Why Photograph?

When working on an extended body of work such as other histories one begins to not only question the subject matter but the medium one is using to interpret it. Eventually the question ‘why photograph anything?’ arises.

Here on the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Blog Lisa Sutcliffe talks to several contemporary photographer’s and asks them that seemingly simple question.

I think this quote from Sutcliffe captures some of the key elements of photgraphy as art:

‘I was surprised by the poetic nature of the answers, and I would like to highlight a few common themes I noticed in the texts. Many of the artists express a desire to simultaneously depict the outer world and the inner self ā€“ to transcend reality. They discuss the existence of multiple realities and how different ways of seeing and multiple points of view can be compressed into two dimensions. And there was a strong desire to record the changing environment ā€“ either as a means of saving a piece of history, or as a commentary on rapid development. It is heartening to see that even with the digital revolution photography is still ideally suited for this type of cultural examination.’

Picture 1


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