Why It Does Not Have to be in Focus: Modern Photography Explained is the title of a book by Jackie Higgins.
To me, it’s a study on artlessness in modern art photography.
Why photographs do not have to be in focus is akin to why it is that modern poetry does not rhyme.
Ditto why it is that modern musical compositions play with dissonance.
The big word “modernism” comes into play here, with its suspicion of “correctness” as espoused by traditional aesthetics.
I could go on and on (an occupational hazard for a university professor) but I’ll restrain myself and say simply that we’ve learnt not to trust a person who is too poised, too eloquent, too ready with his or her words.
We’ve learnt not to trust that person who is too artful.
That perhaps there’s something reassuring about imperfections, acknowledging that sometimes, not getting it right is also part of the human condition.
So we look to artlessness and we stop policing ourselves about right vs wrong in aesthetics.
After all, we often don’t have time to stop and look.
Everything is done in haste.
To depict the modern condition, art has to be the modern condition.
The artist has to learn not to take himself/herself (or art) too seriously.
Art can’t be served on a plate.
Street photography is about stopping time and making the ephemeral make sense.
It’s about that grimace we’d rather not see in ourselves, that we’d rather suppress and not let others see.
Though if the day is good, we allow ourselves a little grin – that’s humanity too.
We could be lighthearted on a lighthearted day.
Or stand by and watch life pass us by, and smile.
It doesn’t have to be in focus, and it doesn’t have to be upright as well…
We look again.
We don’t always get it right.
Life goes on in a blur.
If you like this post, you’ll like my portfolio.
Have a good day!