Not Abstract at All

December 29, 2008

Here are some of the large, glossy photos that are going to be in my Los Angeles show.  They’re 20×30″ each and the reason I’m thinking about them a lot is the whole question of project familiarity to any kind of artist.

amed3a

amed4a

I’ve been looking at these photos for seven months, and they’ve lost the tingle of “oh my god look at that” but they still resonate, for me, with the anecdotes that surrounded the circumstances of the shooting.  So, now, it’s hard for me to gauge what kind of reaction people will have to them.  “Oh my god look at that” is a good starting place, but I don’t even know whether these will phase people at all, even if they mistakenly think what’s going on is not special effects.  So then I wonder about the place of extradiagetic information in the showing of them.  I wonder whether there’s enough there to get people thinking.  Or maybe people will be grossed out?  I have no idea ’cause I’ve spent a long time with them.

That’s why, ideally, I like the process from initial impulse to end result to move quickly.  I don’t want to be numb to the possible subject positions viewers might take on and end up thinking I have to rush over and explain something or expand on it ’cause otherwise everyone’s going to be bored.  Or, more to the point, I don’t like getting to the point where I start overthinking things.  (Too late.)

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3 Responses to “Not Abstract at All”


  1. They pack a wallop.

    I remember you having other pics, like the amputee sitting on the hood of a Jeep and having a cigarette or something like that. If there are other pictures in the show where bystanders are milling about without a sense of urgency, I expect viewers will move past their initial reactions and look for other meanings (which I’m expecting what you want).

    It also sounds like you aren’t interested in spelling out those other meanings, which might turn the whole thing into an easily digestible lump.

    Does the title of the show say anything like “Photos From _______ Training Center?” Implicit in that is a bit of what’s going on, and if anyone wants to know more, you can have something in the gallery book (the thing with your CV, list of works, and a press release.

    Ideally (IMO) the viewer will more from initial impulse to other ideas at their own pace, and that might take minutes or years, which is fine by me.

  2. lee Says:

    it makes me really curious about the need for this kind of training. i mean it makes me think that this must be a prevalent situation that needs to be trained on, so then i dunno i just start to wonder why.

  3. Grace Says:

    it makes me think, is this fake or real? their faces don’t show pain as if they were just modeling the blood and guts.


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