Stephen Shore

I started reading the Phaidon book on Stephen Shore. It reveals a lot about his work, it adds layers. I like his stuff but I didn’t really think about his work. Why not? Not seeing so much of his work? It’s range. The variety? Changes and developments. The ideas? Feeling as if it was too ironic. Americana. The kind of image that has become commonplace. The weight of influence?

This quote is a reminder. A note.

“Shore: One of the things I did at the time when I was taking those pictures was stand next to the camera on its tripod and simply look. After I had gotten a rough idea of what I was photographing I would look at what was in front of me and literally pay attention to as much as I could as far back into space as I could see. And I would decide whether there was any slight adjustment I wanted to make.
Fried: Systematically?
Shore: Yes, taking into account any perceptions that came my way. And I would say yes, systematically, because if I didn’t do it systematically then I wouldn’t do it.? Does that make sense?
Fried: Perfect sense.
Shore: So it was like a check list. Okay, I have done all this, I have got the rough framework of the picture and now I am going to stand here and really look at everything. The metaphor I have in mind is that I am clearing the space for the viewer. That by moving my attention through the scene and making any necessary adjustment to the picture, I clear the space for the viewer to move his or her attention through. If I look only 50 feet into the scene, then there would be a wall that the viewer would stop at."

Lessons in space and ways of seeing.


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Filed under April 2012, Readings

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