Posted by Colin

There is an old saw from the history of photography that the ‘negative is the score and the print is the performance’. This has been around for so long that photographers have absorbed it to the point that they no longer think about it. I was reminded of this saying yesterday though, when Karl referred to an earlier interview with Dan Bodner in which Dan said:

“A photo is a record of a moment that has passed, a dead moment. I don’t feel that I own the image as a photograph until I paint it as a painting. The photo itself always refers to the past. But a painting of the photo is a creation, which goes on living. The painting defines its own continuing moment in time.”

I obviously have no idea how creation works for Dan, but I wanted to point out to anybody else who followed the link that this was a very limiting way of seeing the medium. I’ve written more about this here.

You can be sure that reality didn’t look much like this photo. Or, for that matter, the rather different one that I’ve also linked in the post on my blog. No one artform has the monopoly on creation. And I think that in understanding what works for us we need to be careful not to be dismissive about what works for others.