Image Reading Group, 1st April 2014
Last night we held our second Image Reading Group, discussing 3 images selected by Art Academy members, Claire, Nathalie and Maurice. What seemed interesting this time was that the images acted as a cue for a broad ranging discussion; rather than focusing directly on each image as we had done in the first of these experimental reading groups, we seemed to be using the images as a springboard to talk about issues to which they were only slightly related. Much of our conversation was around photography - we discussed what makes a technically 'good' photograph when image stabilisation and other common camera features mean that it is next to impossible to take what may in the past have been considered a 'bad' photograph. Claire had just been to a show of photographs by the filmmaker, David Lynch - this brought up a conversation around galleries showing photographs by people who are more famous for other things as a way to draw large audiences. We talked about whether mainstream culture is increasingly using the photographic image as a way to communicate, and if contemporary art with its focus on language and the validation of work through texts is asserting its difference to mainstream culture by moving in the opposite direction.