Thursday, December 11, 2008

Duane Michals - Interview from the early 1980s

2point8 posted this morning about a new collection of interviews on YouTube/iTunes U from Duke University. Amongst the gems of artists, designers and photographers was an interview with Duane Michals.

Excerpt: The only thing any body knows for sure is what they experience. If you look at a photograph of somebody crying you register grief, but in fact you don't know what those people are experiencing at all. You're always projecting on the world your version of what that emotion is.

So the 'what is known' is only 'what I know'. The only truth I know is my own experience. I don't know what it is to be black, I don't know what it is to be a woman, I don't know what it means to be Cartier-Bresson.

So I have to define my work in terms of my own truth.... and that's what the journey is all about. If you are true to your own instincts ... and the great wonder is that each one of us has our own validity, our own mysteries and it's the strength of those gifts that make artists artists.

Most photographers depend 100% on the accident. If they don't find a wonderful accident [then] they are out of business.

I think photographs shouldn't give you answers ... Photographs should ask questions.

You should know your equipment ... then forget about it.

We are what we feel ... not what we look at.

Visions and Images: Duane Michals, Diamonstein-Spielvogel Video Archive, Lilly Library Film and Video Collection, Duke University.

This speaks to the ideas I've been exploring in the ambuigity of drei and newer work.... just articulated much more elegantly. The interview goes for around 30 minutes.

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