Jeff Wall- Pictures like Poems


I watched this video of Jeff Wall talking about photographs and how pictures are like poems. As you can see form the above notes which are nearly all small snapshot thoughts and comments that Wall said during the video that I wanted to remember as individual ideas. No so relevant to my current practise but certainly very relevant to my past work is Wall's ideas of the snapshot which I have never really thought about in this way before. 

"A snapshot is the fundamental type of Photograph..... All other kinds of photograph have to relate tot hat in some kind of way."

Until now I have always thought of 'The Snapshot' as its own genre of photography if you will. And I still have the kind of image in my head when I think of the snapshot but Wall is right in my opinion. Every image is a moment of time of something happening or not happening.

"Photographs record an occurrence or are made in the absence of occurrence... in Photography both are equal". - Jeff Wall 

Other kinds of photography take the snapshot and again in my own opinion either lengthen the time taken to make the image either by construction of the image, showing time in the image through long exposure, or a portrait where the photographer has had control over where the subject looks or how they look at the camera, for example. 

"The snapshot is the most characteristic kind of photograph. The camera is a mechanism that can be set off by anyone at anytime".  - Jeff Wall


Louisiana Channel. (2018). Jeff Wall: Pictures Like Poems. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Mar. 2018].