Artist: Natalie Krick

Natalie Krick is the winner this year’s Aperture Portrait Prize and is effectively exploring quite similar themes to the ones I think about, although she is focused on women, and although I began with women in the Girlhood project, I think my own concerns have become more encompassing.  Certainly the issues I’m considering at the moment are linked to the way we understand the world around us no matter who we might be. Nevertheless, I am very taken by the way Krick has disrupted our expectations in the images in this article.

She is quoted on the link saying, ““My mother, my sister, and I perform for each other, for the camera, and ultimately for you,” and “We impersonate each other and ourselves, emulating imagery that taught us to be beautiful.” Each photograph becomes a puzzle, an optical illusion that plays with the nature of photography as it relates to aging, the hypersexualizing of women in popular culture, and perceptions of identity.” (2017)

Her use of the word natural in the title alongside deception is a great way of asking us to consider how we relate to norms.


Research links


A place to store links for Self & Other A3 onwards

Written by a female photographer – references the gaze, self-victimisation, coming to terms with death by painting and photographing the other,  being subject and artist at the same time  in a collaborative approach to working

Posted by student Holly Woodward on FB – may be useful regarding the use of filters, as well as the sense of superiority that can sometimes come across when people deconstruct people’s behaviour. (see intro to first-person action book, re arrogance)

Creepy Pasta

I’m Poppy:



Research: Further thoughts about photography and death or the dying

Following my post about Godé-Darel last week, fellow, student, Catherine Banks suggested I look at Leibowitz’s work about Sontag, as well as Briony Campbell’s The Dad Project

I found an essay titled Mortality in Photography: Examining the Death of Susan Sontag and was struck particularly by the comparison between Tilda Swinton’s performance, The Maybe – where she slept periodically inside a glass box, and the photographic object.

“For Leibovitz, the “glass box” here is represented through photography itself which articulates both the same distance and invitation to the audience. Curation in itself, as illustrated by Araki, with no semblance of emotional input, alienates the audience through the sense of distance already established – between object and audience. Thus, audience participation may be reduced to voyeurism, whereby what is perceived is framed and objectified. A comparison can be drawn between such voyeurism to animals held in glass enclosures. Visitors on the other side of the glass maintain a sense of superiority over the subjects in the glass enclosures, as there is an observer and object relationship that is created, with the observer being the one with the intellectual capability to link such observations to associated experiences, actions and thoughts. Similarly, in photography, the audience looks at an image as they would at a spectacle.” (Lim, 2105)

Campbells’ work contrasts enormously, with a great deal of emotional input in her own curation in The Dad Project. These images are extremely intimate in ways that Leibowitz’ of Sontag isn’t. I don’t mean to suggest there is less or more pain in either work. (See image at top of page here). Leibowitz’s image reminds me of some of Joel-Peter Witkins’ photographs, with the black, deeply impressionistic style. In Campbell’s, which unlike Leibowitz’, is in colour, soft and intimate due to wide aperture, and also close-up in many, there is a clear reciprocal relationship between subject and photographer which one can also see in the paintings by Hodler of Godé-Darel. In fact the subject is that relationship. This work can be relatively easily read as being about facing death, inspecting it, about the dying father allowing the grieving daughter to travel along as far as possible. I can’t help feeling those who would find this type of work offensive in any way are likely to be people who find the idea of death itself intolerable, or simply far too frightening to explore in this way. Whereas Campbell and her family, in particular, her father, have so generously allowed others in to witness their experience, Leibowitz and Witkins seem to be delving into, exploiting and showing us the very human sense of terror surrounding death and the lifeless body (or body parts*) – which in Leibowitz’ case is perhaps another way of dealing with grief.  *Witkins uses parts of bodies in his images, and Leibowitz’ image is in separate pieces stitched together perhaps echoing not only the decomposition of the flesh but the disintegrated illusion of a cohesive self, in Lacanian terms.

Returning to Lim’s comments above, I continue to think about correlation and information in Rovelli’s book and try to work out my thoughts about the way in which we humans deal with death, and also about ritual and fetish. When we take a photograph of someone else, we are taking a photograph of ourselves. These images of death, however they are read, are ultimately images of the photographer’s own inevitable death as well as anything else one might see in them.