Working the Room

Discuss photo books, videos, DVDs, training courses, exhibitions and events - anything which helps you learn and understand photography
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artington
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Working the Room

Unread postby artington » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:02 pm

I think it was C G Jung who coined the term "synchronicity". It is defined by the OED as "the occurrence of events at the same time, which appear to be related but have no obvious connection". An example of this happened to me over the weekend. I had been shocked by a photograph in the RPS Journal, taken from this year's Rencontre d"Arles, of a car crash in which an accident victim, a middle aged woman, had been flung over a railing. The picture, taken in 1979 by Mexican photographer Enrique Metinides, of whom I had never heard, appears at first glance to be posed, such is its grotesque realism. Only after a while does one realise that it is actually a true scene. It is very disturbing because this realisation makes one feel like an intruder into the death of the poor woman. The discomfort increases when one finds its is a limited edition print as well.

This weekend I also picked up a book of essays by the well known British writer Geoff Dyer, feted by the Daily Telegraph as possibly the best living writer in Britain. Called "Working the Room" it offers, to quote the blurb, "a guide around the cultural maze, mapping a route through the worlds of literature, art, photography and music.....(it) spans the photography of Martin Parr and the paintings of Turner, the writings of Scott Fitzgerald and the criticism of Susan Sontag...".

The synchronicity of this for me was that, after reading pieces on Lartigue, Orkin, Avedon and Burrows, what should come up, but an essay on Metinides - who apparently specialised in photographing accidents and disasters - which made particular reference to the photograph I have described above. Quite extraordinary for me but possibly merely coincidental for others.

This is a fascinating book with many illuminating essays. I commend it to those members of this forum who get pleasure from reading about what distinguishes great photographs as well as from making their own attempts at attaining distinction in the field.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Working-Room-Es ... 189&sr=8-1

and a link to the Metinides photo - its the second one in the blog

http://danielhernandez.typepad.com/dani ... tinid.html

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pakodominguez
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Re: Working the Room

Unread postby pakodominguez » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:50 pm

artington wrote:I think it was C G Jung who coined the term "synchronicity". It is defined by the OED as "the occurrence of events at the same time, which appear to be related but have no obvious connection". An example of this happened to me over the weekend. I had been shocked by a photograph in the RPS Journal, taken from this year's Rencontre d"Arles, of a car crash in which an accident victim, a middle aged woman, had been flung over a railing. The picture, taken in 1979 by Mexican photographer Enrique Metinides, of whom I had never heard, appears at first glance to be posed, such is its grotesque realism. Only after a while does one realise that it is actually a true scene. It is very disturbing because this realisation makes one feel like an intruder into the death of the poor woman. The discomfort increases when one finds its is a limited edition print as well.

In most Latin America countries, we are confronting to violence all the time. Raw violence like this. I recall a mutiny at a Jail Downtown Lima (Lurigancho) in the early 80's broadcasted live on TV with the Snipers on the rooftops surrounding and the convicts killing their prisoners... I was 12 or 13 years old.

If you want a better understanding, watch this wonderful Mexican Movie: Amores Perros (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0245712/)

Regards
Pako
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