Informing Contexts: Week 7. Independent Reflection W/C 09/03/2018

This week I have felt particularly torn between my admiration of Salgado’s images and completely agreeing with Sischy’s criticism in The New Yorker.

In my opinion they are too beautiful to be making a clear statement. As an individual viewer I was drawn in by the beauty and compositions that mimicked fashion shoots in a high end magazine that I failed to read what the true message was. Whereas with Nick Brandt’s images whilst still beautiful had far more impact upon me with regards to the message that they were trying to convey.

This brings me to think in reference to my own practice. I worry that I may be more on the Salgado side of the spectrum choosing aesthetics over message, I would therefore also fall victim to the criticisms Sischy had “Beauty is a call to admiration, not to action” (Sischy 1991, P.22)

I think one thing that I can take from this is that I am not trying to make a call to action, though I would like an emotional reaction from the viewers of my images.

I found a quote this week by Morley Baer:

“Quit trying to find beautiful objects to photograph. Find the ordinary objects so you can transform it by photographing it.” – Morley Baer (1916-1995)

I felt that this was really appropriate to my work in that I am using inanimate objects, the everyday, the banal. It gave me some inspiration.

It also led me to look further into his work, I’m not really sure how I haven’t come across him before since two of his close associates were Edward Weston and Ansel Adams! Who have shown me so much about photography.

Looking at Baer’s work the way he captures light over his landscapes is breathtaking ( and makes me determined to master the lighting issues that I am having with my work.

I don’t want people to be desensitised from my images or for that matter me to be desensitised from my objects when creating my images.

Through my project work this week I found inspiration from music. A song called I’m in here by Sia

Sia’s Lyric video:

The lyrics in this song really spoke to me in how I would like my images to speak. The lyrics “I’m in here. Can anybody see me?” hit the nail on the head for me – can everyone see the life-cycle of the soul that I am asking them to discover. This really helped me put together some images this week.

I focused on just one life event this week, the occurrence of feeling broken and hurting from the soul. Feed back was mixed but it is going to be a developmental process. Entwining these images with Sia’s song, I’m asking can you see the soul that is hurting here?

With some of the work that we have covered this week it brings me to the conclusion that there is a huge difference between telling a story and having a message. With my work I am taking the role of storyteller my motives at this time do not stretch beyond this.

In someways perhaps through the use of Wabi Sabi in which part of the theory is impermanence, this could perhaps be taken further with the impermanence being extinction or life limiting conditions. Perhaps this is something to think about in the future.


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