Assignment 2 – feedback and reflection

I had my video tutorial on Friday for assignment 2, and overall it seemed to be ok. Here is the feedback, along with my response to it.

holly woodward_assn_2_DRAFT_report_dic(002)v1

It is always interesting to read feedback which was written prior to a tutorial, after we have talked, as frequently it seems we are not getting the same impressions of the conversation. I came away from the video tutorial feeling that I needed to step away from experimental work and to start thinking about building meaning into my assignments, but this doesn’t seem to be what my tutor was suggesting at all. She urges me to continue experimenting and researching photographers and artists who look at materiality and to explore how ‘making’ and rephotography can add extra meaning to digital culture. She also again suggested I consider how scalability could be applied to my work, and how different surfaces would affect the results. As it happens I am interested in surfaces at present, and particularly using transparent acetates to print on, which are then given different backings.

Alongside the two photographers she suggested, Alix Marie and Dafna Talmor, we also talked about looking at the work of Alexandra Lethbridge, Max Houghton, Stephen Gill’s Best Before End, Ester Teichmann and Ellen Carey, so I include a quick tour around their oeuvres here as a marker for the future.

Alexandra Lethbridge – In this interview, she talks about how important the layers and translucent elements of the work are to her, and that they dictated how the book for The Meteorite Hunters was made (handbound Japanese style). I was interested to learn that much of her collaged work is physically layered, not digital, (and that this gives it a level of integrity which digital layers lacks – my thoughts). Her work is also appealing because she uses different images together to make a more informative and rounded study of her subject.

Alix Marie – Marie’s work is semi-sculptural and she frequently uses her own body as the canvas. She cuts, crumples and folds images for display, and also plays with the size. One of the most startling pieces shows elements of her body, at greatly increased scale, draped over a pole like pieces of washing. She is interested in the Gaze, scopophilia, and how the photograph can become sculpture.

Dafna Talmor – Talmor takes negatives from her own collection of family images, and cuts and resplices them to make new, impossible landscapes that are somehow more than the originals.  They are representations of memory and idealistic recall.

Max Houghton – I haven’t been able to find a website for her, and was unaware that she makes work as well as lecturing, so this is something to look into later.

Stephen Gill – There’s a helpful YouTube video here where Gill describes what he is doing in Best Before End, and how he is trying to embed the subject within the image via the back door, which is a very useful description. He talks about collaborating with a place, and ceding some control of the process to the location. The element of chance is important.

Esther Teichmann – I have looked at her work before here, and what I said in that post still applies, about the fascination of layering up ideas through a series of work so that the whole is more than the sum of the parts.

Ellen Carey – I can’t recall who suggested I look at Ellen Carey’s work, but I am glad that they did. She bills herself as an experimental photographer, and tries all sorts of techniques, often on analogue images and Polaroids, with a strong bent towards the process. Her series Photography Degree Zero looks at similar themes to my recent A2 work, but the results are totally different. Interestingly, and before I found her work, fellow student Kate and I were experimenting with taking Polaroids apart and then reintegrating them digitally, with some fascinating results, and I will most probably be continuing with these experiments going forward. Here are a few of the recent ones, which like my A2 images, in which the subject of the image is the process, not the photographed picture, and in which re-photographing plays an important role.

This has been very useful, as it has crystallised a few concepts that have been circling around in my head, such as the process of making as a subject, multiple views of a subject to build a more layered story, impossible landscapes and the use of translucency and gaps to add meaning.

Now, onwards to Assignment 3, which is an essay.

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