Last Monday was supposed to be a “Show ’n’ Tell” evening, with each of us having a topic to research and informally present our findings. Out of Audience, Engagement, Site and Display, I opted for the latter and focussed my attention on something that divides my opinion - size. Unfortunately I was having connection trouble in France, but I sort of expected this so I provided the slides with some speakers notes so that they could be read and (hopefully) understood.
Anyway, sometimes I like big prints, they’re impressive and you can almost step into them, other times I like the intimacy of holding a small print in my hand and peering into it. One thing that is fairly obvious, regardless of what I think or like, is that over the years prints have been getting bigger! Now, there have long been billboards with photographic images on them, that’s not what I’m referring to. What I mean is proper “photograph quality” prints. To me, it seems that some photographers are making larger prints just so they will be more commodified, I don’t always like the end result when this is the case (as with some work of Normandy bunkers I saw in the Tate Modern last year - at the Conflict, Time, Photography exhibition). Others create images that demand being larger. Struth is one that we expect to be larger, although to be honest, I’m of the opinion they’re too large - certainly when I saw his work in the Whitechapel Gallery in London a few years ago, they were soft when you really looked at them. In a book (several factors of scale smaller, of course), they are razor sharp!
Anyway, enough of this at the moment, here’s my presentation (click image to download as pptx file):