I began this section with a preliminary exercise as a kind ice breaker in which I took photographs of people incognito and this really reaffirmed my discomfort of street photography which I think has become much harder to practise in our modern society that is now always under the gaze of CCTV and the world wide web online threats to identity theft that creates more of a guarded attitude from the public. This has been further born out by my experience trying to get permission from strangers to take photographs of them (Capturing Difference).
I have learned the meaning of the ‘other’ in terms of art and photographic practice. This meaning looks at both the ‘other’ as someone of my own social group as well as people from other groups that may be familiar or strange. The idea of the other is central to many socially concerned photographic projects and studies and I have looked at the works of other photographers such as Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, Humphrey Spender, Sophie Calle, Daniel Meadows, Tina Barney, Larry Sultan, who have explored ideas of the other in pursuit of their own social concerns. I have also read critical thoughts and essays around this subject as well. Susan Sontag, Allan Sekula, Gerry Badger, Mark Sealy are examples of the writers I have read and their critical analyses of the work and subject of ‘other’ in art, some of which questions the true motivations and ethics of photographing and publishing some of the now famous photographs as well as exploring the the idea of ‘other’ in a social context.
I have now created a model release form as part of my future professional and ethical practice.
I have also looked at the difference regarding the photographic practice and the resulting images from photographing inside a group to photographing from outside a group and the potential to add linking photographs from another source to create a narrative.
I have learned that a series of portrait photographs for a specific project requires a link or a common thread that contextualises them all together, such as locations that can be identified as a home, a place of conflict, or places that are in context with the theme of a body of work, such as a photo inside a working man’s club with a photo of working class terraced houses or miners walking to work, etc. I have also adopted certain practices of methodology practiced by artists such as Tina Barney and Larry Sultan such as using a tripod mounted camera and careful consideration to the mise-en-scene.
Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Natasha Caruana, Train Your Gaze, June Street, Richard Avedon, Reneke Dijkstra, Katy Grannan, August Sanders, Alec Soth, Joel Sternfield, Shizuka Yokomizo, Thomas Ruff, Larry Clark, Karen Knorr, Melanie Manchot, Sally Mann, Susan Mieselas, Zed Nelson, Martin Parr, Graham Smith, Notes from the Margin of Spoilt Identity – The Art of Diane Arbus By Gerry Badger (1988), Aspirations – Doncaster, The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey, Porträt 1986-1991, The ‘Other’ in the history of photography, Definition of ‘Other’, Spanish Market 2014, Reading Task – I.D. Photo., Reading Task – The photographic works of Diane Arbus – My thoughts, Reading Task – ‘The Body and the Archive’ by Alan Sekula
Tutor’s Report for assignment 1.
Books read and referred to/Bibliography:
Sontag, 1977; Bull, 2010; Taylor, 1994; Woodward, 2000.