Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Out And about

A trip down to London - primarily to see Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart on their take of 'Waiting For Godot' - gave the chance to think about photography and what it really means as an artform.  Outside of any immediate concerns with the MA and away from my own practice, it's easier to reflect on what the medium really has to offer.
An early stop at the Haunch Of Venison gave an opportunity to view the latest work from Thomas Joshua Cooper.  I have been a long time admirer of his landscapes, and am the proud owner of both "Dreaming The Gokstadt' and 'Some Rivers, Some Trees, Some Rocks, Some Seas'.  On this occasion though I was a little more quizzical about the work.  Not least because the images have been blown up in scale and for me at least lose some mystery as a result.  They also, dare one say it? and does it matter? looked a little old fashioned - or maybe I simply mean had less to say to us nowadays?  I am also troubled, presently, by the issue of colour.   By chance I happened upon some recent colour prints by Dan Gustav Cramer in the excellent Maddox Gallery show 'Terra Nihilus' that were in my mind far more satisfactory landscape works.  A case for more reflection on my part I think.

In another place - Hauser & Wirth - David Claerbout was showing three new video works.  One of my fellow students is a Claerbout fan - as am I - and these latest works did not disappoint.  One in particular, up in the top of the building - in the room it was made - entitled The American Room (1st movement) was a marvellous piece of work with so much to say about  time and place and photography as a medium and its relationship to film.  It had a powerful poetic quality that is impossible to describe - a must see in my judgment!

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