Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.
Untitled - True Value

Titling the Document

Dec 20, 2017 - Jennifer Garza-Cuen

The titling system I use is an acknowledgement of two traditions in documentary photography: One of refusing to use words to define visual work and the other of subverting definitions through the use of neutral descriptors. Both of these traditions are attempts at objectivity and yet documentary images are never objective. By using both ‘untitled’ and a ‘neutral description’ I attempt to call attention to issues around the assumed objectivity of documentary photography.


Untitled - Man in Lobby

In most cases photographic images land on a spectrum from real to staged. In journalism, there exists a kind of factual imperative whereas in other areas such as advertising there are expectations of fantasy and invention. Documentary images have a long history of riding the line between these two extremes, frequently depicting reality as reenactment. They are simultaneously real and staged.


Untitled - Exhibition Room

Photographs tell you far more about the person who made them than whatever they attempt to depict and so I approach my work as a kind of metaphorical memoir, a document of my cultural inheritance.