Currently reading : Welcome to Rainbowland – A prayer to “pluralism”?
Kitra Cahana and Chris Urquhart are currently working on a collaborative and multi-media project about modern nomads living in America entitled Welcome to Rainbowland, for which they received a first place in the World Press Photo 2010.
The Rainbow Gathering is an annual festival that takes place around the Fourth of July holiday weekend in a different American national park each year. Part of the point is to celebrate inclusiveness and pray for world peace. The festival attracts hundreds of teenage runaways and travelers who are nicknamed ‘The Dirty Kids’.
Faithful to the Postmodernist theory, one could claim that any number of styles and manners could be practised simultaneously, so that theories of art became effectively numberless, each one the philosophical equal of every other. However it seems obvious that the art world is more incoherent than pluralist. Individual subjects within art such as photography, the representation of landscape and religious issues in art and globalism are marked by differences and misunderstandings that cannot be characterized as pluralist. In that field, many people decline to argue about the index, or about Roland Barthes’ punctum, and by itself this could be a normal effect of a plurality of interests. But at least some of those people also have no position on those subjects, and have no reason why it should not matter that they have no position.
Photography criticism seems to be more than a simple plurality of viewpoints, but a heterogeneous field, past any reasonable hope of developing a coherent conversation. Amen.