Fotograf Magazine

#5 Borders of Documentary

In the third year of the existence of Fotograf Magazine we decided to tackle the delicate subject of the “documentary” as our contribution to the as yet non-existent debate regarding the “direction of contemporary documentary photography”. However, while the classical figures of documentary photography mainly focused on traditional humanist themes, documenting unguarded moments in street scenes, moving or funny, or imaginatively photographed human relations, it seems as though today this area has suddenly become empty, or rather, it seems that all has already been done and further repetitions merely trivialize the genre.

For more than a decade there have been efforts in contemporary photography to use the documentary method to express a personal concept, to play with it within the framework of staged documentary, or on the other hand, to renounce the elements of compositional or situational aesthetics, renouncing what is now almost pejoratively called artistic photography, instead to pursue personal record, a sort of visual diary, featuring photographs which deliberately depart from aesthetic criteria. It seems that in the last decade, much has changed also in the understanding of the medium of photography as such.