“Picturing the Body Assignment:
Alongside the weekly sketchbook tasks, you should produce a single, lens based exhibition-ready ‘photographic piece’.
Themes contemplated within the lecture series should be addressed within your work, and the same rigour applied to the final product.* In this regard it should be a finely crafted exhibition submission, with great care being paid to its artisanal qualities.
A “Piece” may be interpreted as a single frame, or in it’s broader sense as a collection of images (still or moving) that form a coherent narrative. It should be primarily lens based, though you should not be fettered by traditional interpretations of photographic practice and instead should look to challenge them.
The submission must exist both as a singularly unique and finely crafted physical object, as well as being infinitely replicable and readily communicable in a digital form. The student should explore and develop aspects of their final piece that exploit the full gamut of opportunities available in both the physical and virtual environments.**
In short, you are to submit to an exhibition entitled “Picturing the Body”. This exhibition will be both physical and virtual – your work should inhabit and challenge the viewer’s experience in both environments.
* ‘Why’ is more important than ‘How’ – especially when considering the effects of your work on the viewer (you can seduce them with artifice, but why? What was your motive?)
** In other words – don’t make a picture, and then just stick a virtual version on a web gallery. “
I want to start by looking at my strongest tasks from lectures to see if I would like to expand on any of these themes…
I received positive feedback for the “Nude vs Naked Task…
Here are a few of the comments…
Successful image was discussed to be the one of myself, as the double exposure is less awkward and has something more to it compared to the couple photograph
- Perhaps the couple photograph wasn’t as confident as it was intended
- I thought about working on this and expanding it for exhibition as I am proud of the self nude image
- The multiple exposures give the image depth and engages the viewer, the viewer wants to read into it and ask why…
- Technique needs a little bit of work, but not a alot
- Washed out image looks great, however maybe a little more skin tone, and dull down the boldness of the hair
- Could experiment with other people as well, in the same style
For ” The Tribe” task I also received positive feedback for my images…
Here are a few of the comments and thoughts that I felt I could build upon for my final idea…
- Stronger image… Shower. The shower has more of a voyeuristic approach.
- Extending the images… suggested a tighter crop, (shower) seeing less, becomes more abstract. Maybe we don’t need to see the shower itself.
- If I was to expand these into a series, contemplating extending the shower idea. Asking people if I could come into their private space. If the relationship isn’t there and to compare the difference. If I was to make people more comfortable I could create images almost like paintings. A less confrontational approach like Dagmar Keller’s imagery (“Passengers”), using the abstract painterly effects.
by Dagmar Keller (click to see link)
I am drawn to Dagmar Keller’s and Martin Wittwer’s “Passengers”, the painterly feel is enchanting.
‘“Passengers” is the result of an observation Dagmar Keller and Martin Wittwer made at night at a bus station while travelling through Poland.
For a moment, the passengers on an old bus, obscured behind stained, ice-covered windows, in the pale light of the bus station had the appearance of figures in a painting. Travellers, fallen out of time. Tired, lost in thought, their faces drawn by sadness or lit up with joy – so close and yet distanced behind the glass. Dagmar Keller and Martin Wittwer have preserved those quiet, fleeting moments in their series “Passengers”.’
(Spector Books, autumn program 2013)
“Passengers was published by Spector Books in 2013, and is available at selected book stores, e.g. Motto Berlin. Aspecial edition of 10 copies with 2 Pigment Inkjet Prints is availabe at Spector Books.” (http://www.actualcolorsmayvary.com/2013/12/dagmar-keller-martin-wittwer-passengers/)
Passenger was on display at the lookout Gallery in Warsaw (Adam Mazur), it was on display until Dec 21st, 2013.
This has inspired me through style. I hope that my images will also have a painterly feel to them. The frost on the glass is particularly enchanting; the patterns add to the striking images. Maybe I could look into water pattern on the glass of the shower screen.
Bill Viola is internationally renowned for his outstanding video and sound installations. The use of video and sound immerses the viewer into the environment that Bill Viola has created.
The Crossing by Bill Viola, 1996
This GIF has inspired me to look into creating a GIF for my digital response.
by Jenny Saville
Jenny Saville’s work looks at the impact and weight of the skin. She presses her body against glass and then paint from the photographs taken. This has inspired my idea of touch and pressure on objects. Perhaps I could show the human form pushed against the shower screen as you rest against the glass. The tones of her paintings are beautiful, the yellow and green/blue tones complement each other. I shall look back at Saville’s work when I am editing and choosing my final images, perhaps I can use the idea of tones to bring my images together in a set.
On Danielle Noble’s Blog there is a “Poleroid Book” mentioned with similar images to Jenny Saville, which I found interesting.
These images show people lying on glass which is similar to Jenny Saville’s work. I found these interesting as they show more of a narrative. Saville’s work is about shape and form of the human body, whereas these images have multiple people and props. For example the first image below shows a couple with what could be a bed sheet. The next image shows a female with what could be a dancing skirt. I am drawn to them as the viewer can read into them and create a story in their head.
inspiration form poloroid
inspiration from poloroid
(by Arjan Benning)
I came across Arjan Benning’s work and was captured by his strange idea of using skin to create a font, called “Huidletters”. This work looks at recreating / reshaping the skin using pegs on the skin. This skin manipulation was a new way of looking at touch. Perhaps I could look at forceful touch, the idea of people grasping and clamping their skin in their hands.
Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”:
“Psycho” is a world wide famous, 1960, American horror directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Watching this scene back over surprised me how sensual and sexual the shower scene really was for the 1960’s cinema. The viewer can immerse themselves in this clip, as the senses are illustrated clearly. Perhaps I will use similar effects for my work, soundscapes… or focusing on the touch of water on naked skin. The use of the Shower curtain and shadow lead me on to look at camera-less photography…
Jennifer Parks cameraless photography
by Jennifer Parks
Camera-less photography; this concept/idea has always inspired me. The shadow formed by the human form creates a wonderful shape by blocking the light to the paper. This displays shape and form of the human body in a beautiful and unique way. Giving an idea of the naked body (shape and form) however not fully showing it. Same idea as I have, just in a different style, I also want to show shape and form of the naked body, however masking it slightly from view.
Floris Neususs also uses cameraless photography…
by Floris Neususs
by Floris Neususs
This work is similar as it uses the same effect to create it, however, here the artist has captured more depth compared to Jennifer Parks. Touch is important in my work as well, this is why I was drawn to looking at camera-less photography as it is the physical touch that blocks the light from the light sensitive paper. I want to explore the push of the glass against skin and how this contact effects the body and therefore the image I take.
Alyssa Monks- Photo Realism
(by Alyssa Monks)
Above is a selection of Alyssa Monk’s work. The images illustrate the water flowing over the shape of the body, however, also abstracting it, the water marks on the glass, the mist, all hiding the body from clear sight. I wish to use this idea in my own work, to wipe away some of the water marks and mist to reveal parts of the body or face. Important features to focus on will be the glass, steam, water, and flesh.
(by Michael Wolf)
Michael Wolf looks at the weight and pressure of our skin forced against the glass of windows whilst on public transport. I think this work shares similarities to Dagmar Keller and Martin Wittwer’s “Passengers” project. The identity of the subject in these works are not the first thing that the viewer looks at. The viewer first looks at the environment of the subject, in “Passengers” this is the screen that is misted and frosted over, and in Michael Wolf’s work it is the touch and pressure of the body parts of the subjects against the glass windows. This has inspired me as I want to look at the watermarks, mist and touch of the subject on the shower screen. When I shoot my photographs I shall keep these works in mind, using the style to inspire mine.
by Richard Cumming
by Richard Cumming
Having looked at these for another task they have inspired the idea of abstract and covering the naked body, whilst still revealing its form. I shall keep this in mind whilst concealing the body behind mist and watermarks on the shower screen, I shall also concentrate on how I can reveal its form.
This shadow reminds me of cameraless photography, which is why it caught my eye. The shape and form is shown clearly in the water, as well as its shadow forms; abstract and beautiful underneath.
inspirational image: Water Shadow
This work focuses of many themes that I am also inspired by…water…abstract…shape…and form.
Looking through other picboder’s work I came across one of the other years work that was a self portrait…
I saw similarities to my work, so decided to show this. The watermarks on the shower cover the subject with a screen of droplets patterns; the subject can be seen, yet is still being concealed from sight in some way.
by Milissa Stapleton
How will my weekly tasks help with my final idea/shoot:
- Week 1 – Self-Portrait:
- I now understand how it feels to be infront of the camera myself. This means that I can understand how my subjects may feel, and be able to relax them.
- Week 2 – The Tribe
- The Tribe task allowed us to photograph people we were already intimate with, this gave me confidence as they were relaxed around me and I was relaxed around them. I can work on this feeling when photographing others now, and relax them, and keep calm and relaxed myself.
- Strong Task response
- Week 3 – Nude vs Naked
- Nude vs Naked also had a strong task response, I could perhaps use the idea of the abstract. This idea may also calm my models if I explain that the images will be unidentifiable and abstract. I shall talk to my subjects and be calm myself which will hopefully calm and distract them from the camera.
- Week 4 – Negotiation
- For the negotiation we really had to break the idea of feeling awkward of shy. If I am to be photographing people whilst they feel vulnerable I shall have to use my skills from this task to talk to them, explain, and relax them. I shall show my model images as we go along so that they trust me and understand my objectives.
- Week 5 – Empowerment
- I shall talk to my models as we go and ask them if their is anyway that they wish to be photographed
- If they have any area of their body they are particulary proud of and want to show off
- I shall also ask if there is anything that they wish me not to photograph and don’t feel comfortable with
- Comfort and Trust is important
- If I am calm then so will my model, I shall talk to them and distract them. I shall show them images that will relax them and make them trust me as they realise my objectives.
Equipment list before shooting begins…
- Equipment list before shooting begins…
- Camera for shooting
- Camera for video
- Tripod for Video Camera
- Edirol for sound recording
- Laptop with past Tasks on to show models, so that they understand my intentions
I hope to use both DSLR cameras, Canon 5DII for video, and Film camera Mamiya
I have planned a few shoot days so that I know when I am shooting and don’t run out of time.
I have organised a few models so that I have a variety of people.
Second shoot for my final piece:
I did this on the Mamiya 7… Having loaded my colour film I was disappointed with the focal length as I couldn’t get close to my subject like I wanted to. I should have realised this before hand and booked out the Mamiya RB, however, having shot my film on this camera I was disappointed with the images that I expected to have taken (due to not being able to get very close to my subject). As the film I was using was out of date and an experiment anyway I decided not to waste my money on developing it. I feel that this was a useful lesson to learn and to always remember to use a camera that is relevant for the job in hand.
Chosen Image from shoot:
by Jenny Stonely
This image shows the touch of my subjects against the shower screen, this is similar to Michael Wolf’s work on public transport. I also feel that Dagmar Keller and Martin Wittwer’s “Passengers” project shares similarities. I kept these works in mind as I shot my photographs, this has allowed me to use similar touch positions that are strong photographically. The natural lighting I used from the window is used for a similar to the effect of lighting used in “Passengers”, I have used the lighting to highlight the watermarks, as did Keller and Wittwer in “Passengers”. Although I have used a different light source; “Passengers uses street lights, and I am using natural light, I feel that the overall effect is similar. In the following photo-shoots I have planned I have decided to shoot water droplets on sections of my subjects body, to show how the water collects and flows over the human from.
More shoots for my final piece:
I was inspired by Alyssa Monk’s photorealism paintings, to wipe away the fog on the glass to show part of my subject. I felt this was linked to my work as it links to touch/senses. I feel the portraits where the subject has wiped the mist away are strong images, but perhaps they don’t link with my senses on the shape and form theme…
I have a wide choice of images now and feel that I have reached a point where I can start collecting sets together that work well.
Start of selection of final images: pdf (click here)
Thoughts about output…
-Book project?, Print?
-Exhibition Viewing, a book could get lost within the rest of the exhibition, print of sort will suit
-Large or small? not massively huge as exhibition limited to size per person
Below is an image that shows a possible way to frame many photographs. This has inspired me to use many of my images all on one piece, however, I al thinking of using photo-montage/collage effects rather than frames. The multiple sizing makes the viewer look at each image individually.
example of framing sourced from internet
The multiple framing used here in exhibition of Barry McGee’s work also makes the viewer look at each individual frame. The viewer looks and ponders on the work for longer as it doesn’t appear as one image but a collection.
by Barry McGee at the Berkeley Art Museum
by Barry McGee (click here to see link)
David Hockney is famous for his photo-montage images. I have decided to look at these for inspiration as they use multiple images but within one piece.
by David Hockney
by David Hockney
I am thinking about displaying my work on a Lightbox. Having visited many of the Wildlife Photographer of the year exhibitions in London, I have always been interested in Lightbox’s. The use of Lightbox prints at the Wildlife Photographer of the year exhibition makes the room come to life. Each image has come to life in-front of the viewer, every detail in the image is more obvious, highlighting everything in the image.
Wildlife photographer of the year exhibition
Dagmar Keller’s and Martin Wittwer’s decided to display “Passengers” as print on the wall. However I imagine my work as prints displayed on a lightbox. This means that all the subtle colours will be shown, and the light will highlight all the watermarks and droplets.
by Dagmar Keller and Martin Wittwer
I have looked into colour film transparencies and digital options for light box display.
I have decided on a digital file print onto duratrans. Below is a price list that I have found.
Artisan and Artifact lecture questions:
1) What are my desired outcomes?
I wish to create a striking physical piece, and a digital response that immerses the viewer in the senses
2) What am I looking to achieve by the production of this artifact?
I want to achieve an exhibition piece that draws peoples time and attention. I want to show the beauty of the human form in such a normal everyday situation of the shower. I want to shows nudes in the shower, as I think people will be able to connect to this idea as everyone has a similar experience whilst washing.
3) How can my method of presentation help me accomplish this?
The method of presentation can highlight the human form, and to illustrate the senses that we feel whilst in the shower or just afterwards.
4) Who do I want to experience the artifact?
I hope that many different type of people will view my work at the exhibition, as I feel that my work will appeal to all. Everybody has a similar experience of touch and other senses in the shower/bath. I also hope that my digital work will be viewed on my blog; I expect that this will be viewed by my online followers or fans of the exhibition hoping to find more on #picbod.
5) How can I best reach these people?
Our exhibition is in Leamington therefore we have advertised there, however I have also invited all my models and asked them to bring friends. I hope that this will bring people who are interested in the Art and Design world as we have invited all the media students, Leamington college student, Leamington Locals (Art and Design culturally rich area), and my chosen models and friends. I hope this will bring a broad variety of people. I have also published my work online for my online followers, and will publish a link on social media so that people who know me can see my photography projects and hopefully spread the word of #picbod.
6) When do I want them to experience it?
I would like people to first experience my work on opening night of our exhibition, my work will always be well lit as it is displayed on a Lightbox. I also hope that my online work will be viewed continually, I shall spread the #picbod word and hope that future years may use my work as inspiration.
7) What are my resources?
As this is an exhibition and I want my work to be at a professional standard I put money aside for printing and exhibition. My digital work should not cost as I am using a WordPress blog and social media to spread the word is free. I have spoken to the technicians at University and they have kindly agreed that I can use the Lightbox from Uni for my exhibition. I plan to print from the University Print Bureau as I have always been happy with the quality they print at (reliable).
8) How can I most affectively use them?
I shall use the resources given to me, such as social media and my blog. I shall also use the University resources, such as the print bureau the technicians advice. We have advertised our exhibition in Leamington and Coventry using flyers, and I have also spread the word of #picbod throughout my friends, and used social media sites also.
Choice of images:
How to choose a set of images…
Below are images that I was trying to decide whether to use or not. I believe they are strong portraits, and I am very attached to them as I feel they are striking. However, I realise that the set of images is stronger without them. My project is about touch, senses, and the shape and form of the human body; these images do not illustrate this, therefore muddy the narrative. I have therefore chosen not to include them.
Here are the selected images without the portraits included…
I feel this is a stronger collection of images due to the re-selection.
Possible display options…
I wanted to try the black and white image below… as I am exploring shape and form, black and white can often bring out the shapes in images. However, having produced this image below I prefer the colour, as I feel the muted yellows and blues (inspired by Jenny Saville’s use of tone) compliment each other.
I thought about a landscape option, however when creating this in photoshop I didn’t like the aesthetics, I feel this reads better as a portrait. The portrait gives the piece the idea of the human bodies length.
Possible display option: however, to much white space in certain areas, needs randomising a little
This needs a few tweaks with the spacing of images. I have decided to use this random photo-montage to display my work as it forces the viewer to contemplate each image, as they are all different.
by Jenny Stonely
To be displayed on a light box at Althorpe Studio exhibition
A Temporary Sense
‘A Temporary Sense’ came from a previous task of ‘My Tribe’ the idea developed to observing shape and form of others bodies. The shower illustrates the sense of touch, the water trickling down your body, the screen pressed on your skin. Each subject is anonymous, their identity is unknown; everyone shares a similar experience of the senses in the shower. Here their bodies are on show, yet distanced by the glass shield and anonymity. Capturing these fleeting moments of the senses on the human body.