Saturday, November 19, 2005

News Flash! New York Times Makes Daring Case For Photography As Art!!

It's always entertaining to read what clueless headline writers stick on articles, particularly when they clearly have zero knowledge about the subject of the article. Below is the headline of an article published on the front of the NYT's art page on the website

By ALAN RIDING The works on display at Paris Photo, which closes this Sunday, make a daring argument for photography as art.

The article below is still a little late in staking photograph's claim as a fine art, but it is still a far cry from the web page head line:

Photos That Don't Capture Reality, but Change It

PARIS, Nov. 18 - If photography began escaping the shadow of painting a century ago, decades passed before it was widely recognized as an art unto itself. Today proof of its star status can be found in a four-day international fair called Paris Photo, which closes on Sunday. Clearly, the market for art photography is booming.

So here we have photography escaping the shadow of painting a century ago, and that it was some decades later before it was widely recognized as an art unto itself. So the idea that a single art fair - today - many, many decades later - can suddenly make a 'daring' argument for photography as a discrete art is... wonderfully clueless.

And, unfortunately, increasingly common.


Anonymous said...

OK, Brady you've lost me. You show the kind of disrespect for copy editors that crappy reporters often do, but instead of explaining why the headline is bad, you take issue with the lead of the story, which we'll assume for our purposes was written by the reporter.

Brady Westwater said...

Uh, actually, I DID explain precisely why the headline was wrong and nothing else as I had no problem at all with the basic argument of the lead of the story, which was correct.

To begin with, the headline on the art section front page claimed that an art show made a 'daring' argument for photography as art.

I then quoted the article which - correctly - said that photography was first began to be taken seriously as art a century agao and then it was then some decades before it was fully accepted as an discrete art form.

Other than saying I felt this acceptance was possibly obtained a little earlier later than that - which is a judgement call - I fully agreed with the article's basic premise which totally CONTRADICTED the headline which mistakenly claimed that photography as art was still a 'daring' concept.

I then used the writer's words as proof that the editor had not understood the article and thus had gotten both the facts and the headline wrong.

I never intended to take issue with the lead of the story which is accurate in its depiction of the history of the acceptance of photography. I also did not even address the writer's conclusion - that this show demonstarted how the art photography market was booming - which it is.

Lastly, the article and its lead had nothing to say about how this show supported the idea that photography could be art - as did the headline - and that claim was the only thing I took issue with.

Could I have made that distnction a tad more clearly, of course. Could you have parsed this a bit more carefully. Also a possibility.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that headline says what you say it does. It describes the style of the photos at this exhibit, one of which is right below it on the Times web site.

Headlines for reviews aren't going to repeat the lead when that lead backs into to what the story or review is about. The headline refers to altered images that review cites as examples.