It is simply more demanding, and therefore the viewer maybe feels a little bit insecure and dumps that feeling back onto the photographs - which often are no lullabies anymore. How was it possible that Sander plus the Bechers plus students became so prevalent?
A simple, educated guess would be that this dominance follows from the way the art market works, and that’s probably partly true. In 1975, when “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape”, curated by William Jenkins, was shown at the International Museum of Photography in Rochester, Bernd and Hilla Becher were part of it.
To me, it seems to create “representations”, something entirely different from photojournalism á la Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Instead of delivering an image as an opinion it forces the viewer to incorporate his/her own ideas, understanding and knowledge into the reading of the photograph.
At the time he probably was the only photographer at a German academy.As I recently indicated, discussions about German photography are usually very narrowly focused on a single aesthetic (“deadpan”) and on a small group of photographers.In order to change this a little bit, I decided to approach German photographers to talk to them about photography.In contrast, a supposedly “deadpan” image, by, say, Rineke Dijkstra (who is actually not German) or by Andreas Mader, which I believe is the exact opposite of [devoid of expression], merely gives the viewer a handful of symbols, metaphors, or representations of the world to look at and to think about.It demands that we bring our own thoughts, feelings, and knowledge into the process of “looking at the photograph”.
Axel hesse single
There were very few galleries and even less museums that would show photography, except for what was known from the 19th century as Art Photography; and there were only very few collectors and curators maybe in Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, and Hannover.But all of a sudden you had photography entering the public stage!And if one looks at those many different styles, movements, fashions and schools one has to say that “Sander plus the Bechers plus students” is indeed at least one of those styles, which is certainly very well received, represented and promoted in the art world, and which can be seen in almost any group show on contemporary photography worldwide (and that can be a little boring). But that focus means just as much as if equating in the last century “American Photography” with, for example, “Evans plus Frank plus Adams”, something it in reality never was.Erwitt’s image - don’t get me wrong here, I like Erwitt a lot!