"It should be kept in mind that these photographic plates are actually only an approximation of the weavings themselves. No matter how excellent the photography and printing process, it is ultimately only the designs and colours of the kilims that come through in photographic plates. A very important dimension of weaving is almost completely lost -- what the French call matiere*, that is the visual and tactile qualities of the surface of the weaving."Well, maybe I've just missed the other 29 million references to matiere, and its inherent un-photograph-ability, but wow! It's so true. Not one of the photographs I have posted on this site has really come close to showing what the piece is like in real life, and judging from the frequent disclaimers by fellow bloggers, I'm not the only one with this problem.
And it's not a trivial problem, either. Getting into shows, or successfully applying for a grant is determined, to a great extent, by the quality of one's images. All media suffer from reproduction, true, but I think textiles are particularly vulnerable to this loss of the visual and tactile qualities that make a textile work alive.
I'd love to hear from any of you that have further knowledge of this French term and its phenomenological underpinnings. Or, if you have discovered any photographic techniques that help show off your work to best advantage, please share.
* (with an e acute, which I can't figure out how to type)