Exercise 2.2 Ignored

  • Building on your research from 2.1 make a list of people you feel are kept from view
  1. I have tried, while on some of my visits to Calais and Dunkirk, to photograph people in the same way I would photograph anyone. In other words, despite there being opportunities for heart-tugging images of children in the mud and without shoes, for instance, or trying to keep clean outdoors, I also aim to get images of people just relating to me as anyone, anywhere might. And if we’re having a laugh about something then I am really keen to capture that moment. A kind of ‘de-othering’ perhaps. These are not the sorts of images we are used to seeing in the press. Instead, more often, we see refugees looking poor, bereft (as many are), further substantiating the narrative they are in need of western help and incapable of helping themselves, and of course, mostly ‘foreign’. Some of that is unavoidable and the term ‘foreign’ is implemented on the image by the viewer no matter what one does. But for me, it is imperative to try to ensure people look as identifiable as possible wherever I can. Saying all that, although not ignored by me – these representations of ‘everydayness’, remain hidden on a hard drive for now for a variety of reasons, not least of which is safety, respect for privacy etc. I have not yet worked out how to make these images public or when, but it won’t be for a while whatever the solution.
  2. Women with hair on their legs, under their arms, peeking or avalanching out their knickers, or even on their faces, heaven forbid. Recently a model posted an image of herself modelling with her unshaven legs in focus and due to her position, lens, light etc , her “hairy legs in your face!” was the main story within the image. The outrage about this is well documented, click-through to the article I have linked. Someone on Twitter asked whether we should all stop washing and wiping our bums too, suggesting they could not tell the difference between hygiene and aesthetic preference. Hair anywhere on women, other than their heads, is a particular cause for moral indignation in this country. I sometimes don’t shave my legs but am always swayed in the end by cultural ‘norms’, and my friend’s delightful husbands’ comments. (I understand, due to my own response, how deeply embedded this relationship with female hair goes.) However, the more we are allowed to see of it, perhaps, the less it will be considered such a crime against huMANity. I have focused on hair as a separate issue to the ‘package’ discussed below, and very much enjoyed this article by Kate Lister who writes the Whores of Yore Blog.)
  3. Women who don’t pout their lips, or haven’t had their skin obliterated into a silky fantasy in Photoshop; and whose eyes haven’t been Bambified. In truth, women politicians appear in the news looking quite unlike any of that, but sometimes only to highlight their lack of ‘womanliness’ or to make fun of them. Men are also parodied in this way but when we are faced with countless advertising images of women with their mouths ever so slightly open, looking sultry and sexually inviting, the paradigmatic reality which images of women presents us with, offers a relatively narrow set of stereotypes. It is difficult working as a photographer who takes corporate images. People are used to selfies where they take at least 20 or 30 of themselves pouting, from a certain angle, choose the most flattering, then they filter it, might even add bigger breasts, or in Snapchat, enhance their look with digital pixie dust and sparkly horns. It is pretty impossible to satisfy someone who needs to look like a member of a corporate team when they are so used to seeing themselves in another light! Or constantly comparing their image to models in magazines. The number of images advertisers bombard us with where women look utterly unreal but also sexually ‘ready’ is phenomenal. Travel down the escalator on the Underground and Kate Moss or some such person leers back at you, all the way, multiple times on dozens of electronic boards.  Then pop round the corner to wait on the platform and another such person gives you a steamy glance from the curved wall, perhaps this time, selling life-insurance or data or a car. Real women are rarely in adverts and we are so accustomed and conditioned to this glossy model type that when we do see real women in an advert, it often looks under-produced and cheap. We are biased to see unreal women as the ideal, unconsciously so and no matter how hard one tries, it is impossible to always step outside that bias. What’s more, advertisers not only promote impossible ideals for women to aspire to, and men to have their expectations ‘un-normalised’ by, they also sometimes cross the line by implying anything other than anorexic, sun bed-tanned bodies are somehow revolting, not good enough, something to laugh at. Real women, the ones who work, perhaps have children, don’t always have time for the gym, do not generally look like the women in the adverts. Mind you, quite often, neither do they!
  4. Transgender and intersex people. This is changing however. Amazon, for all it’s reported corporate irresponsibility, has promoted and supported award-winning Transparent by Jill Solloway. Not only does this programme provide a visual reference for transgender issues, it does so without belittling in the same way BBC’s W1A latest series might be accused of.
  5. Gay people who aren’t cliche’s. Again some shifts in the cultural landscape have been taking place and Amazon’s One Mississippi counters much of what has come before it. The lead is gay, a woman who isn’t Hollywoodised, and is funny, intelligent, and very real. This trend is new and unlike gay characters from older TV. Compare this with Seinfeld or Friends, and then Will and Grace. You can see the social progression.

 

References – all accessed 11/10/2017

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/arvida-bystrom-adidas-campaign_uk_59db35c9e4b0f6eed3515e8f

http://www.hellomagazine.com/imagenes//healthandbeauty/makeup/201203297593/dior-addict-extreme-kate-moss/0-35-665/dior-1-z.jpg

http://www.thewhoresofyore.com/kates-journal/hair-today-gone-tomorrow-getting-to-the-roots-of-pubic-hair

http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/31606/1/the-five-worst-examples-of-body-shaming-ads

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Exercise 2.1 The Dangerous Medium

Find an example in the press where you feel that a photograph (with or without caption and text) has portrayed an individual or group as ‘others’

  • Preferred reading: what photographer set out at time, reflective of dominant ideology
  • Negotiated reading, which should be understood as the viewers accepting some of the intended meaning based on their world view
  • The Oppositional reading, whereby the reader rejects the commonest of readings

Refer to Stuart Hall’s Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse. http://epapers.bham.ac.uk/2962/1/Hall%2C_1973%2C_Encoding_and_Decoding_in_the_Television_Discourse.pdf (Link to incredibly meaningful PDF copy of the original typed paper, complete with typewriter idiosyncrasies and even a few typos).

  • Before I begin I am intrigued and encouraged to see Hall refer to ‘production elites’ within the first few sentences. This country with its deeply embedded class system is particularly affected by the issues which arise from having always recruited a good deal of its TV studio executives from Oxbridge, which was perhaps especially true at the time of writing. This arguably has led to the plethora of  reality TV, where elites have made programs about and for non-elites, creating narratives which invited derision and scorn, and perhaps contributed in some way to the demonisation of those living outside the elites privileged lifestyle. Programmes that claimed to be teaching us about child-rearing, for  instance, can also be interpreted as not much more than a chance to put unfortunate children, whose parents are struggling with rigours of the structural reality they find themselves in, into some form of metaphorical ‘stocks’, giving the ‘village’ audience someone to laugh at. And to feel superior to. Hall suggests “… in societies like ours, communication between the production elites in broadcasting and their audiences is necessarily a form of ‘systematically distorted communication”.(1)
  • By page 2 it is clear this is a paper written in the same vein as Barthes’, “Rhetoric of the Image” which refers to advertising. Hall is looking a the way in which the whole production process of TV is consciously and unconsciously utilised to support the dominant ideology and structure of society.
  • “In the moment when the historical event passes under the sign of language, it is subject to all the complex formal ‘rules’ by which language signifies. To put it paradoxically, the event must become a ‘story’ before it can become a communicative event” – Hall is addressing how we make sense of reality, i.e. we form narratives. Without the ‘interface’ of narrative, events are abstract, raw material.
  • “The ‘message-form’ is a determinate moment, though , at another level, it comprises the surface- -movements of the communications system only, and requires, at another stage, to be integrated into the essential relations of communication of which it forms only a part. – ‘Message-form’ seems to be a critical phrase one must remember and perhaps use to satisfy academic exceptions… and here Hall seems to be looking at how ideology is packaged for cultural dissemination.
  • “They draw topics, treatments, agendas, events, personnel, images of the audience, ‘definitions of the situation’ from the wider socio-cultural and political system of which they are only a differentiated part.” – In other words, the production-elites are the ones controlling the dominant narrative, which in effect suggests the lens through which they see the world colours absolutely everything in relation to the message-form.
  • “….is both the source and the receiver of the television message. Thus circulation and reception are, indeed, ‘moments‘ of the production process in television, and are incorporated, via a number of skewed and structured ‘feed-backs’, back into the production process itself.” Readers not only have an effect on meaning as in Barthes, Death of an Author, but collection of data which is fed back into the production process effects further narratives. Moments – Not identical but related.
  • Production requires breaking down appropriate message into accepted structural form, which consequently leads to meaning a understood by audience. i.e. must be encoded as such to be understood (thinking of game shows for instance, regular format, and subsequent surreal pastiche Shooting Stars with Bob Mortimer and Vic Reeves).
  • “Clearly, /hat we have called meanings I and meanings II may not be the same. They do not constitute an “immediate identity”. The codes of encoding and decoding may not be perfectly symmetrical. The degrees of symmetry – that is, the degrees of ‘understanding’ and ‘misunderstanding’ in the communicative exchange depend both on the degrees of symmetry/ a-symmetry between the position of encoder-producer and that of the decoder-receiver: and also on the degrees of identity/non-identity between the codes which perfectly or imperfectly transmit, interrupt or systematically distort what has been transmitted. The lack of ‘fit’ between the codes has a great deal to do with the structural differences between broadcasters and audiences: but ^^ also has something to do with the a-symmetry bet een source and receiver at the moment of transformation into and out of the ‘message-form’. That is called ‘distortion’ or ‘misunderstandings’ arise precisely from the lack
    of equivalence between the two sides in the communicative exchange.” i.e. The Price is Right – audience must be aroused and drawn in to product (message-form) by objects they would like to own on carousal, in order to entrench desire for consumption. The received meaning is related but not the same – audience reads excitedly, look at all those things one might own.
  • Hall goes on to discuss the influence of TV and the sign, uses violence as an example, researchers concluded children watching westerns understood violence not actual violence but rather a sign pertaining to it. Ends by asking what the structural ‘shapes’ and signs of western film genre symbolise?
    “But it is worth asking what this recognition of the.Western as a ‘symbolic game’ means or implies.”
  • Leeds to coding, which equals ‘genre’ – understood as such. But how does convention arise, stop and start? His answer re westerns is “It is the land of men, of independent men, isolated in their confrontations with Nature or Evil: and thus stories of masculine prowess, skill power and destiny: of men ‘in the open air’, driven to their destinies by inner compulsion and by external necessity – by Bate, or by ‘the things a man just has to do’: and thus a land where morality is innercentered, and clarified – i.e. fully objectivated not in speech but in the facticities of gesture, gait, dress, gear, appearance” (sic)
  • Encoding- how are a set of ideas, words, gestures packaged into a recognisable format – message form –  that audiences will understand without very much trouble
  • “I have been trying to suggest – without being able to take the example very far – how an attention to the symbolic/linguistic/coded nature of communications, far from boxing us into the closed and formal universe of signs, precisely opens out into the area where cultural content, of the most resonant but ‘latent’ kind, is transmitted: and especially the manner in which the interplay of codes and content serve to displace meanings from one frame to another, and thus to bring to the surface in ‘disguised’ forms the repressed content of a culture” Disguised forms – the ideology is masked and is transmitted via narratives that appear benign
  • “Whereas, in societies like ours, linguistic competence is very unequally distributed as between different classes and segments of the population (predominantly, by the family and the education system), what we might call ‘visual competence’, at the denotative level, is more universally diffused,” interesting to consider in terms of how powerful and ubiquitous image communication has become since social media exploded  – and “…whereas most people require a lengthy education in order to become relatively competent users of the language of their speech community, they seem to pick up its visual-perceptual codes at a very early age, without formal training, and are quickly competent in its use.”

  • “In the advertising discourse, for example, we might say that there is almost no ‘purely denotative’ communication. Every visual sign in advertising ‘connotes’ a quality, situation, value or inference which is present as an implication or implied meaning, depending on the connotational reference, .’e are all probably familiar with Barthes’ example of the /sweater/, which, in the rhetoric of advertising and fashion, always connotes, at least, ‘a warm garment’ or ‘keeping warm’, and thus by further elaboration, ‘the coming of winter’ or ‘a cold day’ – advertising signs are so powerful because there is little room for misreading what the advertisers set out to say, lacks subtly and contains no ambiguity.
  • These codes are ‘contracted’ to the ideologies of the culture – history and ethnography
  • “Fragments of ideology” – advertising coded signs utilised by production to hammer home the story (look at Christmas advertising – a veritable sledgehammer)
  • Dominant because there is a set of preferred readings in a society  -this is what the broadcaster is setting out; i.e. SuperNanny; children must be treated as such and to veer from this formula makes you a bad parent, totally reinforces UK class system bias due to choice of children, the middle class Victorian etymology of child-raring manuals
  • A lot of research has gone into how audiences understand the message, how to overcome misunderstandings and misreadings. Producers do all they can to avoid this, and this leads to formula, easily digested, visual, signposted,
  • Negotiated readings  – spectrum on either side of dominant ideology; in a pluralist society that is functioning, one would expect to have a measured response to this; think of European flag nowadays, difficult not to see utterly polarised rations to that particular symbol
  • Sub-cultural, oppositional, readings are not happening outside of a culture but within it, in response to it – and are therefore part of of, the other side of a coin.
  • Discusses oppositional readings – a lot of that taking place right now with Brexit – page 18.
  • Ends by suggesting scientists unconsciously collude(d) with dominant ideology at times “To ’misread’ a political choice as a technical one represents a

    type of unconscious collusion with the dominant interests, a form of collusion to which social science researchers are all too prone”

     

Exercise

Might be useful to consider Areilla Azoulay’s advice to ‘watch’ photographs as their semiotic content will invariably keep changing dependent on the reality in which they are viewed; “no photographer, not even the most gifted, can claim ownership of what appears in the photograph.” (11) And “Photography is much more than what is printed on the paper. The photograph  bears the seal of the photographic event, and reconstructing this event requires more than just identifying what is shown in the photograph. One needs to stop looking at the photograph, and instead start ‘watching’ it.  …. the civil spectator has a duty to …negotiate the manner in which she and the photograph are ruled”. (14)

The owner of the DuckRabbit blog tweeted on February 20th 2017 in response to this image, “Strong photo in the Guardian today. But yeah. More refugees represented as ‘the other’.”

Preferred: Given this image was printed in The Guardian, a paper known (and hated by some) for its liberal stance, it is perhaps tempting to read simply that the photographer wanted us to see the awful situation that people fleeing and nearly downing in the ocean are subjected to. The image also tells us an agency is spending time and resources saving the people they find from death, and helping them to survive by offering them flimsy but effective material to warm their bodies. However, they are nevertheless subjected to sitting on the open deck of the ship that saved them, huddled together with little dignity. The two people looking in into the camera are hidden in different ways. One has his face hidden by shiny gold material meant to for keeping him warm, and the other has his face showing, but his body is hidden. The photograph is taken with a wide aperture, making it ‘aesthetically’ attractive as it conforms to romantic notions of photographic beauty, i.e. it is taken with a similar aesthetic to how one might photograph a family portrait. The colours are vibrant and underscore the ‘exoticism’ of the people on the boat. Blankets and scarves further emphasise the ‘foreign’, exotic signalling of the people. However, the young man, whose head peeks out from behind the person whose face hidden person is wearing a branded woolly hat which signifies youth, materialism, pop culture and western commodification of youth culture. The man with his face hidden has wrist labelling bracelets on, the sort you might get if you’re in hospital. This combined with the fact his face is hidden makes him less of an individual and more of an objectified (in a purely literal sense) sign i.e. ‘refugee’.

The preferred reading is the west, despite immense tension and conflict within its extended borders, continues to do the ‘right’ thing and save people from their deaths.

Negotiated: Duckrabbit’s comment is a negotiated response. Great photo – he appreciates the aesthetics and the underlying message, i.e. “We in the west aren’t all that bad, because look, we are saving refugees from drowning, (and isn’t it awful?), even though there is immense political difficulty associated in doing so; but points out that the image reinforces ‘heart of darkness’ terror and voyeuristic, titillating fascination with Africans that Europeans have had since highly educated elites went off to explore the Empire and beyond, and returned with stories of black magic, head-shrinking and cannibalism. And continue to have, albeit perhaps unconsciously in many cases (but not all!)

Oppositional: There are two possible and highly polarised oppositional readings. 1) The west are not doing even remotely enough. The people forced to flee should not be risking their lives in the first place. There should be freedom of movement regardless of colour, class, wealth. What’s more, this is not ‘other’. Other is a construct that needs deconstructing and ‘the real’ revealed. Colour does not equal exotic. Head scarves do not equal frightening ‘alien’. It is our history and contemporary context that leads us to view things that way. AND Borders may not be the most effective way of managing global realities. (2) The west are not being kin by saving people, and in fact, being irresponsible by allowing the boat crossings to continue at all, and the people should not be saved. By doing so, further crossings are encouraged. Borders must be upheld.

Nearly all the above readings fail to render the ‘refugee’ as a group of separate, potentially valuable individuals. Instead, they are reduced to ‘refugees’ and ‘migrants’; words that mean different things to different readers, but invariably carry separate but low value. The word ‘refugee’ arguably helps to dehumanise, turning the west into ‘saviours’ and people arriving in Europe into ‘victims’; even though the resilience and tenacity of people who find a way to survive such a journey makes them anything but. Migrants are somehow viewed as less valuable, or worthy than refugees within the dominant ideology, which is that borders are ‘normal’ and necessary, and must persist, despite the human cost.  And that the movement of people is a ‘crisis’ because extra people are not needed, nor do they fit into western countries.

 

(1) For anyone not convinced by the argument that an elite education continues to dominate in top professions, and within the media sector, this might convince a little (although references newspaper rather than TV studio, but it’s no different there): “I remember asking around at the Guardian, where I had been hired to investigate the City of London, why this progressive newspaper did not put the school system centre stage. This is how the elites clone themselves, is it not? The answer: most of our management and prominent writers went to private school themselves and most are sending their children there, too, so that would invite the charge of hypocrisy. I struggle to blame those former Guardian colleagues knowing that two-thirds of all top jobs in England today go to the 7 per cent of children who have attended private schools. Are you really going to sacrifice your child’s prospects to make an individual stand which will change nothing?” (Luyendijk, 2017)

 

Ref:

http://epapers.bham.ac.uk/2962/1/Hall%2C_1973%2C_Encoding_and_Decoding_in_the_Television_Discourse.pdf

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/how-i-learnt-to-loathe-england

https://twitter.com/search?f=images&vertical=default&q=duckrabbit&src=typd

Azoulay, A. (2014). The civil contract of photography. New York: Zone Books, pp.11, 14.

Reflection: Exercise 1.1 & 1.3 (Some outtakes)

Here are a few images that I took while thinking about the exercises, before and during the day when I shot the ones the I chose. (From seeing other people’s blogs I wonder if I’m not meant to also submit a contact sheet? We were not required to do that in TAOP, and then I moved on to UCV which was a writing course – something to look into.) I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so tried several approaches. In the end I settled down and worked mostly upstairs with the strobes as I became more confident with playing with them. It was the most beneficial aspect of the day. I will set up more sessions where I simply do that as soon as the assignment is in. Apart from the one directly below these have not been in PS, only Lightroom and some may benefit from a little more processing. I have to say, I have been so busy with work – this week editing and selling a Holy Communion shoot, then Calais/Dunkirk for Just Shelter and then a book launch party for Penguin – which is great but it means this college work has to take a back seat and finding time to edit is proving tricky.

Again this a mixture of people I know well, not much and not at all.

(c)SJField 2017

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Exercise 1.1 & 1.3

1.1 Produce a series of five portraits of strangers from a variety of backgrounds. These people must differ from you in some significant respect e.g. age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, social class etc. 

1.3 Gerry badger points out “there are divisions other than class, ideology, race’ etc – using this a framework make five portraits of people with whom you feel you have an affinity, where you could conceivable be on the inside. 

Before I link to the 11 portraits I am including for this exercise I want to talk a little about why I am submitting these together.

I do not like the term ‘other’ at all although I know it is used constantly in this field by philosophers, artists, teachers. I said recently I wanted to stop using it in these terms altogether. The primary and ultimate other in my life, my mother, laughed, and said, “aren’t you on a course called something or Other?” Yes, I mumbled feeling dispirited and  annoyed with it all.

Exercise 1 – Produce portraits of strangers. I do produce portraits of strangers as often as I can convince people to pay me to do so. I enjoy doing it most of the time although as I said at the beginning of the course there are times when I have to steel myself to enter into people’s lives, perhaps because of the mood I’m in or because I pick up that I’m different to the clients in some way. Yes, they are ‘other’ to me somehow. But in all but one or two cases during the last 3 years, once working, I am able to overcome any trepidation and can usually find a way to connect and find an affinity regardless of whether I’m in a posh expensive house in Wandsworth, an office in the City or a field in Northern France.

My problem with the word is that all people are essentially other to me and to everyone. I separated from my mother in toddlerhood and thereafter there are in my mind, others and me (as it is for everyone with a relatively sound mind). There is much to say about ‘groupishness’ a term coined by Edward O Wilson, and I will explore that more as we move forward with the course. But suffice to say here, if we keep reinforcing the concept of other in terms of group difference then we only add to the problems humanity faces as it clings to a Hegelian Master/Slave dialectic which  is the source of so much trouble.

Therefore I have presented 11 images here that represent both others and people who I have an affinity with. They are a mix of strangers and people I know a little or very well. It is up to the viewer to reach conclusions about who they think is other or not to me. I was intrigued by the Szondi Test – where images are used to ascertain a character type depending on which images the test subject chose, and how they responded to the faces. Rather than being able to tell something about the portrait, a response to the portraits tells us something about the viewer.

I used this exercise to experiment with lighting as I am far more comfortable with natural light and these are taken with strobes. This was a useful task for me.

Some issues with using the particular venue as that it is upstairs and in a pub so not suitable for everyone (but the space is free for me whereas other spaces such as the one I used this morning are prohibitively expensive – a studio space is a luxury). This meant I took some images downstairs and planned to take some more in another venue but in the end I have submitted the following as they work as series, and demonstrate something relevant for the exercise. But it is not ideal. I have other images that I may make use of elsewhere.

I have a Release and Agreement Form for all but one of these images and can make sure I rectify that as it is a neighbour. I will not post them online though as they give away personal infomation.

Click on image to view  (c)SJField 2017

 

Reflection: Exercises 1.1 & 1.3 (shoot day)

Yesterday I spent several hours working in a space much larger (for myself rather than for work) than I have had the opportunity to before. I was upstairs at the Grosvenor Arms pub, a place which I documented, before, during and after it was refurbished. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to approach the exercises so tried several different approaches in my time there. I could conceivably complete the exercises now but I wanted to include some other people for whom the pub was not an ideal space and will be taking some more photographs next week in a different space. I will take a look at the collection I’ve gathered after that and find 10 to suit the two exercises.

I would like to say in response to a comment made elsewhere about getting out and taking photos rather than writing  – I take a lot of photos on a daily basis, personally and for work, and am working more and more lately. Every single time I do I learn something more. I am also noticing patterns and connecting to the themes and ideas for the assignments and projects. Not taking photos is not my problem. For me this course is of no use whatsoever unless I can use it to expand on and explore the ideas that inform my life, work and the way I can find a way to connect previous experience, the photograph as an object in the world, the activity – a form of expression, artistic practise, commercial practise etc.

Here are a few shots from yesterday – they’ve had a quick breeze through Lightroom only at this point and I will no doubt return to edit.

(c)SJField 2017

2017-2

Rosie – Natural light through the window

2017-0142

Alfred – Single strobe

2017-0527

Elisa – Single Strobe

Exercise 1.4

We are asked to request that someone from the first exercise (where we must photograph people we think of as other) to document 1 hour of their lives on their phone.

I have chosen throughout this section to ask, what do we actually mean by other? (I realise this may come across as deliberately obtuse but hopefully my thinking will be clarified when I discuss this with the assignment) Part of that inquiry entailed sending out a survey online (I stuck to Facebook only at this point as this was/is an early venture/experiment and so I tried to contain it slightly.) In the survey I requested that people, if they felt happy to, sent in phone images from one hour of their lives to satisfy this exercise. I did not expect very many to respond to this question as it might have seemed fiddly, taken time and potentially made make people feel uncomfortable. Therefore, I was extremely grateful to those that did respond.

Having looked though the images I have chosen the following from one respondent to include here. I did not choose the most technically proficient  – some were very well composed and nicely edited, or the most revealing (as I don’t wish to expose anyone under these circumstances and people were kind enough to respond so generously). What I have chosen to show though are some that I thought were quite interesting in the way they were made, with some humour, quirkiness and honesty.

In preperation for this exercise, we are asked to look at Wendy Ewald who works collaboratively, handing out cameras to her subjects and working with them to create images. She does this to overcome the problems discussed by Sontag and Rosler, as referred to in course notes, where artists might be accused of making voyeuristic work. Martha Rosler finds ingenious ways to photograph issues without using regonisable individuals in The Bowery, for instance, when she photographed the spots that beggars usually waited and asked for money in front of shops windows and at times I have been influenced by this approach in Calais and Dunkirk.

Whilst I don’t deny that enabling self narration as Ewald does, is in many cases a great way to give people a voice, their own voice, and to respect their individuality and presence in the world, this approach can risk effectively asking people to dig their own graves. So, it’s not a failsafe approach.  There are other downsides probably associated with any photography and meaning, in relation to images minus context. As with everything, the intention behind the making of work, regardless of method, is what matters. Does the image maker/artist/photographer exists in an Hegelien power over the other world? Or have they advanced beyond that and do they exist in a power within world? Perhaps they have one foot in either paradigm? There are many complexities in relation to these questions.

Here are images from one of the respondents – I have used all but one that were sent to me and I have sequenced them. Other than that they are as sent.

Projects: 1.1 & 1.3 test shoot

Last Friday evening I went along to the pub where I will be doing some portraits to satisfy the requirements for the above. I wanted to just get a feel for working in that space on my own rather than at an event. It’s not a perfect space but it is much better than what I have access to elsewhere by a long shot – space wise. And Brendan, the landlord, is very keen for his space to become an artistic community hub – so I am lucky to have access to it.

I am still thinking about how I approach these exercises although I’m fairly certain I will present them together as one exercise and will give my reasons when I do. I may also use the space for one set of the assignment images. (I am shooting the first set  on Friday this week, not at the pub, which feels a bit weird.)

Here are some examples from the other evening. I have no idea which if any, will be included in the end – let’s see.

There are more here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/128989259@N07/albums/72157682755088311

(c) SJField 2017

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