INTERVIEWS JERRY UELSMANN                                                                       



QUESTION #1 DH: How do you feel
photography, as an art form, has changed
in your life time?

ANSWER JU: People’s perception of
photography, as an art form, has changed
radically in my life time and, as a result, a
larger audience for photography now exists.
Also; a greater number of artists are seriously
using photography as an art form.

        Photography is evolving in universities
where photographers have more contact with
artists who use other mediums which develops
into healthy creative interchange that makes
people aware of just how viable the medium
really is! I feel there is currently a renaissance

in photography!
QUESTION #2 DH: How have aesthetics changed in photography?
ANSWER JU: The biggest aesthetic change is: we are no longer concerned with how a photograph “must” look. In the early fifties concern for Ansel Adam’s “zone system” emerged. A mythical archetypal print quality was promoted as a model of how a photographic print “should” look but in the last twenty years things have opened up considerably!
    You now have Ansel Adams, Robert Heinecken, and I; all using light sensitive materials differently but we all are still part of the same world of photography!
    Photography is a lot less concerned with proving itself as a viable medium to make valuable art forms. The medium is accessible to many more people and, as a result, there is a lot more exciting experimentation!

QUESTION #3 DH: Are the motivations of young photographers today different from your original motivation?
ANSWER JU: One can not categorically say anything specific about young photographers. Some have concerns similar to my own while others have had different influences which enable them to relate better to a variety of contemporary art movements.

QUESTION #4 DH: Has photography become a “big business?”
ANSWER JU: “Big business” as compared to what? It certainly became a big business compared to what it was. I get letters everyday requesting shows. I can not possibly answer all my mail, let alone deal with all those show requests. Entrepreneurs are now involved. Some are sensitive people while others are just out to make a buck but either way; there is speculation in the photography market which may indicate photography has become a bigger business. 

QUESTION #5 DH: How do the photographic galleries differ today as compared to what existed when you first began to exhibit?
ANSWER JU: There were no photographic galleries when I began my career, with the exception of the “Limelight” in New York. Now the “Witkin” and “Simbab” galleries exclusively show photography and established painting galleries are beginning to exhibit photographs in order to get on the “band wagon” of this renaissance in photography.
    I have never gone out of my way to find myself an exhibit. The galleries have always contacted me. I recently exhibited in galleries which do not traditionally show photography, or only occasionally shown photography, and the response has been good.
    A problem developed over the years; a kind of ingrained idea, that photography was only for photographers but today photography is viewed and appreciated by a greater audience, a larger audience,  that most people do not realize is in existence. 

QUESTION #6 DH: Do you perceive an influx in photography and if so please characterize it?
ANSWER JU: Photography is in a very strong growth period right now. There is great interest in photography as a medium. Light sensitive materials provide a sense of intimacy for energetic and intelligent young people. There is tremendous growth right now in photography, but from a humanistic point of view; those young people, as students, who benefit most greatly from their involvement with the medium, may not be able to go out and survive as artists. 

QUESTION #7 DH: When you began photography what was the scene like?
ANSWER JU: The people involved were like a big family. Many of them knew each other. There were so few people involved in Fine Art Photography; it was possible to be aware of everything that was going on aesthetically. Now that’s not possible.

QUESTION #8 DH: Is there an “established” verses an “avant-garde” point of view in photography?
ANSWER JU: Most practicing photographers take a definitive aesthetic stance but I do not try to promote a traditional or non-traditional aesthetic. I keep a breast of what is happening in photography as best I can, but as you know; the avant-garde of today is the rear-garde of tomorrow. I just try to keep in touch with the kinds of concerns art is addressing in my life time. 

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