Banality

Things are not going well with the diary. Before my gap in blog postings (day job getting in the way, then procrastination delaying a restart) I managed 11 days worth (at 2-3 pages per day) before abandoning it. Having picked it up to re-read, I am confirmed in my first opinion – bloody hell, it is boring. About two-thirds of it relates to work or weather. Mostly a list of events and not a lot of ‘deep innermost thoughts’.

It was, therefore, a relief and a bit of an eye-opener to get this from my tutor:

“As for ‘boring’ that’s a good thing in my opinion. Most of the best photos come through refection on the Everyday mundanity of life. A look at a certain strategy (and some critical readings) should make you aware that representing the mundane is a way of counteracting the idea of photographs of ‘spectacular’ and eye catching things – which soon become cliches and don’t stand the test of time.”

He also sent an article (Shinkle, 2004) which will take two or three more readings to get my head around. I have always regarded ‘banal’ as a bad thing in photography. Seeing it presented as a good thing or a valid strategy is interesting – if that is not an oxymoron.

Reference

Shinkle, E. (2004) ‘Boredom, Repetition, Inertia: Contemporary Photography and the Aesthetics of the Banal’. Mosaic 37 (4), pp.165-183.

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