Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
While not offensive, the work missed the mark.
am 13. Mai 1998
I ordered this controversial title from Amazon.com so I could respond as a mature reader to opportunities for informed responses and reviews. In answer to the question, What did you read?, I now may answer, A monotonal collection of poetic sentiments extolling virginity. What did you see? A collection of portrait photographs-not art, unless any and every photograph (like any and every painting?) is art; not pornography, unless any and every representation of a nude person is pornography. What did you feel? The lack of energy and intensity that occurs with overstatement. I was disappointed; and I felt uncertain I had given the work ample opportunity, uncertain I had given the photographer his due. What did you learn, and what has it given you to teach? Nothing truly new or novel. Did you have esthetic, cerebral, or sensual pleasure? The work missed the mark. While not offensive, the work is not likely to edify, increase sensibility (sensitivity), heighten awareness, or make others gentler and more responsive.
It is a sign of Hamilton's mastery with his subjects (models) that all appear relaxed and at ease, and that none appear to attack the camera. Hamilton's work is successful where his aim is simply to establish a unique body of work embracing as the subject very young girls that are no longer small children, and women who are very young adults. The work falls short of loftier goals; and by no means does it constitute a "how to", or supply a clear standard defining the genre for photography of very young nudes. It is legitimate to use the vocabulary of our own experience and awareness to communicate our wonder and appreciation of the realities in life. Nevertheless, where a work, any work, makes its statement by layers of nuance, or levels of subtlety, many miss the intent of the artist. The fullness of what he has experienced, and hopes to capture or extend, can not be obtained by a casual glance. The vision he offers, or seeks to call forth, may only be gained by pro! longed or repeated viewing. Psychological and other dimensions of a work may demand study, examination of detail, and careful analysis. However, photography is a dynamic medium. Visual experience is animate, immediate, and motile: The eye moves, refocuses, or shifts; angle, perspective and point of view are altered; or the subject and object viewed is lifted, turned, and realigned. We rarely stare fixedly to get the picture. It strikes the eye-the mind, the heart, and the places where image and emotion carom one against another-and bullets in a straight line to the soul. Or it does not.
A high school year book is a collection of photographs, also. Where unpretentious, it delivers a broad and rich panorama of youth, beauty, innocency, and joie de vivre. Both the bitterness and the sweetness in a precious stage of development appear: There are depth, diversity and variety in attitudes shown; in postures and gestures employed; in expressions of character, commitment, and growth. Unlike with Hamilton's work, responsibility for what is finally shown or viewed is located as much with the subjects as with the photographer. Virginity-the spiritual attribute of purity with meekness (an appetite for measured and ordered growth; a disposition and readiness to learn; a teachable spirit)-are abundantly evidenced, even where the full form of the subjects are not fully shown; even where the subjects are fully clothed. Age of Innocence does not deliver images that evoke the circumspection, restraint, balance, and excitement in the peace of right knowledge and reconciliation. While the work does not offend, it fails-as true virginity would do-to arouse or manifest the depth of love for truth. Perhaps, the work should have borrowed more from those who still regard holding hands as a sexual act. Jesus is the Lord.