Out of Focus in more than one dynamic.
This is a mixed bag and one will find a variety of different photographers with a different approach. Computer technology has brought so many things but it affects our concentration levels. It is all a blur or should I say out of focus. In a way the gallery is just becoming an extension adding to the amount one can visualise through the eye of a camera. There is no longer time to be free of imagery one almost becomes immune and just starts seeing through it like it is wallpaper.
Art photography is a difficult thing to do even more so now than ever with the advent of the digital camera, iphone, ipad, mobile phone and the list grows. Everyone is snapping away, uploading it to the internet to be seen, to a point we are drowning in imagery of all kinds. One can no longer see or visualise things.
Adverts are everywhere competing on so many levels in every conceivable place. The message in the medium has disappeared. This is evident from advertising plastering wide areas of space with the same advert to make the product stand out from everything else that is being thrown at potential consumers. Experimenting with the position of adverts to exposing them as visual video on bins, on train platforms it is never ending.
The exhibition title for this reason says more than is meant. I have a strong interest in visual art and try and block out many visual images of the things I am not interested in. Not because I do not care and do not wish to make any valuation. It is simply my mind needs the space and freedom to focus and have time to understand the motives of what I am looking at. One cannot take it all in at once. So I appreciate only those things that draw me in which is not easy in a group show of photographers to tell you the truth.
I believe that we are at a junction in the way galleries and museums present any objects. It seems that they need to separate the wheat from the chaff. Karl Largefelds fashion photography is more suited to be shown in a magazine or in a table book which is not to be ridiculed. These photographs lend themselves more to this type of presentation than to a gallery wall and it may well have been better to have presented these portraits as if you are looking through one of those poster flip stands or in large portfolios on tables which play on the idea of magazine pages and place one or two photographs on the walls.
John Stezakers portrait collages are great but may be it would have been better to thin down the amount on view. So that one can focus on the images presented. It may well have been better to have less artists work in the same show and had two corresponding exhibitions running back to back.
This gets back to my point of saturation. There is a need to make a more focused approach to the way photography in a gallery is shown to ensure that any work will have a fare chance to work in its environment that is unique. It needs to be realised that the competition is already passed through the doorway and is no longer knocking because people have already walked through the advertiser’s gallery in the street on the way.
We need to take account of the many dimensions of what our present situation is with visual imagery. The gallery is a difficult place to manage in many ways and more and more time is being spent in trying to think up a show that will attract people and deliver what the artist intends. It is not easy by any means but they need a fuller investment in how something is presented.