Arts and Crafts of Indonesia, Anne Richter, Thames and Hudson, London, 1993,
Photography, John Storey
The role of the image-maker is often in the service of larger projects, such as the courtroom artist or photographing unique objects or landscapes for Archival purposes or publication. Each situation changes, the final image is more than an exact record, it also holds the aspects of the contemporary standards for such work, within a specific genre.
Neutrality in documentation is ever changing: while strict guidelines are given for austere scientific needs, a spectrum extends to more expressive genres. There is no universality in the process of documentation. One has only to look at forensic portraits of criminals by the official police photographers of the 19th century to see there is nothing like a ‘mug shot’. They are expressive, in ways today’s criminal identification is not; by comparison images today are blunt, digital and accessible worldwide. The documentation of artifacts, buildings and so forth varies enormously, conforming to its use and placement. In the production of both Peter Spearritt’s The Sydney Harbour Bridge: a Life and Anne Ricther’s Arts and Crafts of Indonesia, a balance was always sort between an historically, (or culturally defined), selection of elements and an engaging or confronting image. In the essay by Peter Spearritt he examines differing representations of the bridge over several decades.
Gerantang or tinglik
Bamboo xylophone. from Pengosekan p 123