Discussion Topic: Pictures of Pictures

In a New York Times article, the art critic Roberta Smith notes the increasingly common use of cameras, especially cellphones by viewers when interacting with art. In particular, she discusses the behavior of visitors to the Venice Biennale, an exhibition of contemporary art that is held every two years in Venice, Italy. Many countries, including the U.S., are represented with their art displayed in national pavilions. Do you agree with her opinions on the usage of cameras in relation to art? What is your opinion on taking pictures of pictures?

Read Roberta Smith’s NYT article here

Explore the Venice Biennale website and videos of installations in the pavilions

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Please post your responses by Saturday, February 18.


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3 Responses to Discussion Topic: Pictures of Pictures

  1. antpena says:

    Taking a picture of a picture is something that we all do now a days. It has become the natural thing to do when out and about. Not only in a art exhibitions but in day to day life. Take for example an advertisement that peaks your interest, we quickly take out our portable camera or smart phone and snap a picture of it. This allow us to store it and later retrive it and enjoy it, long after the advertisement is gone. In an exhibit we do the same, but sometimes we get something interesting and unexpected. Lets take a sculpture that is up in display, you find it interesting. You grab your camera and take a quick snap of it, then when you go to review your newly capture image,you’re surprise to find something you missed. The only reason you missed it was because you are physically unable to put yourself in the position of the shot taken, lets say you took the shot from above or at a weird angle. For example in the article there is an image of a man taking a pictuer of a sculpture named Urs Fisher’s statue as a candle. To the normal person you can not see the burning flames of the candles. However, when the expectator takes his portable camera extends his arm above the statue and snaps a pictuer, allowing him to see the flames and an angel that he would probably have never seen if it was not for his portable camera. So taking a picture of a picture allow one to view things differently and analyze long after is gone.

  2. jrodalex009 says:

    I believe taking pictures of pictures, has benefits. Some times when I see something I like I take photos. Simple fact is I will never see it again. Most people would think the same way. For example if there is a really good ad some people would take a shot of with their camera as a references or its that entertaining to share. Some ads, are fairly recognized because so many people post photos of them online. Same thing as art galleries, if someone really likes something. They are going to sneak a shot to keep it. Overall people take the shot to document that they was there, or what they saw and share it. A sense of immortality for something that may not last forever.

  3. Bianca Silva says:

    I think now a days it’s normal to take photos of photos. People take photos of things because it catches their interest or they want to remember that moment and show it to others. People go to exhibits and take photos of the art work because they may never get a chance to have a photo of it. There have been times with I’ve done it. Like when I see a ad that I what to know more about, I take a picture of it to remember or if it’s something I like or something I know someone else would like I would take photo to have or show. Also in the article Roberta Smith writes about how people are using different types of electronics to take photos with. I believe that theres nothing wrong with it, we live in a world where there’s so much different technology we can use, so we use it. Some people might prefer to use a cellphone or mini camera because it more convenient, easier to use, lighter to carry and less expensive the a traditional camera. It just the world we live in and it’s going to continue to change.

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