“I guess the idea of noise, of visual noise, somehow meant something to me, and still means something to me… I never forget that I have a given space in which to make a noise.”
Tag Archives: ed ruscha
“Above all, the photographs I use are not ‘arty’ in any sense of the word. I think photography is dead as a fine art; its only place is in the commercial world, for technological or informational purposes. I don’t mean cinema photography, but still photography; that is limited edition, individual hand-processed photos.
…My pictures are not that interesting, nor is the subject matter. They are simply a collection of ‘facts’.”
“The studio classes at Chouinard emphasized Abstract Expressionism. Much later, Ruscha would report that the instructors told him, “Face the canvas and let it happen, follow your own gestures, let the painting create itself.” To which Ruscha’s response was:
But I’d always have to think up something first. If I didn’t, it wasn’t art to me. Also it looked real dumb. They wanted to collapse the whole art process into one act; I wanted to break it into stages, which is what I do now. Whatever I do now is completely premeditated, however off the wall it might be.”
From ‘Ed Ruscha, Photographer’
Anybody who has followed my other blog, Ian Talbot :: Retrospective, will know that I very much tend towards the view expressed above by Ruscha. To talk a little about the process that my work undergoes long before a specific project is realised, in a nutshell, is the intent behind this new blog. Every project I undertake is preceded by intense research; collecting and collating information to feed the extended thought processes which go into everything I do. All of this most often happens before I have even properly formulated what form the project will take, before I even think of picking up a camera, therefore. Vague ideas and associations, in this way, eventually come together in a concrete proposal for new projects. This constitutes a full 90% of the process; most often the actual execution is a somewhat perfunctory affair.
Lately my thoughts have drifted towards concepts of spaces, places and memory, sparked by a new found interest in landscape, land-art and environment; mediated, as ever, through the process of photography. For me, however, the term “landscape”, or the genre of landscape art/photography, has a meaning far beyond that of the “nice view” (or “view” at all, really). For me, it is my environment at any given time. Every time I leave my house I am in a landscape. At any given time it is the “view” I look upon. It is my landscape. My space. A place which will constitute my future memories…
But first things first. When I step outside my back door the “landscape” I am in, the one that constitutes my view, is my garden. There is a connotation between “an Englishman’s garden”, be it vast or humble, that has close links to whole English landscape tradition, something I will look at more closely in future posts. For now, suffice to say that walking round my garden is something I do fairly frequently; usually when deep in thought. It is, for me, anything but a “mindless” activity. However, stopping every few steps to take a photograph of my feet and the immediate surrounding area of grass could be seen as fairly mindless. The image shown above is the first in a series of twenty one such photographs (you can see the rest here). I am minded to call this series “Walking around my garden, stopping every few steps to take a snap”. As you can see, these are hardly great images. The term “snap” seems wholly appropriate here. Nevertheless it is an honest record of me in my own place, my “landscape”, my personal space. More than that they represent the start of a process. And even more, they also provide the “raw material” with which I will make “variants” – other ways to present the same “information”. Fittingly too, it is said that all journeys begin with the first step…