W. o’ W.: Nobuyoshi Araki


…from his statement at the selection meeting for the Canon New Cosmos Award Grand Prize:

“Looking at the entries made me think that photography might be finished.

Overall, I didn’t feel that there was much love for or homage to the subjects. Photographs shouldn’t project your own image, they should pay homage to the subject. There didn’t seem to be any identification with the subjects, and I wondered why the subjects hadn’t been depicted more beautifully.

The raw emotions of the artists don’t come across in the photographs. It’s as though the sweaty relationship between photographers and subjects has disappeared. The pictures aren’t even cool. They feel a bit a cold, a bit dry.

I think all this is a result of the shift to digital photography. Many of the entries highlight the way digital photography has changed how people take pictures. In the film era, the camera was so close to the photographer’s face that it almost became an eye. But the digital cameras of today are nothing more than objects. So when I said “finished,” I meant that with the world moving to digital, photographic expression as our generation knew it is finished.

Nevertheless, this might not be something to feel sad about. This new era has arrived, and it might be what the New Cosmos of Photography had always been aiming for. Perhaps these cold and dry pictures will get hotter in the future.”


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