Pay up to see the bright, blue sweater

The speaker is placed there neatly, but has consciously untidy values. The wires trail in a casual way as if to convey a sense of organised hurriedness. The man dominating questioning with a quiff suggesting an aware creativeness. With a fancy blue sweater. Nodding in the right places, without fail.

Looking up to suggest a cultured thinking. Hmm what is it all about? ‘I am an expert and I am still deciphering its meaning.’, everything is dwelled on but nothing is achieved. A book is read, reread and then referenced, cross reverenced, pre visualised. Everything is thought, never known. Space is always mentioned. Haircuts, beards, neutrally bland trousers matches the equally bland conversation mixed with exclusive humour missing the crucial ingredient.

I don’t get it. But it all looks so perfect. I want to be them. They are successful. They have good hair. Neutral clothing. Inside humour. I want to be them, but a more substantial and honest one.

This is the initial reaction during a talk in Spike Island. Sat in a beautifully stale room reeking of a stuffy fresh, white paint on the walls. I felt privileged for a few minutes. Then the conversation started, an apparent rereading met with an answer suggesting a reading before rereading I am left angered, frustrated and cheated. I would have paid for a genuine conversation, full of simple sentences and comprehensible words I would have left the talk enlightened. Instead I enjoyed it thoroughly for all the wrong reasons. It is was so ridiculous it was laughable, comparing the experience inferior to watching a mindless action film. I could have bought a book, I could have learnt something. I felt a dwindling conversation convoluted with a hierarchy of intelligence. If I were an aspiring college student I wouldn’t have comprehended anything because a level of intelligence had been reached that suggests the impossible, the unobtainable. If we are to generate the next set of aspiring photographers we must make it accessible for an audience not jumped up on their own pretentious existence.

It should not feed the ego, it should not inflate an intellectual monster, the student teacher dynamic on show, gearing the student to possibly reach the unobtainable knowledge of the man in the fantastically bright, blue jumper. Hierarchy is destructive, it discourages bridges, when education should make it accessible to achieve, attainable, otherwise why are we even investing our energy, money and passion into the subject to begin with.

This is not an argument about the institutions, but a direct question to the person leading the conversation with a product of this self indulgent I have read this book and will waffle about our superiority, the photographer who’s show it was in the first place.