Thursday, April 2, 2015

Paul Graham talks about YELLOW and more in the British Journal of Photography

Paul Graham - Does Yellow Run Forever?

In an interview with Gerry Badger in the BJP Paul Graham talks about his last bookwork - Does Yellow Run Forever? Graham describes the book as a modest, intimate body of work, with personal, enigmatic photographs. The series comprises of three sets of photographs, each relating to the other; rainbows from Western Ireland, a sleeping dreamer, and gold stores in the United States. It touches the ephemeral question of what we seek and value in life – love, wealth, beauty, clear-eyed reality or an inner dream world? 

The piece touches on the issue of straight versus constructed photography. Graham comments... over the past few years I’ve been pushed forward as a spokesperson for straight photography, which I don’t wish to be. I just want to do my work! That is the best answer – if everyone out there working directly in the world made unarguably good work, then this discussion would be redundant. Anyway. Yes of course the pendulum swings back and forth – at the moment it’s a bit against pure photographs from the world, but it will come back. Steady hand on the tiller and all that. It’s true that some people in the contemporary art world simply do not understand the profound artistic territory that lays at the core of photography at its best, believing instead that it is merely ‘observational’, etc. Even some curators within the photographic community appear to have become tired of straight photography, it sometimes seems. That is partly their problem, but also our fault as photographers. We have to take a share of the blame here – there is just so much silly work out there – dumb ideas and clichéd ‘projects’. Of course, that is true of many media – film, books, painting and so on – so it’s not a unique problem, but we must call it out. I repeat: the answer is to make original intelligent work, from the heart and the brain, and a lot of these issues will just evaporate.

The full discussion is well worth a read, you can do so HERE.

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