Instead of the time honored cliche, is photography art, let’s pull a switch and ask “Is photography Photojournalism?” Conferences on the question occur semiannually; each one decreases the stature of photojournalism. The latest under the sponsorship of the American Society for Magazine Photographers was held at the George Eastman House, Rochester, N. Y. last November.
For this experience in front of a camera two people are required, two rolls of Polaroid and one camera. One individual plays the part of The Person, in front of the camera, the other plays the part of Photographer. When one roll of film has been exposed, the individuals exchange roles.
The publishers of LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN, by James Agee and Walker Evans, have made available again this long-out-of-print masterpiece which uses Walker Evans’ photographs of absolutely first rank, standing apart from all the text, as a visual introduction to the written reports by James Agee.
The first hardcover book publication from the most important museum of photography in the world is a monograph on the revolution in American photography at the beginning of the Century which came to be known as the Photo-Secession. The format and style of CAMERA WORK from which the illustrations came is used throughout.
Since I attended the two-way coming out party for UNDER THE SUN—as book, and Poindexter Gallery exhibit; the complementary impact of these two forms of photographic expression is reflected in this review. While absorbing alternately from book and exhibition, I began to feel that an additional subtitle might describe the total effect: IMAGES OF ESSENCE AND PROCESS.
ALWAYS SURPRISING IT IS TO REALIZE HOW FEW PEOPLE HAVE EVER ACTUALLY SEEN ORIGINAL, FINE PHOTOGRAPHS. REPRODUCTIONS, YES, SEEN BY THE SCORES OF THOUSANDS, OR SNAPSHOTS: BUT MAGNIFICENT ORIGINALS BY CONTEMPORARY CAMERA WORKERS—RARELY, IF EVER.
MANY WORKSHOPS IN PHOTOGRAPHY ARE OFFERED EACH YEAR, AND BY NO MEANS ARE ANY LISTED HERE THAT DO NOT PERTAIN TO PHOTOGRAPHY AS EXPRESSION-CREATION, OR AS A MEDIUM. ALL OF THESE WORKSHOPS ARE NON-ACADEMIC, OR EVEN ANTI-ACADEMIC BECAUSE ALL THE INSTRUCTORS PASSIONATELY BELIEVE THAT THE WHOLE MAN SHOULD BE STIMULATED, GUIDED, NOT THE INTELLECT ALONE.