Whether you agree or not, it is so refreshing to hear the words of someone speaking their mind. Helps that he has a tenured university job, I guess. Inflammation, thy name is Albert Chung. First I stopped in my tracks at this statement:
This crisis of meaning is pervasive throughout the visual arts, but it is very evident in a type of photography of banality that has come to be plaguing the field. Examples of this type of work can be seen in the work of William Eggleston, Stephen Shore, Nan Goldin, Phillip Lorca DiCorcia, just about all the contemporary German photographers, including Wolfgang Tillsman, Bernd & Hilda Becher, and back to the Americans Robert Adams, Garry Winnogrand, Lee Friedlander, the list stretches like some hopeless pandemic circling the planet destroying meaning and narrative, leaving us with nothing more than bland, boring frames that are now supposed to act as templates with which we must input and extract meaning.
And, I do admit, I felt a certain type of simpatico at this next statement, not from any sour grapes kind of thing, nor at the same type of work. But you know the sitch: when you see some work getting so much attention and you feel, well this is really about nothing isn’t it? Clearly this person has no clue what they are talking about or how pictures are made. This is appealing to some reducto absurdum of neo-liberal guilt from people who have seldom experienced the bonafides of time spent in the trenches with the sprawling masses (or you fill in the blank) so this will assuage their do-gooder sense of self-worth without soiling their fingernails. Do you feel me? Well, perhaps this has never happened to any of my dear, intelligent readers. But do read on:
The system of art is in the hands of boring, talentless technocrats and administrators who have never experienced art through the act of trying to make it, but have the power to determine the aesthetic choice of art that is ultimately exposed to the world and to history . . .
Of course, one does want to point out that this must be the same system that is showing his work “primarily in museums nationally and internationally.” But I get you, Albert, I do. We’ve all been there. Excuse me, I must take this call from Aperture.