I was commissioned to write this a few years ago for the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava (and thank you to all the photo...
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Seeing this work on a computer is not seeing it at all.
Where should you view this picture - it is of Isabel and is from the Flora series? This computer isn't the best place for it, that's for sure - it's not an end point in any way whatsoever. Paul Kopeikin mentioned this in relation to the Wired list of bloggers that seeing work on a blog is not seeing it at all - and that work should be seen in the appropriate place. The right place and form might be a gallery in the form of a print, it might be in a book, it might be in a home or in an album. It might even be on a computer, as with Snakebox Odyssey or interactive materials such as Prison Valley. So perhaps this is the right place to see it.
This is just to let you all know that you haven't seen any of the work on this blog until you have seen it as a print, as a book, as a magazine article or as an illustration - all these pictures are like copies that have been xeroxed and re-xeroxed (xerox - what an archaic, exotic, North American word! Fabulous!) until they bear no relationship to the original.
Sometimes there will be a definite wrong place to see something. I suspect that the White Space Gallery is the wrong place to see Rimaldas Viksraitis' pictures - so the Gallery should have a post-it note on the wall saying that these pictures should really be seen when drunk and naked in a Lithuanian shebeen. Similary, nearly all documentary and photojournalism from the past should be seen in a magazine or even as a contact sheet rather than in the places one sees them now.
But the point is good so I will put up a little warning on the side of this blog saying:
Please note: The work on this blog is not the original work. It is being shown out of context and denuded of content. To see the work as it should be seen, buy the book, magazine, visit a gallery, go to the appropriate website or watch the film. Do not mistake your computer experience for anything other than the little that it is.
Now it is just time for all the gallery websites, personal websites, magazine websites and bookselling websites to make the same point. Blogs are just a tiny corner of the internet, corners that gather a tiny amount of traffic compared to newspaper or magazine websites. Every image seen on a website should come with the same warning.
What do you think?