I’m not going to wish you a happy Hallowe-en. I don’t like Hallowe’en; at least, I don’t like what it has become – and I deeply regret the passing of Bonfire Night. I do not enjoy the faintly menacing practice of trick-or-treating and I think it’s sad that people no longer make guys and burn them on bonfires after having fireworks. No doubt the fire brigade would disagree with me; but I enjoyed the totally unhistorical and anarchic feel of Guy Fawkes’ night (unhistorical because Fawkes* was no friend to democracy but an authoritarian royalist). But still – it was a lot of fun. When I was a kid we always had a big bonfire and a firework display, and we’d make a guy out of one of Dad’s old suits and stuff it with newspaper. Lots of kids would roam the streets with their guy in a wheelbarrow calling out ‘penny for the guy!’ – and with the money they’d collected they would buy fireworks.
On the radio, Grayson Perry continued with his excellent Reith Lectures on Tuesday.
He’s really got me thinking, and this morning I was pondering the art or science of photography. Some whereas photography – some photography – has long been accepted as an art form, it also used to be a means of accurately recording events. A photograph used to be accepted – by and large – as a record of an event or an accurate view of a person; and if you saw a photo of something you could assume it happened.
Now obviously there were problems with this: photos could be faked, but not easily (as in the story of the two girls who faked photographs of fairies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cottingley_Fairies) but this was not easy to do, whereas nowadays anyone with average software can photoshop a picture. So it’s debatable whether photography is now anything but art.
But is it art? I should probably ask Daniel. I think his photographs are very definitely art:
*hey! I’ve just realised the historical connection to Dumbledore’s phoenix there!