In small and tightly-knit Vancouver, artists reframe the world through a series of sophisticated illusions. By recreating historical moments, staging photos of vernacular scenes, and crafting intricate sculptures that trick the eye, artists reveal how everyday images and moments from the past are not always what they seem. Featuring artists Liz Magor, Stan Douglas, Brian Jungen, and Jeff Wall.
Hi. I'm Claire Danes.
Welcome to the ART21 series
"Art in the Twenty-First Century."
ART21 travels the globe to present some
of the most innovative artists of our time.
Artists today influence how we see the world
and how creativity can transform society.
This episode features Vancouver,
where Liz Magor, Stan Douglas,
Brian Jungen, and Jeff Wall reveal
that everyday images and moments from the past
are not always what they seem.
Here is "Art in the Twenty-First Century."
Magor: So someone comes to Canada.
They think Canada is snow and freedom
The truth is more complex.
Douglas: Well, in Vancouver, the artists
make art for each other.
Wall: There are no rules in how to be an artist.
Jungen: The artist declares what
an artwork is.
So what makes an artist?
That's another question.
Ha ha ha!
Magor: What I like about Vancouver is the fact
that it's on the edge of the continent.
If I look west, I know it's empty.
I call it breathing space.
I live on the Eastside, which is very industrial.
Big ships come in and get loaded up
I like that feeling of the world coming and going.
Vancouver is an entirely and completely different place
than it was when I was a child,
and Coal Harbour especially was a wild, filthy, muddy,
cranky, beautiful place.
Then by the time I came back to look at it
for this public art project,
all that was erased,
and all these places that people lived
in squatter shacks
or lived in little crappy float houses,
all of it was gone, so I built
this little wooden building,
put it on 4 pilings that are tilted because I wanted it
at that moment of movement.
I wanted it to be alive.
Then we sent it to a foundry,
and they cast every piece separately.
Your first view is that it's a pretty ordinary
piece of woodwork, but if you go up to it
and you see that it's aluminum, you realize
that it's an extraordinary piece
of foundry work.
So that flip is in the manufacture.
You think one thing "So simple, so dismissible."
Then you realize another thing.
You think, "How remarkable."
With "LightShed," I worked consciously
about keeping the past alive, taking an old thing
and keeping it vivacious,
keeping a complex tapestry of stuff in the world.
I live not far from my studio.
I take my bike.
The studio is my priority
over everything else.
I try to get here every day so that I can follow
the continuity of what happened the day before.
Often I'm here all day, you know, 8 hours,
trying to stay focused.
I'm seeking that place where my brain stops
spinning around and stops wanting things that
I don't have so that I can follow this very faint thread
that I'm laying down as to what
each sculpture is supposed to be.
The objects come first, and objects flow
We use them, we waste them, we wear them out,
and then it comes out the other end.
They call it the waste stream.
I'm not an animist, but I do feel the objects
that have been in the world for a while,
they've got all this stuff in them that
Gloves are interesting because they're quite
complicated copies of the anatomy.
They're very easy to fetishize,
and I'm not the only person who has fetishized a glove.
Casting is like photography in that you
have the real, the actual.
Then you make an impression of it,
which you call a negative.
Then you pour into that negative some system
of making positive, and then you have a copy
of the real.
So if there's a trapped air there and I demold it,
then there'd be a bubble in the thumb,
It's my favorite part.
I like the color.
I like the creaminess of it.
It feels a bit like playing with your food.
We all love that, and, um, I'm now
so accustomed to trying to kill air that it's
like ait's like a game on a computer.
This is my computer game, to kill bubbles.
Making a mold, doing all this process to that
thing that I've picked up,
in all the slowness of it is how I kind of get to know it.
So, in fact, the slowness of this process
serves the slowness of my intellectual awareness.
Demolding is like opening a present.
Oh, it's good. It's got a few air bubbles here.
You know the image you're going to get,
but it's always a surprise.
My main talent is my ability to
There are many things in the world that live
in this nether zone, this nonzone,
this not-needed zone, and so I pay attention
to these things, and through that effort,
I'll change their status, I'll bring
I'll resurrect them from the dead
and bring them up into this quite
a high-status activity that I'm involved in
of turning them into a sculpture.
There's a big process of me making it.
I want a big process of looking, too.
I'm not sending a message.
I'm creating an experience for looking.
Objects when they're in their heyday, they
arrive in our life with a bit of celebration.
If you're in a really pretentious store,
they make a bit sort of theatrical event
of wrapping up your purchase.
They fold it, then they wrap it,
and they put a sticker with their logo on it,
and then they carefully lift that as though it's
a little premature baby, and they put it into the box.
Inside that box is some sweater that's been
mass-produced, but this gift,
this offering is
they mimic a personal transaction
between two people who care about each other.
Douglas fir trees grow hundreds and hundreds
of feet tall, and they grow
for hundreds of years, and at one point,
that was everywhere here.
They were a big source of the wealth
of British Columbia.
They still are.
There's a big logging industry.
So I made this proposal for this column.
I don't call it a tree. I call it a column.
It's 100 feet tall, 5 feet in diameter,
and it's made of panels that are cast.
Vancouver today is developing very quickly,
and it's sort of like a gold rush
for condominium building.
Each development is supposed to have
a public art component.
You want to find a way to make something that
is for that site but is also a good work of art.
That's the hard part.
Magor: I'm gonna try it there.
Do you want me to hold onto the other side?
Magor, voice-over: In 1968, I was 20 years old.
I went for two years to New York to study design,
and I started going to galleries.
That looks about right.
Woman: I would just say we put them all up,
and then All right.
and then we consider Yeah.
Magor, voice-over: So there were lots of times
in galleries where I got this feeling of focus.
It's like feeling a muscle of attention
and observation that so I thought art
Art is interesting, but I didn't quite think
I was gonna do it.
But when I dropped out of the design school
and came back to Vancouver, I was hanging
around with a lot of artists.
They were all guys.
They were all painters, guy painters,
and so I worked alongside my friends, watching them.
They were making real art.
I was making little things.
Then I started to focus on them more till they
became more interesting and more complex.
Maybe, uh, 4 inches this way towards me.
I think that's a good place...
Magor, voice-over: They started to rival
the kind of paintings that my friends were doing.
I don't even remember my first exhibition here
except that you had just opened
the gallery, right?
You were myyou were the first solo show.
Was I? Yeah.
I mean, coming up as an artist, like, you
you were just wildly important to me
and my friends.
My friends at least are abuzz that you're here.
Magor: All these below-the-radar impulses that
I'm looking for all the time, these are things
that exist in our daily life,
and they are with us.
We wake up with these small worries and these
One of those worries or anxieties is the stuff
that you have around you.
"Can I pay for it" is a problem,
but once you get it, then there's the storage problems,
maintenance problems, dusting.
Maintaining the conditions that are good
for this kind of not very logical,
not rational, uncalled fornobody's asking me
to do this.
I'm barely asking me to do this,
so to maintain that over years, I've really tried to overlook
the relationship between my making of something
and its journey out to exhibition.
I don't want images of people liking
or not liking.
I don't want to know about it.
I would be surprised if 9b 0of the artists you
talk to don't say, "Death really interests me."
Part of the work of being an artist is that
you are always contemplating
the beginning of something and the end of something.
There's a whole bunch of births and deaths
every day in the studio.
Some people sort of die before they do die.
They die while they're still alive, so you know
a question is is there life before death?
That's really the question.
So if I look at the different choices
you have of how to spend your life,
it seems interesting to find a way where you hire yourself
not quite hire yourself where you give
yourself your own program.
I'm doing my own assignments.
That's my definition of art actually.
Art isn't a material, it's not a medium,
it's not a certain product.
It is the choices I've been able to make.
Douglas: Hogan's Alley was always thought to be
a place of vice, a place of urban blight,
and so the city council always had it
on their eye for a place to demolish.
[Railroad crossing signal clanging]
[Jazz playing on radio]
Douglas: It got a reputation as being
a black neighborhood, even though really it
was a mixed black, Italian, and Chinese neighborhood,
but it got that reputation from all
the black people that used to hang out here.
I'm an artist, and history is one thing
I use to make what I make.
That white building is something called Vie's Chicken Shack,
where a lot of jazz musicians
used to go after playing downtown Vancouver.
They weren't allowed to drink in the clubs
where they played, so they'd come here, uh, to have
chicken and to party.
Man: Hey, Roy.
Roy: How do, buddy?
Heh heh heh. You back in town.
Just got back last night.
Douglas: This is a piece
of interactive storytelling
you can download to your phone
and actually play like a game.
As best we could, we tried to make
a historically accurate representation based
on public record.
Here's the Italian bootlegger.
Here was a Chinese brothel.
Woman: How much you pay your girls?
Different woman: Hmm. I'm not hiring.
Douglas: I make my work so I can see it.
One major function of art is to allow us to
see things we think we know in a different way.
My first job after high school was as an usher.
My second job after high school was, um, as DJ.
I was the first guy to play hip-hop in,
I came to art late in life.
I was more interested in theater.
I realized early on that in Vancouver these
TV shows were being made, these movies were being made,
so I could use the apparatus of cinema
and TV to make my work.
Douglas, voice-over: The last 10 years or so, I've made
these sort of very elaborate, very free
remakes of other works.
I was researching the post-War period
in Vancouver and realized from the images
I was seeing that Vancouver's part
of this film noir world.
In "Helen Lawrence," we're seeing two things
simultaneously all the time, the actors onstage
and the cinematic image of the actors on the scrim.
At first, it's very confusing...
What's your name?
but eventually, you learn to watch
two things simultaneously.
If I asked you to do a little something for me,
you think you could do it, no questions asked,
on, the, uh, QT?
Douglas: We made virtual sets.
We built the entire neighborhood
of Hogan's Alley.
Built two entire floors of the Hotel Vancouver.
No. Take a walk!
Come on. Get out of here.
Douglas: We have the actors on a blue screen stage.
They're being filmed by cameras,
and the because we're in a blue background,
that can be taken away digitally like with the weatherman on TV,
and another background can be, uh, inserted behind them.
What is happening is we're making this thing live.
The cast is making a film in real time every night.
Please don't spoil my fun.
I haven't had much lately.
I think I'll join you.
You'll probably need a double.
Douglas: "Helen Lawrence" came from an epiphany I had
about film noir.
Somehow, the behavior of people in film noir was
based on the trauma of war.
The tough guys and femme fatales,
they're actually desperate.
They've done things they're not proud of.
Spare a cigarette, hon?
Douglas: Killed people, seen people die around them.
To help us all out, you...
Douglas: These themes of trauma, these are things
which I go back to again and again.
I don't know why.
You know, I think you would have been happy if
I never came back.
Douglas: The fact that we can't really
understand each other, that we're kind of
locked inside our brains.
This is something which I take
as a starting point.
So behind me is the intersection
of Abbott and Cordova.
Uh, that's the the setting for my,
uhmy photograph, uh, "Abbott and Cordova,"
but probably just above that "P" where
the windows open is more or less the vantage point
of, umof my image.
In the 1960s and early seventies,
there were many hippies in Vancouver, so they
decided to have a festival, and the cops didn't like this.
Often, with thesethese works where I'm staging
the photographs, there's obviously documentation
of that moment.
These documents do tell a story,
but they're kind of partial.
What I want to do is to be able to condense these ideas.
We had to build a set.
We needed a lot of light to make that piece.
Almost always my works are
allegories of the present, as well.
That event made this neighborhood
what it is today.
After that event happened, the city's
interest in the neighborhood declined.
There was a policy of containing drug use,
vice, and poverty, uh, in this neighborhood.
My approach to looking at historical events is
that historical events always have
within themselves the possibility of having
been something else.
And the tension between different forces at play
should not be forgotten.
I often depict minor histories,
but I always try to depict a local symptom
of a global condition.
Man: So we're working on the soundtrack
for a new video installation piece,
and this particular piece has, uh, 6 video screens.
And each screen will have a pair of speakers,
so making 8 speakers, which is what we've set up here.
Smith, voice-over: They're just trying to get
a sense of how all the sounds work together
in the space.
Smith: This one is called "The Secret Agent."
It's completely different than anything
that we've ever done before.
That will be exciting, but it's also quite
complicated in terms of the logistics
of how are we gonna mount this.
Man: Blow up the Marconi installation
Courtemanche: We'll get a miniature version
of it up and running in Stan's studio
for a while.
Man: What are you supposed to be anyway,
anarchist, desperate communist?
Different man: Anarchist.
Smith: It plays back as a computer program,
and so then we always run them for extended
periods of time so that we know that they're
stable for an exhibition.
Douglas: "The Secret Agent" was based on the notion
of terrorism, which we're very concerned about
these days, but it's been around for a long time.
"The Secret Agent" was the first literary depiction of terrorism,
but it was depicting anarchists who were active
in the late 19th century.
Man: A man was blown up at Sesimbra this morning.
Douglas: The terrorists I was looking at are
more based in the 1970s, so this idea
of, uh, taking an existing narrative
and restaging it in a way that reveals some
hidden content there or takes you
to a different context is something that has been
a very huge, uh, source of inspiration for me.
Two of these are backwards.
One should be backwards, right?
Let's take a look.
It may just be a little bit out.
Yeah, sure, OK.
Man: I have nothing special to tell you.
You summoned me.
This one should go a bit more to the right, I think, too.
[Speaks foreign language]
Man: Blow up the Marconi installation
Douglas: In "Secret Agent," there are 6 screens playing.
Always at least two are playing simultaneously.
There's more going on than you can actually
pay attention to.
This kind of confusion is part of everyday life
where we're not quite sure what's gonna happen.
Man: What are you supposed to be anyway,
anarchist, desperate communist?
Douglas: In these works, a kind of parallax happens.
We see stereo vision through parallax.
Our left eye and our right eye allow us to
see the same subject from slightly different
points of view.
This allows us to take in the two ideas simultaneously.
So the narrative of "The Secret Agent,"
if you think about what that meant
in the 19th century, think about what that meant
in the 1970s, this is a parallax
through which we can view the same story
in different ways.
And when I walk in a crowd,
I never let go of this.
A squeeze actuates the detonator.
Douglas: And these things of course relate
to what we have now.
You see in a very real sense the consequence
of terrorism, of somebody saying
to somebody else, "I'm better than you.
"I know the way you should live so much so
"that your life matters less
than my act."
A few weeks after it premiered,
this terrorist bombing took place in Paris
from people who were based inuh,
in and around Brussels.
The show was shut down for many days
because of terrorist fears.
History does not repeat itself.
Things do come back, symptoms do recur,
but they often recur because what caused it
in the first place never actually went away.
In my work, I want to go back to look at these
possibilities of what if did not work
out the way it did?
So looking forward, looking back, I always
want to consider that, uh, the thing we have is
It's not the only way things could possibly be.
Jungen: I didn't grow up on the coast.
I really like being by the ocean,
but I like to go visit it and then go away again.
When I lived on the coast, I was very influenced
by the artwork of the First Nations
on the coast, and I was interested
in how something very specific like
the coastal motifs and imagery moved to being
something that was really associated
with the whole province.
I had heard that the last killer whale was
leaving the Vancouver Aquarium, so I wanted to go
film her, and that's when I kind of stumbled
upon what used to be a big industry,
the whaling industry on the west coast.
The imagery of the whale was pretty widespread
across maritime native cultures.
When I made the first one, all that kind
of came together.
Working with those chairs, I left enough
clues that people could tell what they were.
You can buy those chairs anywhere,
and they're cheap.
Kind of switch that happens, that's
the spark, right, that gets people interested.
If you ask any Native Indian person "Where are you from?"
they wouldn't really say the city they happened
to be living in.
They would say where their blood relations are.
I'm Dane-zaa, so that is a very specific part
of the country.
But I moved to Vancouver when I was 18
to go to art school, and that was
the first time I lived in a city.
I love the opportunities and the culture
around you when you're in a city,
but I prefer to live out here.
It's nice to see all this sage blooming, eh?
My childhood was spent on a really large cattle ranch,
so when I was a little kid,
I would spend a lot of time out in the forest
with the dogs.
They were kind of like my guardians.
Ed's a northern Alberta mutt.
He's the boss of this place in some ways.
Like, we all listen to Ed.
So, yeah, that's across the road there,
those pastures are part of the property and up there
on the hillside and up there, too.
My ancestors were promised they could
either live on reserve, or they would be given land,
but none of it was honored.
When I started working with shoes
in the nineties, I went into Niketown.
They had sneakers of theirs in glass vitrines,
and I thought that was so strange.
I started to make connections between
the commodification of those shoes and the same thing
that's happened to Native art.
And then there was just kind of a strange
coincidence that the color schemes
and designs looked very similar
to northwest coast masks.
There was this kind of illicit thrill I got
by buying these Air Jordans and, like, immediately
starting to kind of cut them up and stuff.
So, yeah, and that was my first kind of foray
into making objects.
I'm a pretty quiet person.
Jungen, voice-over: I was kind of raised
around cowboy culture, so there's a lot
of aggression, but it's not really
how I approach the world.
That's right. Attaboy.
Jungen, voice-over: So I didn't have much access
to culture growing up in the north, so I had,
like, one television station, A.M. radio,
that kind of thing.
My folks died when I was 7, so I just kind
of like buried myself in thesemy imagination.
I used to make artwork because I thought I
could hide behind it,
and that turned out not to be the case.
My artwork became so tied up with my identity,
especially as Native Canadian,
that it was almost impossible to talk bout my artwork
without my identity.
An uncle of mine showed me how to make drums years ago,
and I'm not a very good musician,
but whenever I'm home, like, my cousins will
kind of thrust a drum at me to, like,
participate, and it's great.
I love it, but I wanted to make some of my own.
I've always also really liked modern furniture.
So I kind of used those chairs to make
these drums, give them a life other than utilitarian
Kind of give them a voice.
Yeah, II like vehicles.
I have a nice Impala now.
It's my summer car really.
I cruise around in that.
When I was an adolescent and into my 20s,
I had to figure out who I was and kind of come out
of the closet,
but that's really not an issue anymore.
I think gay culture's kind of mainstream...
and I never really fit into that
My family are hunters.
It's very common in Canada, but a lot
of my family have freezers to keep moose meat in,
and a lot of the times, they're outside.
I was visiting family, and I started making
these temporary sculptures and sticking
them on top of the freezers because they
were like the perfect pedestal,
and I liked kind of seeing that, like, some people would
justthey thought, "Who put all this
crap on here?"
And other people, they would look at it
and say, "Oh, that's an artwork, right?"
So I decided to take that into the studio.
I like using things people can recognize
that they see around them every day.
[Sewing machine running]
This new series I just started, it's gonna be shown
in Vancouver in January.
I wanted to revisit the material because
it's been about 10 years, and I wanted to do it
in a new way.
When I first made them, I was just kind
of slowly taking them apart piece by piece,
and now I just am much more fluid with it.
Oh, there are like kind of horns.
I work very intuitively.
We just tighten everything up and then
start cutting and see what happens.
II don't have an idea of what it's gonna look
like in my head, so it will be finished
when it feels finished.
Yeah, I lost it.
Jungen, voice-over: You know, I always say to myself,
"I'm not gonna work like this anymore,
and things are gonna be done weeks ahead of the opening,"
but I guess a part of me still likes the kind
of intensity of working down to the wire.
This will be attached?
Have you figured out how that's gonna work?
No. No, no.
Well, hope for the best.
Ha ha ha!
Jungen: I wanted to make these ones more abstract.
I think when I made the first ones I was
interested in referencing them to what
people thought native art is.
Now I've kind of moved away from that.
And some of these just feel like 20th century
I'm involved in a contemporary art community
that is very exclusive.
I don't know. There's all different sorts of art worlds.
There's a whole Native American art world.
I kind of have a bit of a hand in that.
If I hadn't gone to art school,
if my parents hadn't died,
I probably would have wound up
working on the family farm
and making art in secret.
Wall: I'm always searching for that picture.
That's what I do.
I'm always looking for that picture.
Some people call it subject.
I just call it a starting point.
It's the same thing. Something comes up.
For example, right outside this building
in 2001, I came out that door,
and 3 or 4 people carrying their packages and bags
If I'd had a camera, I would have shot it,
but that's not how I do things, so I knew that
I needed to make a reconstruction
of the event, and I walked down two blocks
to where the overpass is just here,
saw the sloping road and the sky,
and I thought, "I'll do it there."
And I would have never even known I wanted to
make it till I saw that thing happen,
so it's an accident.
The accident connects to me something I wasn't
connected to before.
Could be seeing a picture like,
for example, when I did "The Sudden Gust of Wind"
and I saw this Hokusai print in an art book.
It immediately suggested this could be done again.
You know, I have to wait for things to happen,
and once that occurs, then I have to
Supposing somebody had a carton of milk and he
just made the wrong gesture and it all came
That could easily happen.
Everyone's spilled milk, but I found a way to
make it look much more fascinating then
an ordinary spillage.
I've known the city since I was born.
I've lived here most of my life,
and I think when you are from a place,
you neither like or hate it.
You know a lot.
You've been through a lot,
so I have mixed feelings about Vancouver,
and I feel like when I'm working here I'm working
out of those feelings...
and I can never really tell what's got
the upper hand at any given moment.
And I'd like to think that somehow
the pictures I've done have that in them.
I still don't really know why I'm not a painter.
I stopped painting around 1964 when I
was about 19 or 20, the mid-sixties, that
was just the beginning of really the explosion
of all the kind of new alternative kinds of art,
things like conceptual art,
and for whatever reasons, Vancouver was
a very tuned in place at that time.
So I got deflected, you know, away from being
a painter with a studio, which I had at the age
of 15, to trying other things.
It seemed to me when I really got serious
about photography that there was potential energies
inside of the medium that weren't really being realized.
That had to do with the scale of the picture,
and it seemed to me there was simply no
technical reason why photography couldn't
Photographs have a beautiful, molecular,
granular surface that both shows itself
and hides itself in the image it makes,
so there are qualities that are revealed in photography
when it gets larger.
After having seen some advertisements
backlighted, I thought, "OK. I'll try
"It's kind of interesting.
"It has a kind of luminosity that's
So then I just started using it, and it worked.
It created an object, and the object was sort
of, you know, emphatic.
There's no real rules aboutfor me at least
how I should proceed, so sometimes, I build replicas...
but when you start building a replica, it can
get really exciting and technically interesting
and artistically very absorbing
to make that thing.
Wall: Where are you looking?
My hand, my thumb.
Look at Andrew's face.
Now. Yeah, that's it.
Just like that. Oh, that's good.
Hold it. Go.
Wall, voice-over: Nothing in my pictures is fake.
Everything that you see happening is really happening.
[Camera clicks, flash pops]
[Camera clicks, flash pops]
Wall, voice-over: There's really no difference
between capturing a gesture by accident
and capturing a gesture by design,
so it's not really possible to have fakery
in photography, not really.
I don't think it's very easy to practice
any art form very well, so there's no reason
why photography should be easy.
It's easy to click the shutter.
But they're gonna do a whole run-through first.
So I need you guys on your marks just to
double-check all the marks before we start.
Wall, voice-over: But bringing things
together, however you do it, is always difficult
because the standards are high.
Wall: You're standing in a way that doesn't make
you look very tough.
Make yourself look like someone who's ready to
do something bad.
Wall, voice-over: I think working
with performers, it's always
Look it yourself if you want to see yourself up close.
Wall, voice-over: They always give me things
that I didn't even know I wanted from them.
Looks good out here.
You look like a sculpture
by Michelangelo right now.
Ha ha ha!
Which is great.
Let's do another one.
Wall, voice-over: I've learned that in order to
do what I like to do I need to have
an open-ended schedule.
It could take 5 days, could take 10 days,
it could take 20 days.
I don't really know.
You can shoot hundreds of pictures of the same thing,
and one of them's always different
from all the others.
It just is the way it goes, and that picture
discloses something that wasn't in the plan.
It was based on things I'd seen
from the bringing of a person under the control
of others to a place, and you see that all
over the news.
That doesn't happen till discussion has come
to an end, and so I added something.
And the second thing that happens is
the other one listens.
Neither of those things is likely to happen
in that situation.
Talking is great in photography because it
can't be captured.
It's the elusive element, and that shows
you the limits of the art form you're in.
I love that about it.
It always escapes.
Pictures can never narrate.
They can only imply a narrative,
but they can never deliver it.
So what happens is when the viewer's having that
experience what they're really doing is writing
They're intuiting a narrative
for themselves, which will not be the same
narrative for everybody.
Well, the title of that picture is
"Daybreak on an Olive Farm in the Negev, Israel."
The picture included the Bedouin farm workers,
the olive grove,
and one of the biggest prisons in Israel.
So it was a great subject of many things.
Some sleeping under the stars, who were
probably poor, and others sleeping
Who knows what they are, and there could be
thousands of them there.
Probably I identify with those kind of people
in some way, and I think I identify
with all the people I photograph in some way.
So I think artistically a subject has no connection
to the viewer unless the picture
creates the connection by its artistry,
by its beauty.
So let's say you come into the gallery and you
see a picture of a homeless person
and you experience it in a way you hadn't experienced
it before because you hadn't seen it in that
Then you will know that the beauty
of that picture was caused by that person somehow,
and as soon as you realize that that
subject can cause that experience,
you've changed your own relation to that subject.
That's the social value of art, that it does
that not by convincing you of anything,
telling you you should do this,
but by giving you an experience
or creating an experience
that itself, yeah, alters something.
The main stream of my work has been
a kind of realism because it's devoted to contemplating
photography as a phenomenon,
but I don't want to be obliged to a be a reporter
all the time, even a pseudoreporter.
Works of pictorial art have to be something
that can be looked at endlessly.
Supposing it flashed into my mind this image
of the ocean for no reason.
Like a daydream or a moment of imagination.
When you have flashes like that, they only
last just an amazingly short time,
and they're gone, but you remember them.
They set off a photographic possibility.
For me, there's something called a picture
that is there all the time.
I'm always searching for that picture,
the next one.
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