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5 questions for Donald Weber

Canadian photographer Donald Weber, author of three photography books, recipient of numerous awards and fellowships for his photography projects, was asked 5 questions so we could all get to know him better. Donald will hold a 2-day workshop Risky Business (Not Really): The Economics of Storytelling at this year’s Organ Vida festival edition. You can apply HERE!


Which photographers have influenced your interest in photography?
Raymond Depardon. I can look at his work everyday and every evening. He is creative, innovative and not afraid of change. Always making work.

What do you desire to achieve through photography?
Being out there in the world, coming across things and places and people I never really would or should.

What is the last exhibition that surprised you? Why?
I haven’t seen an exhibition in a really long time, to be honest. I am not much of a museum goer; I usually reserve my consumption to books. I have a slight irritation with gallery exhibition, as I do not really like the concept of a pristine space for an exhibition, to me it is an inappropriate form to display work that limits its audience. That being said, there are fantastic museums I do love to visit which usually feature historical work. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is incredible, I can dip in for a quick visit to see an Old Master or something from Asia; I also love the Guggenheim in NYC, it is a perfect marriage of spatial inquisition and art, the way you are meant to engage with whatever exhibition is on (up the spiral) and the art itself. Consuming of art should be an experiential process, not just a didactic, pedantic, elitist sampling of works on white walls selling for tens of thousands of dollars. No thanks.

Do you have a gallery/museum-going routine?
No. Because I rarely go and if I do go, it is always to museums.

How would you explain what contemporary photography is?
Oh Jesus. Really!? Staying constant to issues of contemporary society, but also acknowledging and understanding photographic heritage, where an image comes from is just as important of what those images mean. I hate photography that is “contemporary” in form, in other words, photography that addresses the current moods and aspirations the photographer and the trends/fashions of today; this to me is horrible contemporary, meaning, there is no future for this work. You might as well like Disco or wear Poodle skirts.