Why I love: Pared-down power

Mike Figgis, film director
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The Independent Online

There's a lot of bogus minimalism about. You go into a hotel room and there's no drawers. You try to work your expensive car stereo and you have to read the manual. But true minimalism is practical. It's the short and powerful statement that implies its own history. It's purity. It's closer to spirituality than ornamental decadence.

Fake artists fill their work out with secondary statements about wealth and power, showing the time and money that went into their work. That's what the art market demands. Authentic minimalism cuts all that out. Cartier Bresson presents one simple moment. It's about his eye, not how good his camera is. Miles Davis plays three notes where a lesser musician would play 100. Hemingway gives you one sentence. That's what we want in life, really: synthesis.

Glenmorangie 5 Senses, an exhibition of photographs by Mike Figgis, is at Proud Camden (020 7482 3867) until Tuesday.

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