Thursday, October 4, 2012

Baldessari & Schiek

Hello everyone and happy Thursday to you all. In photography class today, we looked at two different photographers/designers. Both very different in their own ways but inspiring all the same.

John Baldessari is one of the two discussed. We watched this short clip of his bio narrated by his friend and fellow artist, Tom Waits. Baldessari is tall, has a giant beard, and is one of the world's most famous and prolific designers. Check him out:

We also looked at photographs by Paul Schiek on American Suburb X: His collection, entitled, "Dead Men Don't Look Like Me" is a series of photographs that Schiek's friend found at an abandoned jail in Georgia. Inspired by the context, Schiek decided to "recycle" them; take off all the identifications, clean them up, blow them up, and make them into a portrait.

Schiek claimed that "Everything has been done. We (as artists) just recycle stuff." This series, is a good example of that in that he took something deemed "useless", changed it, changed its context, and made it into something that serves a completely different purpose. 

Our discussion in class today was based on the morality of this "recycling". Can an artist like Schiek really claim this as his own if he never held the camera up for himself? Sure, it was his idea, but all he really did was crop the photographs and fix the quality. Many of us came to the conclusion, that while the idea is there, Schiek in this series is not considered a photographer. An artist, possibly. But not a photographer. 

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