"Nonstop imagery is our surround, but when it comes to remembering, the photograph has the deeper bite....
In an era of information overload, the photograph..is like a quotation, or a maxim or proverb."
(Susan Sontag: Regarding the Pain of Others 2003)

04 March, 2008

Yes - but is it Art? Is it even a Press Photo?

This is the image which won the latest annual Swiss Press Photo Prize. It is currently on show with 1800 other photographs, all of which were considered for the award at the Forum der Schweizer Geschichte in Schwyz (until 17 May 08). As many of you will recognize, it is the work of American artist Spencer Tunick (b.1967) who seems to have no difficulty in persuading hundreds of art lovers to strip naked for his installation-cum-performance-cum-living sculpture pieces. This image takes on an additional layer of significance when the viewer realises that the series was commissioned by Greenpeace. The stated aim of the artist and his patrons was to draw attention to the vulnerability of the melting glacier. I wasn't able to catch the entire exhibition on a recent short trip to Switzerland but I would be keen to examine the calibre of the other works which were in competition with Tunick's work for the Swiss Press Photo accolade.