WFMU Interviews with Photographers - Philip Lorca Dicorcia and others

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by matt_c|3, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. Tons of lengthy, hour-long interviews with lots of different
    photographers like Steve McCurry, Gregory Crewdson, Philip Lorca
    Dicorcia, Susan Meiselas, etc.

    I just finished listening to an interview with Dicorcia. He touched
    on a number of topics like his latest body of work "A Storybook
    Life," how he got started, his education, his practices and methods
    (not technical, though), the art world and his disdain for some of
    its aspects, photojournalism, the media, etc.

    A sidenote: before he was an art star, Dicorcia had a pretty lengthy
    career as a travel photographer. He doesn't talk about that in the
    interview though. An archive of his travel work:

    His artwork and his commercial work share similar subject matter, but
    comparing the two, I find the overall the effect is very different.
  2. How fleeting is fame. I've never heard of any of these people.
  3. Harvey, you've never heard of Elliott Erwitt, Susan Meiselas, Steve McCurry, Eugene Richards, David Doubilet, Ron Haviv, Bruce Davidson, or Mary Ellen Mark?

    That's a cool page, Matt. Thanks for posting the link.
  4. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Harvey, you need to get out more.

    I miss WFMU. They always had great music shows. And I'll be checking out the interviews. Thanks for the link.
  5. I miss WFMU.​

    Their site has streams for both dial-up and broadband listeners. I listen to Joe Frank there (and on -- which also streams).
  6. I've heard of Elliott Erwitt and Mary Ellen Mark but not the others, obviously they need to ramp up their publicity machines. I'm not sure why Jeff thinks I need to get out more - I get out sufficiently often for my simple needs....
  7. I'm not sure why Jeff thinks I need to get out more - I get out sufficiently often for my simple needs....​

    So it shouldn't surprise you if you haven't heard of well-known contemporary photographers.
  8. Your logic chip is faulty. If I don't know who they are, then the idea that they're "well-known contemporary photographers" is called into question. For all I know they're household names in America, or more probably, unknown to 99.99% of the population.

    Let's stop the silly status games and admit that not everyone knows of or cares about every photographer that you think is 'good'.
  9. No, the logic is that if you spend your time shooting outdoors doing other things, it makes
    sense that you're ignorant of well-known contemporary photogs.
  10. Nope, I can't follow your reasoning there at all. Never mind, it doesn't matter much either way.
  11. Then go and spend more time with your head outdoors, or in the sand.
  12. Ah, rude as usual.
  13. You still don't understand, do you.
  14. Wrong. I understand perfectly.
  15. If you understood, then simple logical constructions would not elude you. Hence, you do
    not understand.
  16. We could play this game for ages.....
  17. This is ridiculous. I suppose •[• Z knows every photgrapher that ever lived or will live. Get a grip!
  18. I supose Harvey knows hardly any.
  19. "He who knows not and knows not he knows not,
    He is a fool - Shun him.

    He who knows not and knows he knows not,
    He is simple - Teach him.

    He who knows and knows not he knows,
    He is asleep - Awaken him.

    He who knows and knows that he knows,
    He is wise - Follow him."

    Quote from a not so ordinary man who must have known.

    Now wich one would you like to be?
  20. He who proffers hoary old citations is a fool ... shun him.
  21. Still playing the status games, eh? Play on.....
  22. you're the one describing it as a game, Harvey. If so, you're the one playing ... and losing.
    Badly. You remain ignorant of well-known photographers, say you're busy outdoors, and
    when I say that explains your ignorance you profess confusion. Okay, we understand:
    you're still confused. Got it. Roger.
  23. Jolly good.
  24. When reading this thread rapdily, it reminds me of the fencing lessons I took from a former French Olympiast, (Quick, clicky, tit-for-tats, closing in on the kill with no warning) for which I had great respect and who of course, was simply unbeatable by an uncoordinated teenager with a left-handed foil, until 1 day, the teacher was unprepared for the student, who lunged, the foil slipped of his vest, lifted up the mask shield and hit the famous frenchman in the throat...causing him to lie on the ground for a while in great pain...After this episode the pimply teenager was no longer approached without caution..
  25. Fencing never goes on that long.
  26. Ah, Harvey's got a friend. Nice to find someone to agree with you.
  27. Still whistling in the dark, then?
  28. Yes Harv, your trilling is heard echoing all around, mostly in your head, I suspect.
  29. I've noticed that you always want to have the last word. Can I take it you'll do
    so this time?
  30. With you -- why not. (Ya' still hear that whistling, apparently.)
  31. he he he....
  32. I'm not sure why Jeff thinks I need to get out more​

    he he he....
  33. ho ho ho
  34. Are you finding your ignorance amusing too? hee hee hee....
  35. It's obvious that you want me to lose my temper with you but instead I'll simply quote from a mail sent to me off-line....

    "I told you. AZ has to have the last word..."

    If you must, then you must.
  36. Ha ha ha....
  37. But you still win, Harvey. Heh, heh, heh.
  38. Winning at lack of knowledge? Okay.
  39. Harvey is a very good photographer. He also has intelligent things
    to say about photography. I respect is opinions even when I disagree
    with them.

    Anyone can aquire a list of photographers' names. Owning a list
    isn't knowledge. And that person above has not demonstrated here any
    sort of real knowledge. All he has demostated is that he has the
    ability to poison perfectly good threads, which takes no particular

    Let that person at least have the guts to post his images along with
  40. Anyone can aquire a list of photographers' names.​

    But many people, like myself have actual knowledge of these photographers, hgaving seen their photos in shows, while others wear their ignorance proudly as a Stetson while diesregarding what they're ignorant of. If they want to so that, fine.
  41. Jolly good. So tell us about what you saw. Capsule critiques.
    Maybe just random thoughts. Seeing is not enough. If you indeed saw
    anything at all. No proof of that yet.

    Come, what did you learn at your local museum or art gallery?

    After your response I'll tell you and everyone bothering to read this
    thread a little secret concerning people who claim to knowing it all
    and those who admit to not knowing everything.

    What can you share with us about Steve McCurry, Gregory Crewdson,
    Philip Lorca Dicorcia, Susan Meiselas, and anyone else you think is
    important? Then let's see how your photographs measure up.
  42. Cut the nonsense and I might jolly well will.
  43. Also, it's not a matter of my seeing. It's an issue of someone dismissing other artists out of hand simply due to his boastful ignorance. As long as you defend that I have little reason to help you out, Alex. Maybe someone else will.
  44. As I thought: Nothing to say.

    I'll save my little secret for a while.
  45. Wow, a secret. Must be something rilly special.
  46. Tell you what, let me refresh this thread for anyone still lurking
    out there.

    To begin with, all of the photographers mentioned above can be
    accessed on the web. So anyone who does not have a gallery handy
    nearby can see some of their work on a computer screen and, if
    interested, buy their books from

    Since it is bloody late over here (1:23 a.m.) I'm going to say a few
    short things about the two photographers that I happen to like best
    out of the four mentioned by Matt.

    Susan Meiselas is a documentary photographer. Her work on El
    Salvador from the 1980s is something that is worth going back to for
    political as well as aesthetic reasons. The political reasons are
    plain. The US was supporting a brutal totalitarian regime there.
    The aesthetic reasons (if they can be correctly called that) are that
    as documentary shots these are poignant. I rather not say they are
    beautiful because what they show is horrid. Of particular note ought
    to be her shots of various massacres. Readers might remember the
    murder of the Maryknoll nuns by Salvadorian government troops.
    Meiselas was there when the nuns were dug up. There is nothing lurid
    about the photographs--the horror is in fact mutted by them being
    black and white. Her book El Salvador brings back a lot of political
    memories. I have more to say on that but I'll go on.

    Meiselas did a study of an S/M club in New York which I found to be
    so-so. Why, I don't know. Perhaps because it was so very tame in
    the end. Everything artificial, pre-planned. Once the shock wears
    off there is little there really, unless you have a particular taste
    for S/M.

    Her work Carnival Strippers is another story. Excellent documentation
    and a story with a lot of complexity. The men who come to see the
    strippers are as interesting as the strippers themselves. You are
    left with an impression. The strippers come to some small town.
    Mostly ordinary workingmen come to see them. Then the stripper troop
    departs and heads for some other small town. The overall message I
    get from Meiselas's study is that strippers have a kind of magic, a
    kind of power that has nothing to do with beauty (many of the
    strippers are not beautiful) or nakedness per se. It may not even
    the indulgence in a forbidden pleasure. It may have something to do
    with disclosure--I may of another existence outside the world of
    small towns and dull work.

    I move on to Steve McCurry. He has photographed for National
    Geographic. He is probably best known for the picture of the Afghan
    girl that appeared on NA years ago. It has become something of ikon.

    McCurry takes amazingly beautiful color photographs of places where
    there is a great deal of misery. What is good about him is that the
    beauty comes out of the people and places he photographs. It is not
    imposed upon them. He often does capitalize on the exotic in his
    work. But all right. I do not find it exploitive or degrading. Much
    the opposite. His people have a dignity in front of his camera. He
    portraits are outstanding--as are his landscapes. The collection I
    liked most were his Afghanistan shots; least the Kuwait work. Kuwait
    was shot right after the Gulf War. The burning oil wells were
    poignant all right, but I sense the photographer was holding back.
    There was nothing to compare to the shots of El Salvador by Meiselas.

    This is a very fast write up, probably full of typos. I don't want
    to touch on the other photographers yet. I did not know their work
    as well as the two I talked about here and, frankly, they did not
    interest me. Which is why I wish to reserve judgement. I'll take a
    second and third look.

    The work of these two photographers was both humbling and inspiring.
    Harvey might well be right. Their fame may be fleeting--for whatever
    reasons. Then it might not.

    And with that I will bit everyone a belated good night at 2:11 a.m..
    If this has inspired anyone keeping silence to jump into this
    discussion I'll be happy.
  47. Must not have been much of a secret, huh.
  48. Thanks for that WFMU link..........that DiCorcia interview was fantastic. I love his street work with flash.......the part of the interview on that floored me.........was not expecting that scenario he laid out of being the "relunctant photographer"........jeez, who'de a thought!?

    Well, I think my place of work just lost my services for the rest of the day ;o)......back to WFMU

Share This Page