Tuesday, October 7, 2008
i've been interested to see the beginning of a discussion about criticism in art photo blogging. Joerg at Conscientious wrote about it (asking why there isn't more constructive criticism of photographic work instead of the current state of bloggy cheerleading), and Noel at We Can't Paint took another lens to the same question (blogs with a strong curatorial eye, even if they only imply positive comments, are critical in themselves).
i've thought a lot about this question, since my mode of address on Subjectify is fairly personal--dare i say subjective--and i use a lot of "i statements." i'm not really that interested in telling the internet all about myself (i don't post up my own work, for instance), but it's more wouldn't really know how else to share thoughts (and not feel like an ass). i have a lot of photographers emailing me their portfolios and i usually respond fairly frankly and yes, critically--i don't post that stuff up on the blog--and i'm always surprised when people thank me to say they have never/rarely received constructive negative feedback in crits before. of course some don't reply at all. (um, special this week: send me work that you want me to rip to shreds?)
i'm not really carving out a visual aesthetic with a sharp eye here, the way iheartphotographabsolutely is. just commenting on things i see in portraiture that engage me and make me want to pontificate about them. usually because i like them--they move me. sometimes because i didn't like something that everybody is talking about, or felt uncomfortable about something. still, sometimes i've felt like i offer slightly more negative commentary than others, and then i feel mixed about it. and Joerg says he thinks that people are worried about their "careers," but i sort of doubt that that's it.
what do you think? any great examples of "critical" discussion out there in the "blogosphere" that have particularly stood out for you? do you even want to see more of this? is a strong curatorial hand more engaging?