I found this archive while I was searching for old photograph to see how they stage the setting, and thought it would be interesting to share with you all
While searching for information on Muybridge I found out about this 1940s magazine Camera Comics. You can download the whole series here:
Issue #4 has a story on Muybridge here:
Waste Land (after T.S. Eliot)
Projects evolve. I began the semester investigating food waste and still life but quickly found myself in the gutter, photographing the flotsam and jetsam that flows into Cambridge sewers. From there I moved to the banks of the Charles, drawn again and again to images of plastic and garbage. More recently I’ve been trying to move away from close up shots to scenes, striving to capture less literal images of waste and decay.
I have always been interested in decay, in how things fall apart. Intimations of death are what give life (and art) poignancy and meaning. Light is meaningless without shadow. Order is both elusive and illusive—as in the “decisive” moment we try to capture in a photograph. My project is an ode to the beauty found decay, which is really the beauty that can be found in change and flux. Water and plastic are two powerful visual metaphors in this exploration, two substances that constantly change shape, yet stay the same—one natural and necessary for life; the other manmade and a fact of modern life. Both gesture towards the ephemeral and the eternal. Death hides in the shadows, in intimations of decay, but perhaps what is even more pernicious is the death that hides in the semblance of order, in the futile impulse to keep things the same.
I plan to pair my photographs with an audio recording. I’d like to read some poetry, perhaps my own, or perhaps a mixture of my own and T.S. Eliot’s, as I flip through my images on the projector. I may also try to introduce elements of soundscape to the recording – water running through sewers, waves lapping at the shore, wind blowing plastic bags.
After Ring Premiere last week I had the chance to take quick portraits with several acquaintances. They are both dancers modern and ballet styles and took serious thought into what poses and presentations to show to the camera. Emma, pictured here spent half an hour arranging my hands for the portrait of me. You can see the difference in expressions – I’m a little strained trying to hold my posed position while she is much more elegant. Plus the lighting gives me shadowed eyes and a serious look. Overall I felt lucky to have the chance to think about posing with people much more experienced than me, especially in a live dance context. Dancers strike poses, but in a flow from one form to another. How can I capture that?
Coming into this semester, I had a very rigid concept of what an image was. I had a notion of the “optimal photo” and that one could define aesthetic appeal quantitatively. After the first week of class, I quickly came to realize that that is not what this class is about and it is not how I should treat my artwork. So instead, I decided to completely ignore what I was actually shooting and focus on the means of the shot. I had this idea that photography simply gives us a new view to reality, that it simply gives us a way to relive the reality of that moment with a new perspective. The perspective in which we view something changes drastically depending on the way we take that shot, so it was my goal to enhance the audience’s perspective of a scene through the use of altered technicalities (use of a mirror, modifying with code, etc…).
A few weeks ago, I made my “artificial mirror,” which is simply a green screen on a 1.5ft x 1.5ft wood square. With ideas I found from Laura Williams, I am deciding to use this green screen to be my artificial mirror. But, with the use of Photoshop, I can put whatever I want in that mirror, giving me a lot of control of my shot. What I will be exploring with this project is how I can manipulate that 1.5×1.5 space to affect the contents of my shot. From what I have done so far, I can use that green space as a portal to another world, fill it with words, make it look like an old photo canvas, or whatever. My goal for the end of the project is to explore ways of filling that space.
Scroll down a bit to see some of the prelim shots.
David Hockney is an artist who produced a lot of photo collages. A lot of his photos are taken from different perspectives, or different times, or possibly from a completely different scene altogether. The result is a cohesive image that has a lot of strange details and remind me a lot of a Picasso painting.
I thought the next photo was interesting because it completely violates the traditional frame of a photo. And as a result of this montage technique you can see many different expressions of each person in the photo.
The way that these images are put together is able to move the viewer through both time and space. Below is a photo that is in the style of David Hockney but isn’t made by him that illustrates this idea.
So I was looking at Orientalist photography from the late 19th early 20th century, and I stumbled upon this very interesting photo of three female doctors from Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania
Heres a link to their story
Lara suggested I look at Nan Goldin’s work. To my surprise, she actually attended my high school! She began photographing in 1968 and soon moved to New York, where she lived with a group of drag queens. Her original work documented their lives, publicizing their private lives. Unlike many of the photographers of the LBGTQ movement, she photographed the queen’s with great respect and love, showing their courage in the face of adversity. Her photographs are often described as snapshot like. Though I do not particularly like the overly saturated look of the colors, the different perspectives and extreme depiction of emotion drew me to her photographs. Here is a limited collection of her work.