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“The True Meaning of Pictures” (3)

About my “belittling,” “infuriating,” and “ignorant” comments on Shelby Lee Adams’s work: These come from about 3 minutes’ worth of film clips in Jennifer Baichwal’s documentary, “The True Meaning of Pictures.” Those clips were extracted from several hours’ worth of interview. Inevitably, much context gets lost in the editing process. Doesn’t mean I don’t stand by what I said — just that these snippets oversimplify what I said. That’s inevitable in such a film, and nothing for which I fault Baichwal. […]

Bad Day in Vevey (3)

On a purely practical, bottom-line level, this gang of five — Michel Berney, director of the CEPV; Christian Rossier (on the technical faculty of the CEPV)Pierre Keller of ECAL; local entrepreneur Vincent Juillerat; and Anne-Catherine Lyon, director of the cantonal department of education — took a post-secondary photography program that operated in the black and turned it into a losing proposition, with no clientele, in the space of about 18 months. How very Swiss of them. […]

Bad Day in Vevey (2)

Apparently you intend to “professionalize the work of the CEPV students and to improve their relationship to the field” by removing them in their culminating third year from the guidance of an unprecedented group of established high-profile professional names in those various territories of photography — famous and influential senior figures whose connection to these students can benefit them in many ways — and instead placing those students under the strict supervision of a cluster of Swiss nonentities. The pedagogical rationale for this escapes me. […]

Bad Day in Vevey (1)

Never underestimate the long-term havoc that determined arts-education careerists can wreak in a short time, or the permanent damage (including financial damage) such rampaging functionaries can do to students, faculties, programs, and even entire schools. […]

Tim Hetherington, 1970-2011: A Farewell (1)

What I find hard to bear about Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger’s Afghan War film “Restrepo” is the utter pointlessness of what these young men were asked to do (and did), the squandering of their time and in some cases their very lives, the traumatic situation into which the military thrust them and whose psychic consequences they will bear for the rest of their days. They need make no apologies for their behavior, individually or collectively. But what has been done to them, and what they were asked to do, I consider unforgivable. […]