You could say he just shows what is. But he photographs between services, avoiding the parishioners and instead rooting around behind the scenes to emphasize the tacky stagecraft. Religious services can become entertainment (what's wrong with that?) or propaganda, but stories, parables, and performances are also a way we help one another understand the world, a way we build empathy. Johnson's behind-the-scenes photos make the churches look crass and cheap and shallow. They may be that, but his photos don't prove it. He's stacked the deck.
Read Greg Cook's blog at gregcookland.com/journal.
: Museum And Gallery
, Walker Evans, Childe Hassam, Art Institute of Chicago, More