Much in the contemporary street photography is about that, and this, and the other one. In a maximalisation effort, the ambitious artists are trying to fit as much as possible in a single frame.
Humans in all of their hypostases, but many of them. Faces, expressions, body parts all around. Frontal, partial, in the background, everywhere. And the even more ambitious critics have a wealth of interpretations, reading paths, leading lines, intersecting glances, shapes, clusters, parallel stories and surrealistic juxtapositions.
Usually these frames come from very busy cities (NY, New Delhi, Havana ...) and the photographers, once there, quickly give up any effort to cut-out meaningless information, and they skip the very essence of composition (reductionism, and inclusion by exclusion). And they are satisfied with the raw result of a "chaotic order" (the same contradictory concept as the "tilted equilibrium"). And they are righ on the money. And there is a huge body of exceptional work from many photographers within the above approach.
Nevertheless, and happily, there are also, and still, compositions where the monosemantic reading needs no cruches in order for the picture to prevail and perpetuate in our memory. Like the running (away) girl and menacing corridor of the present picture.
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Don't take me wrong but this is a huge problem! Whom to give credit at, the photographer or the mannequin's "sculptor"? It is the same false dilemma when it comes in photographing other's "art".
Photographing graffiti, combining ads with real people, recording on photograph some installations, are all these meta-art?
It took me many "visualisations" before I accept that this is a lifeless plastic.
Of course the keen eye will see immediately the broken finger, but this is not how I read images. I start small, abstract, then I close my eyes and try to remember it, before I go into the detail of a full blown size.
Nevertheless, even if the artificial girl is superbly conceived and implemented (probably in a chain production unit), we cannot fail to admire both the decorator's and the photographer's sensibility in delivering such a symbolic image (the woman-doll in a fetich posture) squinting her eyes enough as to disconnect from a rather obscure and competing (Monroe in the background) reality.
Geometry and expressive contrast dominate the rest of the frame but no second level is of any importance when the main subject is so powerful.
Perspective is the key element here and the angle, the vantage point is all that the photographer has in their hands.
"The photographer cannot, like Turner, whisk an invisible town around a hill, and bring it into view, and add a tower or two to a palatial building, or shave off a mountain's scalp ... He must take what he sees, just as he sees it, and his only liberty is the selection of a point of view." H. J. Morton "The Philadelphia Photographer - An Illustrated monthly journal, devoted to photography - The official organ of the National Photographic Association of the United States" - no.8 - 1865
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Robert Frank's the Americans, in colour ...
Rear window view of 1800 pictures ...
Fargo (the series) by Cohen ...
There so many that pop into mind ... The thing is that nothing can beat the magic of a special light.
During a movies overdose it came into mind the fact that there are pictures that try to please the public of the moment and there are pictures that simply don't care ... but they hope.
Whichever is the reason behind an image full of impact ... the bottom line is that it continues to be highly personal.
Why? Because "All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget. In this -as in other ways- they are the opposite of paintings. Paintings record what the painter remembers. Because each one of us forgets different things, a photo more than a painting may change its meaning according to who is looking at it. -John Berger, "Keeping a Rendezvous"
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Hellen Levitt's first subject was chalk paintings in the streets of New York and the kids who made them.
Sometimes the kids were gone …
"perhaps the world that these pictures documented never existed at all, except in the private vision of Helen Levitt, whose sense of the truth discovered those thin slices of fact that, laid together, create fantasy." (Looking at Photographs - by John Szarkowski)
Nevertheless, a human presence is always searched in a photograph no matter which are the obstacles.
In Stela's picture this search is haunting but liberating at the same time. The children have fled, but the pattern of their spell remains.
And at this exact moment these captures go beyond the docu-art of Levitt's children.
We examine closely the distorted (destroyed) reality of yet another post-communist (post-industrial) suburban fabrication.
And the temporal halucination offered by photography takes its full meaning: In the Balkans, we are forced to witness the longest transition ever, where the nostalgic innocence meets, and resists to, the embelishment of quotidian.
An undeclared resistance to off-the-rack lives and to shopping-Mall contained consciousness.
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This is the public curated Gallery of the STREET CORE PHOTOGRAPHY Group