What is different? – in photography, this statement and question has come recently to mean quite a great deal to me.
From a cursory look over the work of Photographer/Artist Wolfgang Tillmans‘, on the artist’s website, the title of some work or other called ‘whats is different?’
To me; immediately, this struck a chord with me. I know how incisive and important Tillmans’ work has been in the photography world, and indeed continues to be.
For me, following a hiatus in my own work-production, this it seems could be a highly instructive que for me to follow in relation to a future Photographic/Art project!
What is different?; could be read various ways. But most prominently for me, ‘what is different?’ can mean firstly in terms of: an aesthetic.
‘An aesthetic’, because – in my mind a particular scenario involving the photographic image paired up with another similar photograph (as is in contemporary practice terms, common-practice) of a subject or scene and compared, with the objective aim of editing the photographs down to the favourite or set of favourites.
In this sense, ‘what is different?’ could mean, simply; what is different (between photographs)?
Also: in a sensitive health promoting way, I would be personally/professionally interested to gauge the same statement, or questions; effectiveness in the area of mental health for example. Here, ‘what is different?’ could in a real and genuine sense be used to express, at the very minimum,’what is different?’ – in the individual (perhaps from what has gone before?).
I love what Wolfgang Tillmans does. His work is multilayered and in many ways exceptional. Something I can indeed aspire for in my work.
Listen: Wolfgang Tillmans, BBC.