‘VOJT’ Photography Proposal
‘“Silence is of the gods; only monkeys chatter.” ― Buster Keaton’ (Goodreads, 2014)
Everything in life follows a cycle that despite its unique qualities, it is part of a routine that has to maintain order to fulfill its existence. The act of photography itself profoundly evaluates such repetition into the process it takes to attain a photo. The method finds no sense of abstraction, but it follows a methodology that keeps on looping similar to the passing days. The photo itself takes a life of its own and eventually finds its end in order to allow change and new forms to be undertaken. (Barthes, 1977)
I want to explore the vacant space. The notion of waking up feeling alienated to such space.
Work and Focus
I will be exploring an environment that I find myself within. It is a place where I have never been and I would like to highlight the sense of alienation and detachment that I find myself within. There is no connection with me in this place. It is me an observer of something that is foreign for me.
Similar to a mirror facing another mirror I would like to expose this relation that I am experiencing. Through such an evaluation I will understand further this amplified connection within such an environment. Upon doing this I will try to establish the roots of such experience.
Although the physical photo will foreshadow a direct, objective view of what I experience every day, the intellectual depth of such work will be fully immersed within artistic intellectual. The experience and detachment that the viewer will experience will be mutually connected with this situation. The regularity and mechanical anatomy of such work will further justify the sense of cold and numbness that it is foreseen every day.
Influential visual artists and photographers that further sustained such a thought were Christian Boltanski, Tehching Hsieh, Candida Hofer, Edward Burtynaky, Andreas Gursky, William Eggleston, Andreas Gefeller, Shirin Neshat, Walter Niedermayr and Thomas Ruff.
As found in the photographic analysis of Andreas Gursky outlines the numbness and the mass structure of any organisation or traditions in different societies and cultures. Distant and detached, Gursky has the ability to capture a mass structure that is observed as objective element to both the viewer and the photographer. No kind of individualism can be found; his work conveys mass structure of human anatomy or production within architecture scenes. The huge amount of void and the insignificance of all this obliteration could be connected to the way society is developing in this contemporary lifestyle. Nothing is tangible and everything is obliterated within something that has no sensitivity. Another sense of alienation can be analysed in the empty scenes that Edward Burtynsky photographs. Through his work he brings out the significance that the individuality has in today’s life; were environmental and political shape up an outcome that individuals have to see and unfortunately as his photographs, they have no power on.
“These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.” (Burtynsky, anon)
Evaluating work such as Shirin Neshat, ‘Women without men’ (2009), I could acknowledge how deeply immersed is the force of regularity, and how impossible to neglect its effect on us. As individuals try to come up with an ideology that can never change the truth that everyone has to face. This can be seen in clear terms in Christian Boltanski, ’The lottery of life’, were everyone is a number that lives and dies.
Deadpan values an image, that “acts [as a] fact-stating mode” (Cotton, 2004, p88), and thus the void it provides is the result of it. The saturated hues together with the scenario that one is placed in, plays a vital role in such a formula. As clearly seen in Takashi Homma‘s works, the environment that the subject is placed in takes a secondary significance to the one of the value and meaning it undermines. Takashi photos are taken from an angle that brings out the vacant and bare environment without any hint of human connection (Cotton, 2004, p88).
The monotone works of Lewis Baltz unveil a developed urbanized environment; were clean aesthetic shapes the vernacular image to the full. Through the employment of geometric linearity and light and shade he is able to bring out the flat and impactful value to his aesthetic.
This ideological approach of geometric proportions can be foreseen again in interior photographs of ‘Candida Hofer’. Where she is able to come up with a clean balance of light and perspective, upon which she creates a vision that, brings out stillness and “a deadening experience” (Cotton, 2004, p92). Similar to Bernd and Hillar Becher, Candida Hofer has the ability to evaluate “spaces” and upon these areas she brings out a whole “typolog[ical]” analysis (Bright, 2005,p114). As Lana Del Ray famous album ‘Born to Die’ highlights an aesthetic that bring out parallel notions to the work that Candida Hofer is able to produce.
Observing life and the way it interacts with humanity, one can root a sense of insignificance. The community at large deeply under values the presence of individuals in the way they mass produce and reproduce.
“The work of punching the clock includes but is not limited to just a 9 to 5 work day; it is 24/7 for a year, it becomes life itself. It is a gesture of repetition, a Sisyphean absurdity.” (Forrest, 2014) The individuality of something lost all the uniqueness and what individuals are most of the time presented with is the sheer reality in everything they do. As deeply evaluated by Tehching Hsieh in one of his great works ‘Time Clock Piece’- 1981; a performance journey, punching an industrial clock to bring out the idea of repetition and the concept of bland indifferent reality into perspective. (BondiGeek, 2013)
Time and Location
This work will be evaluated through a period of seven weeks. The photo process commenced from the 30th September – 18th November 2014. All work will be tested and finally processed and will be presented in a form that will highlight fully the approach that I would like my viewers to perceive.
The place of such a typology will take place within the environment I reside. Such an environment has no connection with me and thus I want to employ such a place for the layout of my work. It is the continuous reminder that there is no emotion to it as many came before and others will come. It is a cycle that has no sense of attachment.
In my current exploration I am focusing on an Anatomy of work that brings out the sense of alienation. Keeping the concept within the same parallels I want to challenge and produce a body of work that will enable the viewer to look deeper into the concept that I am putting forward. Instead of keep on producing a face factual aesthetic I want to convey a sense of abstraction and deeper intellectual intake for a deeper conceptual acknowledgment of the work that I am producing.
Print and Retouch
All prints will be printed in a monochrome tint. The black and white effect unveils the objective approach further. The prints will present in a manner that the viewer will get overwhelmed in looking for and seeing the same approach throughout the whole typographic analysis. Sound and ambiance will be documented and established with the final work.
Looking through different galleries both nationally and international, I could see how such type of work could be well presented within some gallery’s whereas some galleries have a concept based ideology that will not fit properly with such a work. Rather then producing a work to a direct focus market I shall refer to this work within a conceptual point of interest. Such work will not be limited to a certain age or groups but it will be open to anyone who has the ability to understand and connect with the work that I will be presenting.
Further justification of these pictures will be recorded on the journal.
Camera angle and the manner I took these pictures justifies the exploration of me and the environment I surround myself in. Through such trails I was directed towards a place that I have focus and directed my notion on.
Current Working Process
Impressions Gallery in Bradford City Centre- evaluates work and interesting mass of work that fit quit well with what I would like to share.
Another interesting Gallery that shares values that I my work would work for is the gallery in Toronto G44. This photography ambience stresses on the concept of the work, where it is directed towards an intellectual environment rather for a market wise environment.
Another interesting space that such a work will find way would be the Blitz gallery, Valletta Malta.
It is a place where I could bring out my challenging concept to life.
Alexandra Pace (pending)
Atwood, M. (1986). The handmaid’s tale (1st ed., p. 40). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Barthes, R. (1977). The death of the author. Image, music, text, 145.
BondiGeek, B. (2013). Das Platforms / Issue 26 / Indifference and repetition: An interview with Tehching Hsieh. [online] Dasplatforms.com. Available at:http://www.dasplatforms.com/magazines/issue-26/indifference-and-repetition-an-interview-with-tehching-hsieh [Accessed 25 September. 2014].
Bright, S. (2005). Art photography now. 1st ed. New York: Aperture.
Burtynsky, E. (2014). Edward Burtynsky – Artist Statement. [online] Edwardburtynsky.com. Available at: http://www.edwardburtynsky.com/site_contents/About/introAbout.html [Accessed 27 September. 2014].
Cotton, C. (2004). The photograph as contemporary art. 1st ed. London ; New York, NY: Thames & Hudson.
Forrest, N. (2014). INTERVIEW: Tehching Hsieh on His “Time Clock Piece” at Carriageworks, Sydney | Artinfo. [online] Artinfo. Available at:http://au.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/1037011/interview-tehching-hsieh-on-his-time-clock-piece-at [Accessed 27 September. 2014].
Goodreads, (2014). a quote by Buster Keaton. [online] Available at:http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/450665-silence-is-of-the-gods-only-monkeys-chatter[Accessed 27 September. 2014].
Martini, F., Welch, K., & Martini, F. (2004). Applications manual to accompany Fundamentals of anatomy & physiology, 6th edition (1st ed., p. 748). San Francisco, Calif.: Benjamin Cummings.
Andreas Gursky : https://artsy.net/artist/andreas-gursky
Edward Burtynsky: http://www.edwardburtynsky.com/
Takashi Homma: http://aperture.org/shop/takashi-homma-tokyo-book
Lewis Baltz : http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/tateshots-lewis-baltz
Candida Hofer: http://www.artnet.com/artists/candida-h%C3%B6fer/
Tehching Hsieh: http://www.tehchinghsieh.com/
Christian Boltanski: http://www.christian-boltanski.com/
Andreas Gefeller: http://www.andreasgefeller.com/
Shirin Neshat: http://womenwithoutmen.blog.indiepixfilms.com/
Walter Niedermayr: http://www.nordenhake.com/php/artist.php?RefID=15