Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Stacy Kranitz: Too-Kool-for-Skool Week





These are from Stacy Kranitz' pictures of a dystopian compound in Ohio. This is what she says.



For this project I have established a center of study to focus my gaze on a specific group of young men that I have befriended at a dystopian compound in Ohio.  

For the photographs, I use the camera to turn disturbing, vulgar and excessive events into desired activities. I examine violence as catharsis to produce a fetishization of my subject’s post-pubescent manhood.

For a series of video investigations, I have invited myself into the homes of young men that I met at the compound in Ohio. Over the course of several years we (subject and observer) build a relationship depicted in sound and moving image. I take on the role of observer, documentarian, friend, therapist, instigator, social scientist and fetishist.  My subject takes on the role of performer, object of desire, muse, and informant.

 Last year sometime, Kranitz got one of those internet maulings for stereotyping the Appalachians in a photo story that ran on CNN. I wrote about it in this post where Kranitz said,  “I feel ashamed and humiliated for trusting CNN. I am stunned that they would take my work out of context,” she said in this interview.

OK. Well, I like the pictures - like Ryan McGinley on good cider (sorry Tony Fouhse), but the statement kind of ties in with the previous blog post on lame conceptual justifications

These are great pictures but they are what they are. Kranitz should embrace what she does because she does it incredibly well and there is loads of complexity and depth in there. The pictures also tie in with the posts on Mike Brodie's and Owen Harvey's pictures. It's turning out to be too-kool-for-skool week.

5 comments:

Morganna Magee said...

This article really struck me Colin. Sometimes I think photographers guilt is on par with the Irish Catholic guilt- we feel so bad about the act of photographing that we write these tricked up introductions to justify the work. Kranitz's work is harsh, voyueristic and absolutely wonderful. I think this idea that documentary photographers must be in love with their subjects is a farce- the fact is the closer you are to someone the less likely you are to take brilliant shots. Having a sense of detachment is what stops you from living in the moment and instead capturing it. As you said, she does what she does so well she shouldn't need to justify it.

Andrew Lamb said...

She's a better at photography than writing.

colin pantall said...

Thanks Morganna and Andrew. I don't think it's bad writing so much as writing at odds with what she is photographing, the way she is photographing it and what she wants to say. We all find it difficult to express ourselves and this is fed into by a culture of artist's statements that fetishise certain language. I think Stacy is trying to go beyond that - but it's difficult.

Pictures are great though. Consistently.

Andrew Lamb said...

"For the photographs, I use the camera to turn disturbing, vulgar and excessive events into desired activities. I examine violence as catharsis to produce a fetishization of my subject’s post-pubescent manhood."

At the risk of sounding uncharitable, the above is drivel.

You hit the nail on the head with this:

" a culture of artist's statements that fetishise certain language.'

Possibly, she would have been better off letting the photos speak for themselves. Instead, we've been treated to another dreary artist's statement that almost takes up more of our attention than the work itself.

JuJu said...

Who cares what she says. Maybe she needs to work on it a bit but I think her really amazing work gives her a pass. Thanks so much for sharing this work. It definitely creates a conflict of sentiments in my mind but maybe that's a good thing. It's provocative and definitely grotesquely sensual.

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