First image for my second self directed assignment, focusing on empty recreational spaces.
Sunday, 24 October 2010
This current SDA is probably the hardest project I think I've ever done to date. My starting point was to try to work in a way that was different to my summer project, steering away from a snapshot aesthetic and to try to take more studio style images. Unfortunately I wasn't able to produce work that I was happy with at all and this came across in my tutorials. I had been putting this down to a creative dip and not settling in to uni life very smoothly and I think to an extent this is true. Getting back into the way of thinking that let's me enjoy what I do has been especially hard this time around.
My main tutors for this year have been drilling one phrase into us over and over again, "don't do what you think we want to see, do what YOU want to be doing", with the emphasis on us enjoying the work we are producing. I have noticed a definite step up in the work that is expected of us and to an extent I was expecting it, but as I said before it has been very hard to get back in to working this way.
This evening I sat down and decided to focus on what interests me the most about photography at the moment. Ever since going to see EXPOSED: Voyeurism, surveillance and the camera, I have been increasingly interested in the idea of voyeurism and how it is almost vital to photography as an art form. I began to think back to the exhibition and the pieces of work that i found most interesting, to try and link them to my work for this project. One particular body of work stood out, not for it's photographs, but for the way in which they were displayed in the opening show.
Kohei Yoshiyuki's "The Park" features images of couples in Chuo Park in Shinjuku, and the peeping toms who spy on the sexual activities happening only meters away from them. He photographed these scenes using infra red flashes in order to take the photographs, an extremely voyeuristic act in itself, because he did not want to be caught. However when the images were displayed, they were shown in total darkness, with the viewers being given torches in order to see the photographs.
This got me thinking about the way I had been lighting my photographs that I had taken so far and how my use of flash is not as good as perhaps i'd like it to be. I decided to try and take something from Yoshiyuki's work and try lighting what i am photographing with a torch. My main idea so far has been to photograph my housemates' bedrooms and this way of lighting links in with the idea of voyeurism and of photographing a private space quite well. Here are some of the photographs I have just taken.
I still think I have some way to go with this, but hopefully this is going to give me the momentum to produce some work that I actually enjoy making.
Monday, 18 October 2010
It's been a good few months but i'm not going to make any excuses, i've just been lazy. Just started my 3rd week of second year, already handed in my summer project, which i think my new tutors seemed to like. It's always nice to hit the ground running but i already feel like i've hit a wall with my new SDA. ANYWAY! Here are some photos from my summer project.
It's a pretty rough edit from about 30-odd photos i showed in my tutorial but i feel it gives a good idea of the sort of work i was producing.
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Haven't updated in a while but this happened on Saturday:
It's been just short of 9 months since my last bad sprain but instead of getting too frustrated with it i've decided to spend my time getting started on my new project.
I took this photo of my Gran moments after she gave me the camera I took it on. Once I developed the roll of film I immediately decided that the next big project I wanted to do would be based around my family. Instead of producing polished portraits of my family members I decided that I would rather continue to work in a similar way as the photograph above. The snapshot aesthetic is something I haven't really tried before so I have been shooting a lot of photographs over the past few weeks in an attempt to try to become more comfortable with this way of working.
Sunday, 23 May 2010
My group's exhibition for our Audience in the Community project has been up for a little over a week now. We've had a lot of good response for our work and Mandy the owner of Jam Records where it is being show has asked if she could have it up for another couple of weeks. So if you fancy paying it a visit, getting a coffee, that sort of thing then please do.
Saturday, 22 May 2010
Lawrence Beitler's photograph of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abraham Smith is in my opinion one of the greatest photographs ever taken. It signifies a moment of time in American history when things happend that people don't really talk about anymore. As i was doing a bit more research into this photograph, I discovered that the American writer Abel Meeropol was inspired by the image and wrote a poem called "Strange Fruit". The poem was later turned into a song and performed by Billie Holiday. I have posted both the poem and a video of Billie Holiday performing the song below the image. I really recommend taking the time to read the poem and listen to the song as both are equally as amazing as the photograph.
- Strange Fruit
- Southern trees bear strange fruit,
- Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
- Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
- Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
- Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
- The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
- Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
- Then the sudden smell of burning flesh!
- Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
- For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
- For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
- Here is a strange and bitter crop.
Friday, 7 May 2010
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Monday, 19 April 2010
Saturday, 3 April 2010
I found this work by Merry Alpern who I'm afraid to say I'd never heard of before. They come from a book called "Dirty Windows" which I think I might have to buy. I'm not really sure why I like them so much though. I've been getting more and more interested in Larry Clark's work recently (Tulsa will be bought soon) and these seem to follow a similarly sordid lifestyle.
The photographs are shot across an air shaft, through a bathroom window on Wall Street. The show dealings between prostitutes and high-powered businessmen. Yet despite the fairly graphic content of the photographs and what they represent, I feel as if the power of each image lays more within the voyeuristic way it has been captured.
Alpern herself said:
"Reoccurring characters gave these pantomimes a soap opera quality and I’d try to decipher plot lines and guess the next scene. These minidramas and their unvarying props— condoms, tatoos, silicone, crack— filled my head and I began to think about the windows all the time. They found their way into my dreams."
I've also finally been able to fond some photographs of Ed Templeton's latest exhibition, The Cemetery Of Reason.
More photos can be found here. I'm pleased to see that one of my favourite photographs has been included, this one of Brian Anderson below, which also makes me a bit annoyed that I can't go.
Talking of Brian Anderson, I was finally able to watch episode 3 of Epicly Later'd which has been featuring him for the past few weeks. It seems like there has been a Brian Anderson explosion recently, I don't really know why, but I think it's safe to say he's one of the most interesting people in the skateboarding world at the moment. I also watched a short video on the Thrasher website where he talks about his tattoos, which was more interesting than it sounds.
Staying with skating, I don't think I can really describe how excited I am about the new Blueprint video, I saw this offcuts video and it just reminded me about how many of their team can make amazing things look effortless.
On a different note, I'm going to start taking photographs for my easter project within the next few days so I should have something to post soon.