The Unique Nature of The Photograph in [My] Practise
The Informing Contexts module has this stigma attached to it that it's "The Theory" module. Although I have up to now agreed with this term, I am however going to try and think of it as a way to understand my own practise in a deeper way and to be able to talk about photography in a more succinct fashion.
“A photograph evokes a tangible presence of reality” - (Zsarkowski, 1966)
Thinking about how my work relates to Zsarkowski's 5 characteristics of photography, here my work is dealing with the actual as they are images of my subjects familial history. I placed these alongside the portraits I had made. He is also later quick to mention however that the photograph is an image and not the real thing itself. In looking at my work to date I can both agree and disagree with that idea. In one way The image above is a photograph I made of a family photograph. This is a copy of the real thing. On the other hand on face value it is a family photograph that I don't know whether is staged, constructed, is showing these people I don't know in their correct light. This is something that really interests me. Photography should in my opinion leave the viewer to answer a question or to have an afterthought. I don't think all the answers should be visible and put in front of you as the viewer.
The Frame - Zsarkowski
Zsarkowski later talks about the frame. He talks of the frame by way of the framing of the image, the conscious decision you make as a photographer about what should and shouldn't be included in the frame of the negative.
My work has started to look at "the process" of photography. I'm interested in the way the viewer is presented with work. The context in which it can and is recieved and how this changes the work. I decided to frame this image, and then rephotograph it to add a further decision on its frame. For me the frame below was to put this work in the context of the gallery. I waned the viewer to recieve this work as if it had been on the wall of a gallery. This may or may not have been received in the way that I had planned but I think there are still questions left unanswered and this I am beginning to realise is if you like what makes me tick when making work.
Notes on the Contexts in which my work can be consumed
- Collaborative Projects ie Workshops- where the conversation about memory and the family album can take place.
- Gallery Exhibitions- Had I exhibited the project I would have made an emphasis on the physical objects of memory ie The Family Album Photographs themselves which I think relates to Shore’s idea of the flatness of the image. How people relate to a 2D image and on another level how I was creating a 2D image of that relationship
- Editorial Portraiture - The portraits themselves without the accompanying archived objects. This is what I want to focus on moving forward.