Sunday, May 4, 2014

Trivia (CV) - The Reith Lectures

«Next boundary marker: photography. Problematic.

(Fx: whip) (LAUGHTER)

Now in the 1990s every second show seemed to be photography, but how do you tell if a photo is art? We live in an age now where photography rains on us like sewage from above - you know endless Instasnaps on your phone everywhere. So how do you tell if a photo’s art? Well you could sort of go just looking at are they smiling? If they’re smiling, it’s probably not art.


I mean if you look at Thomas Struth, who’s a famous art photographer - you know not many people smiling in his photos - is there a staginess to them, you know portentous? Is there a lot of meaning being emanated out from this image? I asked Martin Parr, the very famous and brilliant photographer, if he could give me a kind of definition. He said well … A definition of an art photo as opposed to another sort of photo. And almost in jest, he said, “Well if it’s bigger than two metres and it’s priced higher than five figures.”


And I thought that’s actually quite accurate if you think because I mean say someone like Andreas Gursky - famous, makes these huge photographs, sometimes four metres by two metres - and his photograph of the Rhine has the highest price of any photograph ever: 4.5 million dollars.»

Grayson Perry, CBE (born 24 March 1960), English artist
The Reith Lectures 2013 (episode 2 of 4), BBC Radio 4

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