This week has been another fruitless week. Still going out and photographing. Once again, having ideas that don’t come to fruition as a idea for a meaningful series. With stress on the word meaningful. A series can be made of anything, “a series of salt grains in my salt shaker, again what would that ‘mean’ ?
Have been experimenting with my Hasselblad 501c, bought a few close up diopters and ordered a 6X9 glass negative holder for my enlarger.
I have been experimenting with some old film that curls very badly and will not remain flat in a regular glassless negative holder. So laded up looking for a negative holder with glass that will press the curled negative flat. However this has problems of it’s own, as it will cause a Moir pattern (Newton rings) on the print, so looked to see if I could find a glass holder that would have anti-newton ring glass in it. I found a few but very expensive around $300 dollars.
I went to trusty old Ebay. Lo and behold, there was one listed starting bid of $200 with reserve. I bid and hit the reserve at $146, and increased it slightly so if anyone else bid I had a margin. Long story short I won the item and now have an anti newton ring glass negative carrier, and will be making some old school analogue printed images shortly.
This week, I looked at the work of Masahisa Fukase, (suggested by Anna) a Japanese photographer who lived from 1934 to 2012 with a current exhibition in Amsterdam. Most well known for his work “Ravens”
A copy of the book can be seen here. http://www.mackbooks.co.uk/books/1169-Ravens.html Before looking through the book, I thought it would be all about ravens, or images of ravens. However, to my surprise, there was an image of a naked woman, maybe his wife, and one of the ocean, another of a factory, and still another of a cat. I was quite surprised, to see these other images in the series, but realized that they are images that represent a raven. The cat, may just have eaten one, the factory has a tiny image of a raven in a tree, the light behind his wife in the window looks like a light raven, and a fold in the wave at the ocean casts a shadow of a raven.
I am just presuming here, as I do not have the book, or have done much more research into those images, however, it is nice to have a few images of “indirect” raven images in the series, some of which can be seen, and others imagined.
I find this work to be very interesting, and wonder if my assumptions about his ‘indirect raven’ images is correct. If it is, great, if not, I can apply it to my own work, in my series. By looking deeper into shadows and light formations, of images that are a symbol, signifier or motif for the subject at hand.
So, the question arises? What gave Masahisa this idea, why did he make a series on ravens? Is this idea unique, or was it appropriated, modified, or based on someone else work? I decided to do a little research on the net, however was not able to find anything related prior to the work of Masahisa.So far it seems the idea and the series is an original..
This week I attended the webinar with artist Sissel Thastum. Took a look at her works 1.Theta. 2.No You without Mountains, and 3. I Am Here When You Are Here. I found her to be very gracious with her information. I liked the way she combined her still images and her video. Made me think about doing some small video’s of my work as well.
Also looked at the work of from Smash and Grab, gave some good info on photographers that he liked to work with. In particular Can Oba-Smith. So it was nice to be able to refer to a photographer who some-one hires and figure what it is that they like about their work. I really liked Cian’s website. It is very simple in design, easy to navigate and well categorized. All his work is artistic, so it’s easy to see that he is creative. I also looked at his Instagram page, and see that he listed his website under his name, so that anyone can reference it directly from Instagram.
I am new to instagram, so I linked my imdb cinematographer/directors website to my instagram, so hopefully if viewers like my photography it will drive them to my imdb page. http://www.imdb.me/pierrechemaly
Ordered some new reading material on Aaron Siskind. ‘Towards a personal vision.’ and ‘Road Trip’ (A signed copy) can’t wait to hold it in my hands. I discovered that he did some work in Corfu, Greece, so can’t wait to see the works. Last year (2017) I travelled to Corfu, a long time dream from my childhood, after reading ‘My Family and other Animals’ by Gerald Durrell.
So, always wanted to travel there because of that book. I finally made it there last year, and went to visit the ‘Yellow Daffodil Villa’ where the Durrell’s lived for a while, while on the island.
I also visited St. Spyridon Church in old town Corfu. Margo, Geralds’ sister kissed the hand of the dead saint on a family visit to the church, and became ill. This is only done once every year, on the feast day of the saint, when the sarcophagus of the saint is opened to pay homage. As fate would have it, on the day I arrived, the sarcophagus was opened in the church and one could to pay homage to the saint. I remembered what happened to Margo and did not want to become ill, so I put my hand over the hand of the saint and kissed my own. I guess everyone’s kissing, may have caused a spread of germs. This is what Louisa said, or maybe it was Larry? Anyway, I remembered that, and took precaution.
I like going to, and photographing places that I have read about, or seen in books or on TV. Especially of creatives, like writers, poets, painters, photographers and artists. It inspires me, and feel that I attract sparks of inspiration and connection while wandering around.
So, this week I’m going to do some reading, from a signed copy of Arron’s ‘Road Trip,’ which I purchased. (Cannot wait to run my fingers across his signature)
I pay special attention to his work in Corfu, as I have an emotional tie to it, on a creative level, as I do with every place I visit. Each place I go has a very good reason for my going there in the first place.
Towards a personal vision should be a good read. I think, one’s personal expression is the most important thing to find for any artist, and probably the most difficult.
Still playing catchup, finishing off 7 day picture a day. Started my Instagram this week. It was up, however did not know how to post, but figured it out, so no I have been posting on Instagram. It’s much better than I thought and am enjoying it very much. https://www.instagram.com/streets2studio/
Module Leader Office with Anna was very informative. Spoke about a lot of things, mainly how to get from small time to big time and her advice was spot on, and need to change my approach. Anna stressed how important Instagram is, so figured I may was well dive in. I did, and very happy about that. Looking forward to the next MLO with Anna.
Finally met with Krishna to-day for the first time. Had the opportunity to listen to past recordings. I am pleased to have he as my Tutor and feel it’s a very good fit. Still have some issues with the FMP, in terms of finding a thread through the work. I am and have been very opposed to telling a story with photographs, especially with abstract work. However, as I have learned in past modules, the very thing I oppose has been a hinderance in going forward with my practice, and once I had overcome them (appropriation and refusing to talk about my work) things started to open up. So, maybe I need to address this story telling issue as well and see if thats not what is the cause of my moving forward with the FMP. In the past two modules, I did not achieve a uniformity of images, or a series. They were very one of a kind, I felt I crossed the threshold, but stopped right there. This module I will make a series of images, good, bad or indifferent. I will see what the outcome is after the process instead of shutting down before, or freezing at the gate.
I have been giving my final project some thought. I would like to do it at home, around my yard and in my makeshift studio and darkroom. I have always liked the work of certain photographers who work in a very limited area. In particular Edward Weston who worked mainly at Point Lobos, California.
In my early days, I had difficulty with that, as I wondered how one could limit oneself to such a small area. It is something like one square mile. Over the years through looking at his work, listening to other photographers, philosophers and poets, I have gleaned some pretty interesting information that has helped me in my own practice and answering that question or problem I had.
I also like the work of Arron Siskind, mainly because he was able to bridge his practice between representational and abstract imagery. He said: “If you look very intensely and slowly things will happen that you never dreamed of before.”
This coupled with a line from the poem ‘Augeries of Innocence’ by William Blake. “To see the World in a grain of sand.” are words I think a lot about, and came to understand Weston through that poem and the quote of Arron Siskind. I think the module my WIP will be images made around my house and yard. I am considering three titles for the work. ‘Yardwork’ ‘Homework’ or ‘Housework’ It’s a play on the words and the work.
Week one was a slow week for me MA wise. I was on a film as a Camera-Operator for that whole week. Working 12hrs a day, plus travel, ended up 16 hr days. So could not do any work on the MA that week as far as the activities were concerned. Got to work with Tatum O’Neal (Paper Moon) and Peter Jason (48 Hours) so that was nice.
Looked at the recording of the Module Leaders Office hour, found the group to be rather upset at the activity for the week, because they found it too easy and being a seven day activity could not fit into the week. I am glad I missed that, and am working on it now in Week-3.
Sometimes I have lagged behind, mainly due to my day job and other work commitments but work extra hard down the road to make and catch up which I am doing now in week three. So far I have photographed 4 days of the 7 and will finish the activity up and post it when done.