PROJECT 2 - A PHOTO, AN IMAGE, A NARRATIVE
Possible formats: a series of printed photos. a GIF animation, a xeroxed booklet,…
Presentation: Lesson 10
The focus of project 2 will be the photographed image. The assignment consists of using photographs you made yourself or found photographs to construct a narrative; a series of images in a specific order, telling a story. This means not only the selection of images is important but also how you present them: how the narrative is constructed. Investigate the different strategies of narration, linear, with flash backs, …
Apart from photos especially made for the project a selection of photographs made for homework exercises can be used for your narrative as well, or even appropriated found images.
The theme for this project is ‘Walking - The Flaneur’. To use the point of view of the walker, wanderer to discover ones surroundings, while walking at the same time creates an ideal frame for letting your thoughts travel in all directions. Walking as a means to get a little bit lost and to discover new areas, or a series of unpredictable incidents.
This theme should be investigated as well.
Construction: The Usual Suspects, Bryan Singer, 1995
“I think photographs should be provocative and not tell you what you already know. It takes no great powers or magic to reproduce somebody’s face in a photograph. The magic is in seeing people in new ways.”
There are few artists in the history of photography who have managed to have their work and their life converge. Duane Michals has this great distinction: his thoughts, preoccupations, dreams and opinions are an integral part of his photographs, which he largely creates as a form of self-expression. Michals posits a new approach to photography, one that seeks not to document tangible reality but to deal with the metaphysical aspects of life. In so doing he departs from photography as an instrument of visual memory: what cannot be seen, that which remains hidden, becomes the main objective of his search.
Duane Michals is one of the contemporary photographers to have most profoundly rethought the language of photography. An artist who maintains a perfect equilibrium between photography and poetry, from its outset Michals’ work has moved in territories little understood by the photography establishment. In the 1960s he began working with sequences consisting of a number of carefully constructed photographs. With these he managed to go beyond the limits of the individual image, which he took to be inadequate for expressing his inner world. Following this, Michals began to write short texts on the surface of his prints, which provided a counterpart or a context for the images, thus contradicting the idea that a photograph is worth a thousand words.
Gilbert and George
“Art for all” is the credo of Gilbert & George, who met in 1967 while students at St. Martin’s in London. Transcending the modernist tenets of Conceptual, Performance, and Process art, the duo gained critical acclaim for their legendary 1970 performance The Singing Sculpture, in which they established themselves as “living sculptures.” Since, the duo have been known for their cultivated public persona—they appear in public only together, wearing distinctive suits and insisting that their lives and their art are inseparable. Gilbert & George have expanded their practice over the past decades to a variety of media—books, film, painting, postcards, photomontages—their signature style drawing on a Pop sensibility and the appropriation of mass media images. Swinging between the whimsical and the obscene.
The backdrop and inspiration for much of their art is the East End of London where Gilbert & George have lived and created art for nearly 50 years. From street signs to Ginkgo trees, from chewing gum stains on the pavements to vistas of urban grandeur and decay, their work is both an ongoing portrait of a city and a reflection on the human condition. Gilbert & George have confronted many of the fundamental issues of existence: sex, religion, corruption, violence, hope, fear, racial tension, patriotism, addiction and death.
In class exercise
First leaf through the paper a few times, like the paper is a city, landscape you travel to What stands out? The design, is it loud, or more discreet, well considered? More text or more photos? Many advertisements? The headlines, loud or ‘thoughtful’?