"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)

12 May, 2008

Juergen Teller vs Josef Koudelka

A senior U.S. editor recently asked me what I thought of the Sunday Times Magazine, a publication she herself had worked on, in its glory days of reportage and striking photo-journalism. I was not very complimentary and complained that it, too, had been rather dumbed down of late. Since I made this pronouncement, I have reluctantly backed down, as week after week the ST mag has published one worthwhile, well produced story after another. This week brought us a welcome spread on Magnum's Josef Koudelka (b.1938) and his famous Prague Photographer shots (see above). The interview itself proved less than illuminating; nevertheless, it did provide an opportunity to review Koudelka's extraordinary images of the Russian tanks on the streets of Prague, on the eve of publication of a new book: Invasion Prague 68 (Thames & Hudson). Immediately preceding this spread was an article about fashion turned fine art photographer Juergen Teller, alongside some of his more arresting images: Lily Cole naked, Bjork in an Icelandic geyser and several of the photographer himself, naked, with & without actress Charlotte Rampling. It made for a thought-provoking juxtaposition.