I would like to take my practice further than just making or taking an image for the sake of it. Being a farmer or a hunter of photography is very important to understand.
For most of my photographic practice I have wanted to be a farmer, but was actually a hunter, and did not realize it. So: ‘farmer ideas’ with a ‘hunter practice’, was not working, or can I say partly working. In this particular module, the abstraction on my work has to go one step further than the battle I have already encountered that is my love for the abstract, but stuck in the objective world. I think that defining myself as a hunter or a farmer is the first step. It is not a matter of picking one or the other, it is more how to unify the two.
This week, the course readings and the video’s I am watching is helping me define myself more. I have come to realize that I have to be farming more. Tending, cultivating and growing my images. The use of signs as metaphor is also of great interest to me. I will be researching Icon, Symbols and Indexes much more over this course. I will be experimenting more and trying to make the images mean something metaphorically. Even though I am aware of the image and the metaphor, I will be working on the image as metaphor. Whether successful or not is not my goal here, obviously I would like it to work, but if not I will pursue, research, experiment and try until I can solve this riddle.
I have really taken a liking to Roland Barthes: ‘Camera Lucida’, and I have also ordered Image Music Text. What I like about his work, is that he deals with issues that plague me as an artist photographer, not a technical photographer. It’s nice to read: “Photography has been, and still is tormented by the ghost of painting.” I can now say why, because a painting in constructed, and a photograph is generally taken. This modules information on hunting and farming of images has been very beneficial. I will begin planting, attending, watering my images, and this will put more value into the work, and this may help remove the hauntings of the paint ghost.
Hoping to go down to LA Louvre this week to see the David Hockney exhibition. His work has really been an influence on me in many indirect ways. I have come to terms with appropriation, in addition, I have combined that with intertextuality and together they have eased my fears of plagiarism. Maybe this is the intellectual way of handling that aspect of it. It is legal, it is used by many artists, and it promotes new creative avenues.
I have looked into the works of Richard Prince: the master appropriator, and even though he was sued for using the works of Patrick Cariou the courts decided in favor of Prince, and Cariou dropped charges. Not that I am interested in appropriation, I am not, but I can now see how to use elements of image making in my own work without plagiarizing, and or feeling guilty of using elements or other people work in my own.
I have also looked at the work of Chino Otsuka, I find interesting how she inserts herself into her own images, I am considering something similar in my work “Fences.” This way the image is constructed, as opposed to just being an image of a Fence and hoping to convey that it is a Fence of the mind as well as a physical fence. I think by introducing elements into the image, a hand, a foot, a shadow, the image become a ‘construction’, the ‘farmed’ form which I have need in my work to take it to the next level. This is also being done by Cindy Sherman, albeit for other reasons than my own. I feel, the reason is enough to separate the works even though we will all have part or whole’s of ourselves in the photograph.
What seems be happening often, is my coming across other artists who have used text with their work. [I watch carefully when these ‘synchronicities happen] I am being sent a message? My intuition is fine tuning? Is a “Signifier” is at hand? I recently saw some work of Martha Rosler. (Part of the MA videos)
She did a piece about the Bowery in New York. It was an installation with image and text: “The Bowery in Two inadequate Descriptive Systems.” She refers to: “the images and language used are both simplistic and reductionist.” Connoting to her title. In other words she is saying that no image or text [even together] can communicate the difficulties and complexities of life in the area known as the Bowery, and the people who live there.
This above photograph is something she would see and take for sure. Because there is no substitute for “Experience.” The experience is the “Thing” and words and images that attempt, almost feebly, to communicate it, to others, through signs. The image/text is the signifier, the idea/concept it forms is the signified, and the experience itself is the referent.
Todd Hido: Took a look at the work of Todd Hido, at the suggestion of Michelle this week webinar. Found his work made at night to be very interesting. Stretching the image in another dimension. The night shots seem to have a very ominous feeling about them, and I think I can relate this to my work. I have been thinking about making some images at night with flash, and Michelle mentioned it to me, to day, so again the synchronicity of my thougths and her words need to be taken into action.
The idea of destroying the fence, is coming into play, touched on by another co-hort, so looking into this. So far I have been very passive, looking for a ‘Hole’ in the fence to crawl through, looking for a ‘Cut’ . These have taken time, and I feel passive. When the co-hort mentioned that I am using it as an excuse, it struck a chord, she is right, another bit of female intuitiveness, that has surfaced, and been so beneficial to me in my life, so I will take action with this, it’s time for ‘War’ against the fences of my mind, holding me back. It’s time for ‘Fences Destroyed’
Martha Rosler: http://www.martharosler.net/index.html