Posts Tagged 'Stephen McLaren'

Street Photography Under Siege?

Photo by discarted

The Guardian thinks street photography is at a crossroads, and if you’re a fan you too may have been wondering, Where do we go from here?

Writer Sean O’Hagan traces the history of the genre, back to the days of Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Joel Meyerowitz in the 60s. He also talks about how much things have changed and if the art form can survive in this modern era of extreme paranoia and the ubiquity of cameras.

Today, photography – and street photography in particular – is a contested sphere in which all our collective anxieties converge: terrorism, paedophilia, intrusion, surveillance. We insist on the right to privacy and, simultaneously, snap anything and everyone we see and everything we do – in public and in private – on mobile phones and digital cameras.

And then on top of all that, there’s the discussion that street photography is to a large extent dismissed and not respected on the level of fine art because it’s “too street-level, too authentic in some way,” as London street photographer Stephen McLaren theorized. But isn’t that always the way? The burger isn’t respected as fine dining until someone like Daniel Boulud puts black truffles on it and charges you $150. Then it’s art. So it’s really all about perception, and art is really all about perception.

Street photography will live on, and it’ll be one of the best artifacts of the way a society lived and walked among each other. As street photographer Matt Stuart tells O’Hagan:

People say street photography is somehow old-fashioned and cliched, but, if that’s the case, so is portraiture or sports photography; you might even say so is photography itself. Sure, we’re recording the everyday world in much the same way that street photographers have always done, but times change and things move on, and street photography is a record of that at ground level. That is why it is so important to resist calls for it to be banned or controlled.

Article from The Guardian

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