Today I wrote a 500 + word bio on myself and my work (in the third person) for a photo magazine in Spain. After I sent it I realized I did not actually get into details about the process I mainly use at the moment, and that all 24 images requested by them were sent in were using this civil war process.
I emailed them and ask if they wanted a technical and historical bit on the process. Partially due to that some people will just think “Oh what a nice B&W image”. Not fully understanding the labor involved with the work etc. etc. over let’s say a Digital/enhanced image and or scanned B&W film photo. Some really light up when I explain how it was made. However, thinking about why I did not do it in the first place I realized that the process is not me or my work. It’s just a process, as are any other processes I have used in the past. It is, though, a process I use to express myself in my art and the messages I chose to give.
If a person is too attached to a process and it describes them, then there is a lot missing, I think, from their foundation. To me, this is why I don’t really care so much about being a photo history teacher in my bio but to relay my motive, my inspirations and how I got there. The why is much more important as the how. Because there are plenty of other techniques I use and have used when I felt it appropriate to bring my vision to life. With so many people hanging on a process and a technique or gimmick I might say to get ahead they are not prepared to look very deep into themselves at any level. It’s so incredibly common and hurts the industry as most will publish a lot of crappy imagery and leave it there with nothing to say or to add. Like leaving one’s dirty socks on the couch. Everyone can smell it, but cause they don’t live in your place you don’t care. Just notice how colorful the sock is. How long will people be willing to come look and hold their nose. Maybe a bad way to describe it, and I know I have been there as well at times in my growth. However, I think once we find a way to get passed the meaningless spectacle it’s important to share and make this discussion available to people so people can think about things critically. Learn and make progress.
I was kinda happy about this coming in full light as I always felt this and thought it but had not gained the language to write about it properly.