Alec Soth Interview on Conscientious
I missed this interview with Alec Soth a few weeks back. (Joerg’s mixture of politics and photography puts me off his site for months at a time.)
Photography is essentially a cliché-making machine… I don’t think it is healthy for a photographer to altogether run away from clichés — just as I don’t think it is wise for any kind of artist to try and do something entirely new. We are all working within a language and tradition. To avoid that language is to speak gibberish.
Because of the volume of images we experience in our day to day existence, avoiding cliche seems nearly impossible. Repeition drives meaning out of both subjects and techniques. Sometimes I find that my own attempts to avoid cliche cause me to freeze up, to avoid taking a picture for fear it’s been taken too many times already. I suppose I intend for this “discretion” to be a good thing and drive me to see uniquely, but after reading The Ongoing Moment last spring, I’ve been trying to loosen up that fear and realize that it’s unavoidable to make pictures similar to others’ and only by recognizing that can a photographer move beyond to put his/her own imprint on the subject/technique/etc.
Oh, and Alec now has a blog.