The world is going to pieces and people like [Ansel] Adams and [Edward] Weston are photographing rocks!
You know why the beetles and buttercups so please you?
It is because you do not know the human soul, you do not see the stars!
There is no denying: we humans love drama. Every nature documentary needs some of it. Will the young duckling survive? Will the antelope escape the lions? Mostly, however, we love drama involving ourselves. That might be a reason why artists, filmmakers and writers have and still do produce so much works about war. War as the ultimate human drama. Both quotes above were written at times of war. The Cartier-Bresson quote is from the time of WWII and Hebbel wrote at the dawn of the German Revolution of 1848.
Both quotes also sharply criticize artists that in such times of human drama do not pick up on this drama but continue to make nature the theme of their work. To me the criticism seems to be that such nature-artists don’t get their priorities straight. Is this right? Is there an implicit supremacy of human affairs over nature? There is an answer to that.(more…)