There are many that say landscape photography is stale and overdone. That there isn’t anything left to say. That its become a technical activity, at the expense of emotion and originality.
Of course I disagree. Not with the premise, which I do think reflects the current state of landscape photography. But rather with the implication, that there’s no reason to keep doing it and instead find another subject or artistic outlet.
I think there’s plenty to be said, in fact I’m certain because I believe we all have a unique voice to share. What has to change is our responsibility to ourselves and to those we share our work with.
So how do we do this? I don’t have the definitive answer, nor I suspect does anyone else either. But a recent article in the Huffington Post titled “A Manifesto: How To Make the Art World Bearable Again” struck a chord with me, and I think it’s a great place to start.
- We need more artists who are not concerned with doing the “right thing.”
- We need more artists who find ways to examine and express human misery or bliss without a political agenda.
- We need more artists who don’t play by the rules imposed by curators, gallerists, museums and art collectors.
- We need more artists who are wary of “meaning” and embrace contradiction.
- We need more artists who don’t pretend to have the right answers.
- We need more artists who don’t give a damn about making you feel good or bad.
- We need more artists who are not afraid of running into trouble.
- We need more artists who are able to laugh at the absurdity of life and art.
- We need more artists who don’t resemble anybody’s idea of what an artist ought to be and who nonetheless produce great art that takes us by surprise, makes us think and reflect, and leaves plenty of room for multiple interpretations.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, any one of these can make a difference in how you think about and approach your work.
Do any of these strike a chord with you? Do you think landscape photography has anything new to say? What do you think? Share your thoughts and feedback below.