Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The photography of Robert Bergman

Jacqueline Trescott, a writer for the Washington Post recently covered the work of Robert Bergman, whose photography is currently being displayed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.  What I found most intriguing was the discussion regarding his aesthetic:
"Bergman doesn't give any hint of what he found intriguing about this man he photographed, or who he is, or where the picture was taken.
It's part of the Bergman creed: no titles for the photographs, no identification of the subject, no information on the location. Just the year, just the close-up.
"It is my aesthetic stance. I don't want you to have any escape from simply reacting to the art," Bergman says, dancing slightly in his black nubuck shoes. "Telling the location sets up false assumptions. It undercuts your ability to understand and interact with the art. It subverts what I am trying to do."
 I'll give this consideration for future projects of mine some day, although it goes a bit against the documentary aesthetic within me that considers historic efforts to render my community anonymous and monolithic.

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