Subjective Reality Pictures

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The viewer's first response to a photograph is as if it were a "fact." Something has taken place and the camera has acted to dispassionately record and capture it. The photograph becomes the "evidence" of what has occurred. Much of photography's potency is derived from the notion of freezing reality.

Our assumptions about the purpose and the role of photo taking and 'picture making' are called into question by a whole generation of artists who use photography to show 'subjective reality." In their work the camera does not just record a world that is unfolding in front of the camera. These artists produce a different kind of picture. They construct a world so that it can be photographed. They often produce what they want to happen, or fear will happen, so that they can record pictures of it. The worlds that are preserved are shaped and constructed by the artist's themselves. Often elaborate sets are built, actors are employed, and a whole range of theatrical devices are used for the purpose of recording and presenting a photograph. The picture itself becomes a means to the end. The pictures have a meaning that is often symbolic and/or metaphorical. The lines between truth and fiction totally blur. With the advent of Photoshop and digital cameras layers upon layers of images can be overlapped and constructed into a larger picture that has no visual equivalent outside of itself. These new 'tools' offer the widest range of invention wherever the artist's source material comes.

The motivating logic behind 'subjective reality' pictures is one of story telling and expressing what the pictures maker somehow wants to happen. Every photograph is 'true' in the sense that it contains information and provides a record of what was put in front of the focal plane of the camera. How it got there is where the larger issues that motivate the artists come into play. The larger and non-visual issues of thought, feeling, compulsion, wish fulfillment, fear, anger and joy make the artist's create a visual equivalent to a higher or more 'subjective reality.' The world of the photographer is invested in meaning and importance through an act of creation. There is no neutrality in the work. The pictures have a voice that is a projection of the wishes of the photographer. There are different layers of reality, or forms of reality. The world pictured by the 'subjective reality' artist is uniquely theirs.