Noted photography blogger Joerg Colberg has responded to my piece on the work of Shelby Lee Adams. Colberg states that “it would help us a bit to realize that our hand-wringing about these photographs ultimately won’t have any consequences – unless we spring into some sort of actual action.”
Discussion of Ryan Trecartin’s work usually brims with a recurring set of buzz words: nonlinear, hyperactive, cut-up, frenetic. Any Ever, the Los Angeles-based artist’s latest exhibition at MoMA PS1, retains the psychedelic schtick that characterizes earlier works but adds higher production values and an expanded cast of actors.
For more than three decades, Shelby Lee Adams has photographed families living the Appalachian hollers of Kentucky. Adams sees himself as a documentarian and observing participant in the communities he works in, developing close friendships with his subjects and allowing them to shape his photographic practice. But is his kind of practice truly documentarian or is it exploitation?