Friday, 9 May 2008
Everybody's got something to hide...
Roger Ballen regards his distance from the sea of images that wash over us as part of his success at finding his own visual voice. Connected to that, Alessandra Sanguinetti notes that it is not enough to make good images, that she has to make great images.
How many great images are made though and what constitutes their greatness?
How many images will we see this weekend - in newspapers, books, magazines, on screen or posted in the street? How many will we remember when Monday comes around, how many are worth remembering?
With that perennial thought flowering once again, it's back to animals. Apes and monkeys are (after kids juxtaposed with the spoils of the day's hunting trip) one of the favourite subjects of photographers who shoot animals. Best of the monkey men for me is James Mollison. His James and Other Apes features portraits of chimps, orang-utans, bonobos and gorillas - all done in Ken Ohara (I still can't believe he's not Irish!) close-up - which, in opposition to Ohara's One pictures, accentuates the apes' differences and their individuality.
Apes look pretty good in a photograph, but monkey films, God help Us! The one exception is King Kong, especially the original, co-directed by Merian C.Cooper. Cooper was inspired to make his film by the island of Komodo in Indonesia - his first idea for the film was to take a gorilla to Komodo and have it fight a Komodo dragon to the death!
Partly because of King Kong, I have always had a bit of an obsession with Komodo - so tying in with the dead animal theme, here's a picture from Komodo.