Culture and the arts is always an interesting combination. Specifically, photography has evolved along with the cultural and industrial changes of the last 150 years. What was once used as a personal or popular form of photography, has now become a historical documentation process, as mentioned in Liz Well’s Photography: A Critical Introduction, on page 56. How much can we learn from a photograph that we might not have learned had it been a painting or a book?
Using photography to look into the past can help communities learn their social and political history (p57). The context and aesthetics of the image can tell more than what is obvious. Community museums that hold photographs and other historic memorabilia are able to connect the content and gain a clearer representation of history. Can photography help communities learn from their past? Does the art of photography have a place in the local culture and can it be used to build upon the past and nurture the culture of the community for the future?
A view in to a British holiday resort is the focus of Anna Fox’s Resort 1: Butlin’s Bognor Regis . Fox, a British photographer, is reviewed on Americansuburb for her depiction of this family affordable resort through the vibrant images she has captured in large format. Her photographs of British culture have included both work and play.
The images, colorful and with a full bleed, bring me to a place in my own childhood vacations. The culture of a holiday resort is unique as are the families that make the pilgrimage year after year. Peering into these images could take the viewer anywhere, to any holiday destination, any place that seems familiar and nostalgic.
Music and photography go together like peanut butter and jelly. Does anyone ever look at an album cover and think, “WOW! This is art!” My guess is not. Indie music artists are breaking down barriers not only in the music scene, but also with their album cover art.
The image below, by photographer Gregory Crewdson, graces the cover of the album, And then nothing turned itself inside-out by Yo La Tengo, which was released in 2000. The musical style combined with album artwork creates a “cinematic style” that draws on Crewdson’s “scenical and symbolic narrative.”
After listening to the song “Madeline” from the album, the music reminds me of the 1960’s, (also referred to in the blogpost) and the musical groups, The Turtles, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Righteous Brothers. The photograph itself even furthers the emotional feel of the music through the suburban-looking homes and the in-between feeling of neither here nor there. A feeling of suspended time and the notion that there is life in the midst of the unseen is the peanut butter of the image to the jelly of the music.
Carefully, I scheduled my last semester to use both sides of my brain. Weird, I know. But, I strategically wanted to have a few creative courses along with a few research courses. After my first week of classes, I am please to say that my stress level has drastically decreased compared to my fall semester.
Below I have posted a video of an installation that my friend Eric has installed at the Magnan Metz Gallery in New York City. Eric holds an MFA from Montclair State University.
An installation using a technique I’ve developed called “projection negation,” in which painted and digitally projected colors optically blend and negate each other until the viewer obstructs the projector, revealing the painting underneath.
Photography class is not just about taking photographs or learning how to manipulate them. It also includes research and presentations on photographers from the 20th century.
Below is a list of photographers that I am interested in researching and presenting to the class. They are listed in order of preference from 1 to 10.
- Garry Winogrand
- W. Eugene Smith
- Candida Hofer
- Jan Groover
- Sally Mann
- Simon Norfolk
- Walker Evans
- Martin Parr
- Florian Maier-Aichen
- Joel Sternfeld
In the course Photography II that I am taking, I am using the textbook, Photography, A Critical Introduction by Liz Wells. We are asked to post three chapters that we would like to lead a discussion on in class during the semester.
The chapters that I am interested in leading are as follows:
Chapter 2:Surveyors and Surveyed, discusses the place that photography has in documenting history. Making an official record of what has happened or what is happening is an important way for future generations to learn about history, whether it was one year or 100 years ago.
Chapter 3: ‘Sweet it is to scan…’ shares an interesting perspective of photography and its private and public in society. From the personal family portraits to the public galleries, photography is available to anyone, anywhere.
Chapter 5: Spectacles and Illusions photography as a commodity, such as coffee or precious metals. Photography now has the opportunity to persuade targeted markets and say a thousand words with one image. This is a powerful form of communication.