Friedlander’s Diet

I’m not sure that the video of Lee Friedlander compiled by Mark Schwarz has a great deal to recommend it, though it could perhaps be seen as an ironically satirical comment on a US American lifestyle, but I’m afraid it really is straight-forward piece of genial Californian whimsy for Mr Lee’s 75th birthday on 14 July 2009.

But the site, AMERICAN SUBURB X,  does have a wealth of interesting material, including an illustrated article on Friedlander by Rod Slemmons, Director at The Museum of Contemporary Photography, and another by Carol Armstrong, professor of art and archaeology and Doris Stevens Professor of the Study of Women and Gender at Princeton University, written at the time of his 2005 MoMA show which may well enlarge your vocabulary, though I find her style akin to torture.  But academics certainly get brownie points for that.

Of course lots more about lots of other photographers including Aaron Siskind and William Klein – and quite a few alphabetically in between on its ‘ASX Channels.’  As well as some whose names I won’t mention without mouthwash to hand.

Among the various articles, there is one by Paul Graham, from his presentation at the first MoMA Photography Forum on 16th February 2010, The Unreasonable Apple in which he likens the art world’s approach to straight photography to “the parable of an isolated community who grew up eating potatoes all their life, and when presented with an apple, thought it unreasonable and useless, because it didn’t taste like a potato.”

2 Responses to “Friedlander’s Diet”

  1. ChrisL says:

    Thanks for that link, too much to look forward to there. A Pseuds Corner nomination though for Carol Armstrong, but a salutary reminder for anyone writing on photography, I didn’t make it past the second para. :-)

  2. I think it’s aim is not to be understood but to make the reader feel inferior for not understanding. But I think there are some parts later on in the piece which I think demonstrate a lack of understanding of the actual pictures or feeling for what LF is doing. I may be wrong but I don’t get the feeling she has ever really tried using a camera seriously and I don’t feel you can hope to understand his work without doing so.

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