Where am I now? At present I am approaching a practitioner of art-photography.
I don’t want this to come off as pretentious, because it can, and will at times, however I know that I am primarily interested in creating/making photographic images, to show and entertain, as opposed to taking photographs, as in a commercial context where my photography is bought, sold and used by another person/company for product advertisement, or any other context, that enables the image be used out of my control, Especially using work to of context, as does Benetton for example.
As this module progresses, my aim is to be able to position my practice very precisely, in terms of the work produced, how it is consumed, and how and who it is sold too. A lot to ask, however, I feel that with the tutors, reading material and weekly tasks will enable me to do this in the abstract and I will apply this knowledge to my practice.
The intent/nature of my practice:
Photography can be use in many contexts. I plan to use my work to enlighten and entertain, much like my profession in film. I would like to be able to communicate my work on a thematic basis, as opposed to being pedagogical or didactic. Thus allowing viewers and consumers of my work, to discover some the ideas I set forth, for themselves. And hopefully understand it on an emotional level. I think with art this is the best way to communicate something. No experience is communicable directly. My happiness, is not your happiness, but it can be understood by the word “happiness” or an image that produces happiness for example. I am very concerned how how my work is contextualized. I have learned how people can be exploited, by companies like Benetton and Time, just because they asked and paid permissions form the photographer and the family, doesn’t justify the end use. So I have learned how to become very careful of this, and maybe even have clauses in releases that can protect photographers from this kind of abuse. Unfortunately big companies strike low. They time it when you are broke, down and out, and supply gold pot at the end of the rainbow. It may be a years or two down the road, that the rainbow, dissolves, and the pot runs dry, but by then it’s too late. So reading about Benetton shed new light on context for me.
Contexts of Consumption:
Photography as art, belongs in Galleries, Museums, books and articles and in clients homes and businesses. I have always loved works presented in galleries and museums, and of course this is my aim. However, the work is also consumed in photo-books. Works like “The Solitude of Raven.” or “Ravens” as it is presented is an ideal that can be strived for by any photographer. This enables anyone, who for whatever reason cannot attend a museum, can experience the work of the artist in book for.
My Practice in Context of other Visual Practices and critical ideas:
For myself, I create works that are constructed, for me this easily put me in the reals of painters, film-makers, sculptors, and the like where works are constructed. I start off now with a concept and or an idea, and build my process from there. First considering form, because I am a big fan of form, then proceed onto content, that can be harnessed or made using the form. This procedure From idea to image, was culminated last module. Before this I could make a series technically, however this time I created/built the series emotionally which was a big step forward. I always understood the concept of it, however it always remained a concept, last module it materialized into a series. There were a lot of success with it, however I feel it needs work, needs to be edited better, and unified into a whole that is more communicable to the consumers of my work. I am not there yet. My aim is to achieve this mark during this module, and have my next series better understood and emoted.
Course/Webinar Reflection: I attended the webinars with Paul, Michelle and the group tutorial with Steph. I managed to present my work and had some good feedback from fellow peers about my series: “Fences” Paul seems to think that it is strong enough to proceed with the series as a FMP. I am pleased about this, because I have finally come up with a series that is not purely technical, but has my personal interests involved in the mix as well. Paul suggested that I ‘create’ fencework, and I am considering it, and really like the idea more and more the more I think of it. I did one image that way in my series in the last module.
I think that I will be able to blend realistic imagery with the abstract in the form of triptychs. I am really pleased with the concept, I like the number 3 and feel that I can proceed forward and get some more work ready in this form. I do love both form and content in my work, so the medium, the camera, the film and the processing is a huge part of it for me as well as the content, which is a mixture of the known and the unknown, what we can see as well as what we cannot see, the material and the spiritual, and feel confident that with the module ahead, will be able to contextualize my work and realize the series by synthesizing my ideas and concepts into a cohesive body of work.
Michelle was very helpful in suggesting to me one again, to be in the moment with the work, and not to be too concerned about the final outcome of it as far as exhibition goes, as this can throttle the creativity. Once again the word ‘Play’ came into the mix, as it did when I was up at Foam in Amsterdam. This word has come up 3 times for me. As a word, an image, and in physical form, that makes it very clear what needs to be done and how to do it.
Glad I had the opportunity to meet with Steph. This module is a challenge for me in terms of translation or transformation from one form into another. In my case being able to write down my ideas. I can speak about them very easily now (this was my challenge at the beginning of the MA) However, funneling the information and drawing the essence out, in the form of writing, is challenging.
I don’t have a problem writing per se. The difficulty is the transmuting process from ideas and concepts into words. It is almost like translating from one language into another using a dictionary, and not really familiar with one of them. As a result, it is time consuming and not coming out the way I want it to. However, I will attend all the webinars, the module leaders office, and hopefully be able to glean techniques and strategies that will enable me to perform the alchemical transformation.
I am finding the reading list challenging, just from a time and content perspective. I am taking a speed reading course, which claims that I will be able to read War and Peace in an hour and remember everything. (just kidding)
Managed to go out and photograph with film this week and process it. This is also time consuming as 35mm/6×6/7cm is not immediate and is quite demanding time wise as well. However, I think it is worth it, and will most probably do a blend of Color Digital and B+W film this module, because it is coming together in a way that I am enjoying creatively and it seems that the consumption of my work is happening in an enjoyable way.
Overall, I feel my work is improving. Still have moments of doubt and uncertainty. However, I am moving forward in spite of these feelings. I will handle them critically, realizing that these kinds of feelings will surface. What are they based on is the question. Where is the proof that my work in not any good? Without proof, I am discarding the thoughts.
I am working at my practice, peers and tutors tell me work is progressing, I like what I am seeing in my work. Know there is room room for improvement, serendipity, and fine-tuning, so I will use this information to make an informed decision.