Thursday, September 06, 2012

On teaching photography, art, and what really matters: Rodney Smith, photographer

So life has a way of repeating itself. As I began to teach in my early 20′s, and up to the present, I have found that students are looking for answers, not questions. This all feels like much of contemporary art, where its all about surface. People are looking for a quick response to a complicated question. Modern art is like what I encountered in the English department. It is soulless, empty, conceptual and lacking any depth. It looks good but it doesn’t wear well.

For the people who write me and ask for answers, or who are looking for the right process to make better pictures, I implore you to realize that there isn’t any ONE right answer. There is only your particular answer to be found and only you can find it. This is no easy task. As you are confronted with obstacles, confusion and diversions, if you are able to learn the right set of questions, then all else will follow in time. Wisdom is like a house. It can be seen from many different perspectives. It has many doors that enter into different spaces. They are all accessible, but many lead nowhere. With the right guide or teacher, one that will help you choose the right door to enter, you may eventually, at the end of your long quest, be able to find the right door out.



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