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Guy Tillim ?! Rant !

Since acquiring a Leica M6 (that I've still fully to connect with, though I'm confident it'll come), I subscribe to the Leica mag, aka LFI or Leica Fotografie International.

Latest issue had a feature on Guy Tillim's pics of "Berlin's urban landscape".

Disclaimer before I go any further: this post is based exclusively on Tillim's pics as featured in latest issue of LFI, not on his other work, which I've never seen and don't know anything about. Might be brilliant but as it is, LFI didn't really encourage me to go see. Here's why:

Pics are just really, really dull. Content, composition, colour... there's nothing that could possibly arrest your eye or your mind.

Except for one gimmick: the photos are presented as dyptichs.

oh wow.

I do believe we're now mostly past that whole idea of showing dull stuff to make the viewer think about the meaning of dullness/boredom/the mundane etc. It's also a bit of an easy excuse for making boring photos.

And I don't really see how putting two such photos next to each other has any added value. Just twice the dreariness.

Thing is, photography is a rare - possibly unique - medium where masterpieces can be created with hardly any technical mastery. That's also, in my mind, the beauty of the medium.

But compound this with the notion that at the end of the day, de gustibus non est discutandum, and you end up with two other characteristics of that medium:

1) to a larger extend perhaps than in other forms of artistic expression (though it may also have to do with the sheer number of photographers out there), success is in disproportionate relation to marketing rather than quality;

2) photographers particularly adept at blowing their own trumpets, and who do so with most brogadaccio and aplomb will, sometimes quite easily, convince a wide audience that their crummy photos are actually profound and amazing.

Sorry Guy / LFI, call me a philistine if you will, but I'm not falling for it this time.


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