William Eggleston in the Real World

While researching Eggleston, I came across another documentary about him which takes the viewer into the daily life of this man. We accompany him and his son on various photo shoots, observe him working and interacting with his family. The narrator, Michael Almereyda, states that in John Szarkowski’s essay on Eggleston, Szarkowski states about Eggleston’s photos that “the world now contains more photographs than bricks …” Eggleston is a prolific photographer. He doesn’t hang around taking more than one photograph of anything that he photographs – he moves on. When working a scene he doesn’t reframe at all, just takes the shot as he sees it. Humans tend to be crowded out of his photographs, he rather focuses on objects. When asks by the narrator what emotions photography evoked in him, he simply replied that he had never thought about it. Eggleston’s own words about art: “Love it or appreciate it, but you can’t really talk about it.” He is truly a man of few words (well that is the way he is depicted in the documentary). When accepting the Getty Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Award all that he said was “Well, I’m glad I came here tonight. Thank you” and then returned to his seat to continue eating his dinner.

The documentary is a little slow, but worth a viewing and it is extremely interesting to see the way Eggleston works.

Reference List

William Eggleston in the Real World.  [ webcast]. Arthouse Films. Keep Your Head and High Line Productions, UK,  18/11/2005. 1 hour 24 mins 43 secs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq3N2KWAttU (accessed 17/8/2014).


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