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On the Destruction of a Dogmagraphy

There is no more lofty rise to strap ourselves in photography than onto that immaculate pedestal of photographic Purism like Captain Ahab of the Pequod in pursuit of the white whale. Even if the purist produces the most ordinary images with sophisticated cameras or historic processes, they remain in some idealised boudoir of non-pedestrian love-of-the-art far-and-above the ordinary banal suburban photographer. At least, in their perspective.

The purist, self proclaimed under storm-angst-skies, has the power of that word to billow their path. A get-out-of-gaol-free magic belt worthy of Aladdin. Purist. Smell it. Stretch it out on the table for all the pirates to gawk in rabbled awe. Purist. Wars are lost and won with less advantage. Cut the purist open to see… real blood.

Purist magically infers upon the wearer a state of clean innocent and undefiled beauty. Purist conjures up the image of a Holy Something, the perfection of transcendence; it implies a condescending knowing that “You listen to me, son.” All eyes around the camp fire turn to that One, the all-knowing, the man(or woman)God. Purist. First-born.

You see, I have a large and incredibly hot fire burning in a corner of my consciousness. The Fire of Dogmas Past. In an uncommonly sober state I’ve begun to take all the rules and sins and Magnificent Sevens from their cupboards, to push back the dank piles of this-and-that advice to one side and the other; to unwrite dogmagraphy – that list of things you say are bad or good or whelpishly fucked about my pictures. If I like your pictures. I’ll listen. Otherwise, get fucked.

If I crop. Fuck you. If I place a subject in the middle. Fuck you, also. Fuck you, too. Fuck you and that merry ship of Sinbad that brought you through the door. Fuck you (rings loudly as an echo up and down the lips of this social apostrophe). Stop complaining about what and how I go about making pictures. Stop dictating the morals of the moment on snot-filled photo-stock.

It’s absolutely none of your fucking business. In the end I will do as I must. I will make pictures. Like pictures. And turn back to dust.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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