Even though recent feedback hasn’t been positive about my self portraits, I am still hoping to include a couple in my project. I’ve looked at the work of other practitioners including most recently Vivian Maier and Zoe Leonard amongst others; and previously Cindy Sherman and Trish Morrissey. Sophie Calle remains an inspiration and although she is not in her photographs, the essence of her most certainly is.
My ‘Jimmy’ book has many gaps and as my practice is narrative I aim to fill these gaps with images I’ve made using the original album as the stimuli. My self portraits are not about me, but about left behind traces of events for which the full narrative is lost. The self portraiture has only a small place in it, but having considered it carefully I still wish to include it. However, I have rethought image size and colour, and have edited two to the same size as the photos in the album (3.5 x 2.5 inches), and made them black and white.
This work is of significance to my current practice. In the previous module my dummy photo book included pieces of memorabilia, in reference to old family photo albums where objects other than photographs were also saved. For my current project I am continuing with this idea, and sourced a WW1 medal amongst other things which I have photographed to include. In my case, these objects refer indirectly to photographic references (Wood, 1919, RAF for instance, led to the purchase of a RAF medal awarded to WS Wood at around the same time). Other memorabilia I intend to include are RAF buttons, wedding cake decorations, and dice.
Israeli’s work has many individual photographs as well as framed objects that presumably belonged to the sailors in the images. One of these is a gold locket with a head and shoulder shot of a young man in it. On a personal level I found these personal objects more narrative in style and worthy of my prolonged attention than the old photographs did. My reasoning for this is because each one is unique, and is a signifier; whereas I have seen a great deal of old photographs, and most of these serve the purpose of recording a face, a uniform, a historical record.
William Klein is another practitioner whose work I would like to look at closer. Striking in his city – life portraits is his use of colour and collage; which on one level is narrative, and on another completely abstract.
This body of work captures the street life of Chicago and New York between the 1950s and the 1980s, and includes a number of self-portraits. There is a book by the same name. Taking a closer look at this work is on my to-do list, as the abstraction with the human action working alongside each other is an interesting concept; but more importantly for me is the occasional self portrait amongst the rest. Currently in my work in progress I am considering (hoping) to include two self portraits.
Gastropoda refers to iconic decomposition: the process of irreversible decay turns images into echoes of themselves which, as a result, reveal the aesthetics of horror and destruction….The project also emphasizes the shift of the image as pure representation towards becoming an object, – Joan Fontcuberta. See reference page for details.
Photographs which show some kind of ‘irritation’ catch my eye, whether the source is natural or forced. Damage inflicted on the page is very much part of my work in progress as I examine the man made rips and tears on the album pages, and I begin to inflict it on some of the remaining photographs.
Meaning ‘what remains’, Sobras is an ongoing series (1996 – ) made from collages of old negatives on glass plates. De Barros scratches, draws, cuts and pastes onto the negatives. By doing so, he revisits his old images and memories, cutting and splicing things he can no longer recall, revitalising the missing parts of his memory.
This particular image grabbed my attention because of its apparent destruction by ripping – a technique I experimented with in the Positions and Practice module.
This work was a series of contact prints from ‘early colour series’. Vintage contact prints were mounted to card, signed dated and captioned from the 1970s. It clearly appealed to me because of its use of vintage photographs.
Following yesterday’s 1:1 with my tutor, I have started to lighten the images I took yesterday. Here are some of the results:
The results are pleasing and I see that they are more eye catching. However, some of the original colour of the album has now been lost and so the decision over which ones make the final edit will be based around either authenticity or aesthetic quality.