Saturday, March 24, 2007

no photography?

Edward Winkleman started an interesting discussion on his site about bloggers taking photos at galleries....a must read.
It is funny because just last night while taking pictures of a friend's work, which I was asked specifically by the artist to document, a woman (not affiliated with the gallery) snarled at me, "I don't think you should be taking photos, you are infringing on copyright!" Because she was not with the gallery I did not stop but in general I never really have any problems taking photos at openings. In fact I think galleries that don't allow photography are only hurting themselves because bloggers only give them free press. I did have one gallery in sanfran tell me to be sure to take good photos because poor photos might not depict the work in a positive light which I totally understand. A large part of this blog is sharing Michigan artists with the world and showing that we have the talent hands down to compete with the best out there, so I find it hard when people disagree with photography in galleries.

14 Comments:

Anonymous blnph said...

The snarling woman was an idiot, it wasn't her place to tell you what to do, but many of the photographs you reproduce here are very poor. If you can't get a decent picture of something, move on. Look at it as an opportunity to hone your writing chops instead of just putting up a washed out lump of fuzz.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree. I think the pics you take are fine. I'd rather be looking at what "blnph" calls "washed out lumps of fuzz" than nothing at all.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

art is visual so go keep on with photos, good bad or indifferent.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous curtis said...

Lately the photos have been on point. Some people just want to be mad.

I can understand not allowing photos if the gallery is serious enough to be putting out catalogues.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your pictures are improving steadily. They are quite nice. I do agree that you could hone your writing chops here too. *If* you have time, run with it.

Thanks for the pictures.

6:42 AM  
Blogger detroit art works said...

why are people so critical??

why not comment about the idea of bloggers documenting shows....that's what happened on the winkelman blog! Why slam the blogger about picture quality? Sometimes I read these comments and I think you have got to be serious? but then I don't want to say anthing because it seems to just fuel the fire. I want to be an angry parent when this happens and say...oh, you don't like the pics...then say goodbye to the blog till you're nice little art kids!

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you may all be right

-------------------+

11:12 AM  
Anonymous steven brown said...

Thanks for documenting my work Annabelle. In addition to providing me with images of a show I was not able to attend in person, you have also provided a service (I wasn't even aware I needed).

Blog documentation photography can protect/inform artists who are not able to ensure the proper installation of their work in person. In a globalized world where travel expenses are not always (or rarely) paid to artists, who nevertheless wish to show (and) work internationally, documentation of the sort Ann provides can offer quality control- a sort of public service- to artists. Thanks.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are those of us who enjoy seeing your pictures and reading your opinions (for better or for worse). Some of us cannot get to every opening and you help us choose which ones we can squeeze into our schedules.Thank you.
Ignore those who do not appreciate the time you take to keep up this blog.

1:39 PM  
Blogger detroit art works said...

so what do gallerists think of bloggers?

1:43 PM  
Anonymous annie mouse said...

Ann, I have been busier than a one-armed paperhanger lately, so your sharing of shows with us is great. I cant get to many of them, so checking your blog and others is the only way the dialog is extended, oftimes.

please keep up the good work.....both the blog and your painting!

3:11 PM  
Anonymous MaxD said...

I'm a photographer and am not offended by the quality of Ann's photos. They serve their purpose and are fine. If you want to complain about something as minor as the degree of quality of blog photos than the issue of whether blog photos infinge on the artists' or gallery's copyright then start your own perfect blog. Ann is doing something none of the rest of us have bothered to do and is providing a valuable service free of charge.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous kevin b said...

I highly appreciate what Ann does and the function of her blog, regardless of her intentions (which I am sure are magnificent and superfluous) because like many have already stated, it provides a justifiable service to anyone interested in art of all degrees.

Now what I'm going to do is play devil's advocate for the sake of a discussion about this topic because just like Ann stated, this is a rather meaty topic to get into. It can be widely agreed upon that "the blog" has no specific use other than the fact that users/bloggers are free to do as they please with their given virtual space. Blogs are mainly used for personal reflections, thoughts, and ideas which the person who is posting can recieve comments and feedback on. This applied to art criticism and publication seems to be a natural fit, but art criticism is heavily criticised within itself or rather anyone who decides to talk about art is immediately subject to criticism. The question then arises, if a blog is just a publication of personal reflections and thoughts, then if those thoughts happen to include art then does it deserve the same kind of attention and critical analysis that an Artnews or Art in America review recieves, or on a more grassroots level, than a Metrotimes art section equivalent, where the involvement and investments made are on a much more grander scale for a more formal product.

I feel that because of Ann's determination and hardwork, she inadvertently gives the impression that "this is what she does." Because of this, she walks the line between personal reflection and a 'professional' art criticism, among the "just documenting what's happening" intention. The informality of "the blog" allows simple thoughts and observations to be published which has never been the case before blogs. Publication used to be only for big things, big ideas, and big intentions because the average joe couldn't afford to publish and mass produce what they ate for breakfast. Now we have to remember that Ann's blog is not the only blog that addresses art, so using Ann as an example in this discussion is just that, an example-not the subject.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous m. said...

kevin- "if a blog is just a publication of personal reflections and thoughts", the thing is that that was what a blog was 3 or 4 years ago. Now blogs usually have much bigger intentions. I don't think that this blog qualifies as onling journaling because, well, we see very little of Ann's personal reflections and thoughts. Thus, this one falls into the later category: as, I think, do all the blogs that this discussion of art photography pertains to. It's not the casual observer with their camera-phones that this criticism is aimed at: it's the "serious" art bloggers, like Ann et al.

My feeling is that those scenarios where galleries want to restrict photography seem to have less ultruistic concerns: instead of it being about other viewers experience, more often I think it's about controling the merchandise: literally, or figuratively. Word out mouth, it seems, would bring more viewers into the gallery ("I saw this great show, you should go see it, too..") vs. "I went to this great show, look at this image and tell me what you think" (thus cutting the gallery out).

This is because art is primarily a visual product. You can't take an audio recorder to a concert (you're not supposed to), but no one complains about taking photos at a book release. Now, try bringing a Xerox machine to a book release...

But the real question is how does this restriction affect the galleries? I think that the more you try to control something the more you either A. lose it or B. destroy it. I think that galleries are shooting themselves in the foot, and their restrictions on bloggers stems from the galleries lack of creativity in their own marketing, P.R., etc.

2:24 PM  

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