The following is an excerpt from Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration by David Wojnarowicz. It’s what I’ve been reading. Slowly. Savoring as Nayland Blake would call it. The text is my ‘Inspiration’ of the week and included are a couple of related photographs I shot and posted on my own blog:
“In the art world, photography is one of the most misunderstood mediums because the camera is accessible to almost everybody. A good portion of the population in america owns cameras. Last year Burger King was giving away a tiny plastic camera FREE WITH A PURCHASE OF TWO WHOPPERS. This camera was no larger than the roll of film that fit into it. After five rolls of film the camera fell apart. By that time you were conceivably hungry again and would go back to buy more Whoppers.
The nature of the camera’s mechanisms makes it possible to never take a “bad” photograph. You can always get something on film and if it is blurry and out of focus or “badly” lit you only have to claim INTENT and the art world will consider it. Photography is one of the most misunderstood mediums because no one can really explain in a rational way what makes a good or bad photograph other than the artist’s intent. This is why the art world will not throw billions of dollars at photography the way it has at painting; and that’s what makes it an exciting medium. You can do anything or everything you want and there is no precise criteria with which the art world can dismiss it or kill it.
I used to wonder where the urge to photograph came from. I mean, there are literally billions of photographs of the eiffel tower spread all over the world by tourists with cameras. I imagine people sleep better at night having there tiny proofs of the existence of the eiffel tower in boxes underneath their beds.”