— ahorn.

Gregory Halpern “On Documentary Ethics”

© Gregory Halpern, from the series “A”

One of the great pleasures of looking at art is in being an active reader, in piecing together the meaning of the work. Of course, I want the artist to have feelings, and to hint at them, but if he or she wraps it all up too neatly, not only do I feel force-fed the meaning of the work and condescended to, but I question the wisdom of an artist whose work implies he or she is capable of understanding it all. The best documentary work is as complex as its subject matter, does not attempt to fully resolve itself, and forces the viewer to interpret the work and engage with the subject matter independently.


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