2008. október 23., csütörtök

The Potential of Photography and the Gallery Space


Looking through a book called “Art Now” I came to a page about Andreas Gursky, whose work I’ve always enjoyed, and part of the text really stood out; this idea that he ‘draws attention to the camera itself, which is still able to capture the individual while the bare eye has long failed to do so.’ This is what I was concerned with in Budapest, the idea that we do not notice these everyday peculiarities or fragments of beauty. There is a photograph Gursky took of a valley in which he did not notice a group of hikers until he was printing the photograph. The power of realist art is getting us to notice these things the human eye often fails to. To condense this idea; realist art is the utilisation of composition, to frame what is already there in order to shine light on its beauty.


In my work last year there was a lot of focus on art being situated outside the gallery walls, that the gallery should not be an exclusive space, it should be out in the environment, however my work this year is to be created specifically for presentation at the degree show and as such this will affect the way in which I present my ideas and findings. Because my work this year is being created for a show I am forced to explore the potential of the gallery space and what I can do with representational forms. In an essay I wrote entitled ‘The Fiction of the Holiday Photographer’ I questioned photography’s ability to capture beauty, in response to this and to my previous visual project I want to see just how close photography can take us to beauty. There is a paradox here – on the one hand I have suggested that we need beauty to be framed, composed, pointed out to us; yet on the other hand I have suggested that representational forms cannot do this. I am put in a situation where I am prohibited by the fact that my work must be presented in a gallery space, but at the same time this is the challenge, to explore the potential of photography.


At the moment I have this vision;


Three identical television screens (or monitors of some description) showing the same composition, but presented in different ways.


The first acts as a light box, illuminating a still image printed on acetate.


The second is a light box as well, but the photograph has been taken on a long exposure so there is some suggestion of movement.


The third is the composition filmed with no camera movement.


All the images are the exact same composition, taken on the same tripod and, as much as possible, in the same space of time.


This is just a rough idea for the exploration of the form at the minute, something I can use as a starting point.

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