not need to spend unfruitful hours trying to re-create, imitate what industrialization, and capitalism had already achieved. To compete, in terms of seduction, what I had to devise was a way to capture the relationship, to apprehend what was going on, to replicate it in order to study it in depth. Photography was my discovery. Four years later, photos are the works of art that titillate me most in an art gallery, as you may have noticed from the way I write on this blog. Photography makes me look twice at things, whether I am in front of a printed image, of behind the viewfinder. Even more if the two conflate and I show what I saw behind the viewfinder. Soon, my image — not the one I have taken, but, rather, me as a model — will take hold of a gallery, and I am looking forward to a new way of seeing myself.
I have been particularly taken by fashion photography, by its glossiness and its fearlessness, by the new language it has created and how it has seeped into the close-knit, inbred fine art world. I found it a breadth of fresh air, especially this show, which I saw on my last visit to New York. I even feel I finally understand Terry Richardson and the Vice Magazine culture! But Fine Art Photography has also had things to say outside of the fashion discourse. I might have been less observant (as fashion photography is all about seduction, and so grabbed me) but interesting things such as this have been going on around me. And then, there are the blogs: from Sartorialist to Belen Cerezo and Neil Scott’s FOTO, I always find inspiration in those pages.
Then, onto the title of the post. I want to commit to photography. It is embarrassing to think that everything I have done has been with a point-and-shoot or a borrowed medium-format camera. I know, I know, the camera is not important, it is what you do with it, but I feel ready to take the plunge into DSLR-world now that my least favourite time in the year is approaching and I may have some disposable cash (she says, wishfully). The problem is, of course, which one. The information out there is dizzying, and everyone has a favorite and an opinion. I am fed up with it, so I want to make this short and sweet. The shortlist is between Canons and Nikons, semi-professional range, moderately light so I don’t get lazy about taking it out with me. Remember I always carry books for comfort… What do you reckon? Do you have camera experiences you want to share with me?
And finally, not to forget what all this is about, I leave you with some images, which are what matters, really (even though none were, I think taken with the cameras mentioned above).
Dan Graham – Slide
Santu Mofokeng, Dove Lady #2, Diepkloof Zone 3, Soweto, (2002) Black & white photograph on Baryth paper, 70 x 100 cm
Terry Richardson, Skateboard P
Keller & Wittwer, I knew some of you better than others, but I miss you all (self-portraits)#2, 2007, b/w Fine Art Prints, edition 6 + 1 ap, 57 x 43 cm
Steven Klein, Untitled, 2008
Michael Thompson, Ruffled Neck, New York City, 2007