Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/28

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Subject: RE: [Leica] kyle's lost his @#$@#$! mind - week 35
From: "Samuel M. Kennard" <>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 21:23:36 -0700

<<  I am a psychiatrist and work with a number of
women who have cut
themselves. Photographing a young woman cutting
herself is tacitly
condoning what she is doing. The photographer is
using her for his
purposes, including his voyeurism and sadism. Is
there a message to her
that he cares more for his photography than for
her? I would not know
what went on in her mind, but do understand that
standing by and
watching, even more profiting from it, is a very
destructive thing to
have done.  >>

I didn't notice anyone cutting herself in any of
these photographs. All these photographs look like
they were taken after the fact.

<<  Can anyone imagine Kyle standing by and
photographing her hanging
herself, after having photographed her putting up
the rope?  >>

Not the same thing.

<<  The reason she seems so blank is that she is
so unable to feel, and is
not relating to the photographer. The women who
have done this often
told me later that they were trying to feel
something, that they felt so

There is a difference between being in a public
situation, as a
documentary photographer, where others are acting
to help, using your
skill to record the events, and that of trying to
profit from an
intimate situation such as this.

It is very difficult to photograph the emotions
which a woman such as
this feels. The camera does not record inner
feelings, only outward
manifestations. Since the person does not show her
emotions, but acts
them out via the cutting, indirect means must be
used to try to convey
what she feels. I have rarely seen photos that
succeeded. The intense
emotions felt by some schizophrenics have been
more successfully
recorded.  >>

I'm sure that you know the exact reason why she
has a blank expression.

<<  Kyle's photographs are not even good, in any
event. I hope that this is
because, in spite of his effort to be unencumbered
by ethics, he was
made sick by what he was doing.  >>

Not good to you, but maybe to someone else. Let's
see some of your work.

Did you feel the same about Bruce Davidson's
pictures in East 100 Street in the late 60's?

Maybe Kyle shouldn't have put the URL in this
forum for his own protection, as he hinted.

Sam Kennard - never will be PC.