William Gedney

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…course, those people who say, ‘But the public is not interested in watching people practice. It wants the finished thing or nothing.’ My answer is that if one does not practice in public in reality, then in nine cases out of ten the world will never see the finished product of one’s work. Some people go on the assumption that if a thing is not a hundred percent perfect it should not be given to the world, but I have seen too many things that were a hundred percent perfect that were spiritually dead, and then things that have life and vitality, which I prefer by far to the other so-called perfect thing.”

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“Still photography and poetry are very close. To capture in a single frame visual forms organized to the point where neither more or less are needed. The single moment when form and content are one. Poetry does the same with words with the same strictness and economy. The exact arrangement of words to produce the effect with no more words than are needed. Art is the seeming perfect blending of many elements to produce a whole.”

 

Everyone Lives In Modern Times

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…from “Printing By Flash” by William J. Frazier, 1967

W. o’ W.: Nobuyoshi Araki

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“Each time I write the word “love,” it comes out looking different. If I write it a lot it begins to look like a new word, and I doubt if it’s even the word “love” anymore. And this feeling is similar to what I feel when I take photographs.  Or it’s like a woman you love. She’s the same person everyday but she’s also different. These two feelings, her being the same forever, and changing every moment- between this back-and-forth movement is where photography occurs.

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“When I write, the materials I use change according to my mood. Whether I use a brush and ink, a magic marker, a ballpoint pen- it all depends on the mood.  And this the same when choosing what camera to use, too. Maybe I’ll choose a compact camera with a date-imprint function or a 6×7 camera on a tripod. It’s all very similar.”

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W. o’ W.: David Graham

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“I tried to load as much as possible into each negative,” he said. “I would make photo-historical references, or I would visually comment on resonance between colors, and then shapes and structure that I would have learned from Ray Metzker.”

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“Humor was one more thing to put in there. Not every picture had it, but to me, it was a component of the best pictures.”

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What Is An Image?

“Phantom limb pleasure!”

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Lynda Barry: https://vimeo.com/127975211

A Plethora of W. o’ W.: Mary Ellen Mark, 1940-2015

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…via Kyle Cassidy.

Small samples: talk to people. Don’t editorialize.

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https://kylecassidy.livejournal.com/810008.html

W. o’ W.: Norm Macdonald

Unknown Norm delineates the past and future of photography from roughly 1:30 to 3:10 in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9I9zafXQkk

Re: J. & J.

Nourishment from Debra Brehmer.

Several people from yesterday’s Achievement Award event at MOWA asked if I’d post the acceptance speech I gave for Shimon and Lindemann’s award. It wasn’t really a speech, just a Top Ten list of what I’ve learned from being their friend and gallery dealer. It was actually a Top Seventeen.

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“What does it really mean to ‘achieve?’ With a nod to David Letterman’s top ten lists, here are my top 17 important life lessons I’ve been fortunate to absorb through my friendship and business relationship with J. Shimon and J. Lindemann.

1. I’ve learned from them firsthand that persistence and faith in your ideas and vision are the essential ingredients in an art career. They have had a 30 year career of steady, continuous work. It took 25 of those years for the market, museums, and collectors to fully respond.

2. Organization and professionalism, ‘taking care,’ paying attention to details, loving the details… in every aspect of any undertaking these have profound repercussions. It is not just good business practice. This care and focus that one applies to every task, from the large and conceptual to the cleaning the glass for the frames, shows up in multiple sparkling ways and sets the right tone for any serious endeavor. It means something. It shows you care. It is a strangely undervalued and concealed aspect of love.

3. Kindness can and should be at the core of our existence, often expressed in the simplest of means, which is the sincere use of ‘thank you.’ Of course you must really mean it, but it goes a long way. And I’ve also learned that toughness, exactitude, and high standards can indeed coexist with kindness.

4. They taught me to value the people in our lives, warts and all. To make them part of your family. To extend love to them. It will enrich their lives and your own.

5. They have taught me what living your life in the art world really means, at its most essential core: it means you have chosen to stay connected, to stay thoughtful and reflective, and that you will take on the large challenge of processing what you see and experience in life… slowing down your contact with where you are and what you are. Making art is a way of noticing and noting, of getting more out of life, via awareness.

6. They taught me to never undervalue the ‘familiar.’ I complain about how many times I’ve driven up Oakland Avenue to Pick ‘n Save over the past 20 years. It’s so easy not to value that, to be completely blind to the amount of content, information and weirdness in those seven blocks. The familiar becomes mundane only when we allow ourselves to become numb.

7. Stay connected to the handmade, the quiet time. Focus and process, sit at your desk and draw a picture or write about your day. And listen to music or make music.

8. Be sure to balance your life by getting out of the art world and into nature. Grow things. Connect with the earth. Feel and appreciate a sunny day on the farm. Applaud when it rains just enough. Celebrate when the apple tree blossoms.

9. J. and J. have reinforced my already instinctive desire to be aware of history. Take a long glance backward to fully understand where we are now. Be sure never to feel like we are somehow more special than what came before. Look at history to remind ourselves that we are part of a continuum. And that the history of humanity is actually very short. One Million Years is 3 Seconds: that was the title of a show they did at the Wristen at Lawrence University in 2008. It was about “four older Wisconsin men who avoided the homogeneity of American consumer culture.” We truly cannot understand anything about our current lives if we don’t think about history.

10. To value the ‘elders.’ This relates to number 9. With the fire and impetuousness of youth, we move fast, all the time. People who are old and settled, who have found certain comforts in where they are and how they have lived, are like engrossing novels. Find good friends from other generations, both younger and older.

11. Never trade old friends for what seems like new more powerful ones.

12. Know, as securely as possible, that the work you do, if done with earnest intention and thought, is its own reward, regardless of public recognition or sales.

13. Believe in the value of being human and try not to fear the pain.

14. Send handwritten postcards to friends and acquaintances, and not just for birthdays and holidays. Enrich your snail mail life while we still have this antiquated system of hand delivery. Marvel over it. It is so retrograde and so the opposite of how we do things today. Allow your own handwriting to be an intimate ‘hello.’

15. And related to Number 14, remember the notion of a ‘parlor,’ a place to sit, sip a drink, and converse with friends. A parlor, as defined in the dictionary is: a room for the reception and entertainment of visitors to one’s home; In Latin it is called a locutorium. ‘Locu’ meaning to talk. ‘Torium’ is a place. The civility of an unrushed conversation is a beautiful thing. I’ve had many with J. and J.

16. And almost last, and perhaps the most profound J. and J. inspiration of all is that wherever you are, is the place you are. Don’t waste your time wishing you were somewhere else or the conditions were somehow different. Accept the good and bad of the place and love it like an ugly puppy.

17. And last, the most simple but most important and difficult thing to remember: we won’t have each other forever. Not even in a photograph.”

Also from Ms. Brehmer: http://portraitsocietygallery.com/2015/05/24/wis-con-sin/

Philip Perkis

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“I’m not attached to any particular subject, which is unusual for a photographer. What holds my work together is the way I see and the fact that I use very simple equipment. I still photograph the same way, technically, that I started with in 1957, with a small camera and black-and-white film. I carry my camera with me all the time. When I see something that moves me or interests me, I take a picture. I don’t care what it’s a picture of.”

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For Free?

People can die from “exposure.”

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http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2015/04/the-hawkins-axiom.html

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/04/26/can-club-owners-make-musicians-play-for-free.html

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