Image Stephen Gill
Carrying on with the Towards The 21st Century or The Brave New World of Photography or So What's New (as I settled on) a discussion going on in photoblog land which was started by Joerg Colberg and Colin Pantall a couple of weeks ago, I've come to one or two conclusions. First off considering how many millions of photographers out there and thousands that I personally have seen, it's amazing that two of us picked the same photographer for our lists. I think that's a whole new discussion about the state of modern photography right there.
Anyway being a bit thick and feeling a bit intimidated at being in such photo illustrious company I did two lists because the first one I did I thought I had got hold of the wrong end of the stick. My list was a list of five photographers who I suppose could be said to be at the top of their game, reached the heights of this tree where if they wanted to they could laugh ha ha ha and close down their websites in the safe knowledge that a load of little sycophantic twats would do all the promo work for them. My second list that I posted here was with perhaps the exception of Mishka who's bloody everywhere photographers who could do with being a bit better known.
So my first list not published here (are you following this?) was as follows...
Alec Soth because of Sothism.
The Broomberg & Chanarin twins
Stephen Gill The cockney Bristolian
Taryn Simon and her cockeyed tiger
and last and by no means least
Paul Graham just because.
Again my earlier point about us all creating similar lists to each other. I know why I picked these folks it's their different take on the document. That's what I love, taking that documentary art thing and giving it a good fucking push. Take Stephen Gill's latest series and book (you can read about it here) 'COEXISTANCE'. Is there any other photographer who explores the actual materiality of the photograph and it's presentation as much as Gill? Some will and have accused his work of being gimmicky, that's like saying that Pointillism is gimmicky.
So that's what I'm on the look out for over the coming years, documentary photographers who are looking at new and exciting ways to use the photograph to document because that for me is photography's future.