Lee Grant – Photography Blog

Blog-trotting on a grey day…….

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It’s my 5th day in a row at home wih sick kiddies…. Sheesh, a little stir-crazy but actually getting some work done for a change.

Anyway, have spent a very grey day blog-trotting around the internet. Quite an entertaining way to see what’s going on in the world of photographers, editors, foundations, agencies, wannabes etc…. My pick of the bunch would have to be Alec Soth’s blog who it seems to me to be very generous about his musings on photography in general but also towards those out there who are plugging away at their art. Perhaps this has something to do with being from Minnesota?? Maybe… I dunno, but I suspect it to be so. It seems to me to be a ‘truer’ sort of place than say perhaps NY or LA or even Paris. I mean let’s face it, despite the fact that I’ve never been there, it’s Fargo territory so already it’s a winner!

It’s always fun when online, to follow the links through… sort of a choose your own adventure, web-surfing safari. One thing that does become apparent however is the monopoly that Americans seem to have on the web… Perhaps it’s just the content that I am looking for and at? But in terms of documentary/art photography there sure is an over-proliferation! Which led me to think a bit about the impact of American culture, more specifically on other Western countries such as Australia. We’re pretty much bombarded by all things American: on TV, in our magazines, on the web, via fashion etc…. And comparatively they somehow always manage to make us (Australians that is) seem infinitely daggy. Like we’re trying a bit too hard. It’s a cringe-factor feeling really, but by the same token, there’s something immensely brilliant and visually attractive about that dagginess…. a little bit up-yours, a little bit island mentality. Part of my photographic work is to pursue this Antipodean sensibility: the way we interpret and re-fashion other Western contemporary cultures where old world behaviours and norms morph into shiny, new world ones. And yet that ubiquitous sense of being Australian is never really lost. Maybe it’s simply our inherent dagginess? Or the fact that quite simply, we’re just a bunch of bogans?!

I have a review at Uni on Wednesday which should be interesting in that I’ll further discuss this concept and hopefully walk away with some more references. I’m pretty appalled at my own illiteracy with regards to artists from my own culture, particularly as I have been referencing photographers from abroad (and in particular, the USandA). A bit of an indictment of my generation perhaps. Blame it on Disney!

Anyway, to celebrate some of the little cultural gems that we have received from the Yanks, here are a few pics made in America that I think are brilliant and a fantastic reflection of how I perceive American culture to be in all its glorious corn-dogness (and let it be known for the record, I am NOT being facetious!):

small_cross_elvis1.gif

Jelvis

 

xmas-brooklyn.jpg

Brooklyn Xmas by Sarah Macel

 

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Written by Lee Grant

June 25, 2007 at 4:54 pm

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