2008. november 6., csütörtök

Lecture and Tutorial with Regina Sulskyte

The lecture was concerned a lot with the suppression of art during the post-war Soviet occupation of Lithuania. I found that when looking at images of a happy Soviet state in the context that there was a photographic reality being kept from the public eye, one begins to find a certain eerie quality, and exaggerated happiness in certain images. This image by Antanas Sutkus, for example, becomes quite unsettling, more so than perhaps it already is. The shift towards minimalism as Lithuanian photography approached the 1990s was what interested me particularly. This image by Vytautas Balčytis is made intriguing by the sense of a location with little identity. An image which is somewhere and nowhere at the same time, but is made peculiar and interesting by the strange luminous congregation of light in the centre. Later in my tutorial it was concluded that this is what is lacking in my images. It is inescapable the fact that a camera works by opening a shutter for a few fractions of a second, as such this needs to be reflected in the image, i.e. the photo should be as unique as possible. In the image below, for example, I have tried to condense the opposition of natural and man made elements, and perhaps this is achieved, but I could go to this place tomorrow and take the same photograph. There is nothing human about the image, something as slight as a bird flying past or a piece of paper on the wind gives the image a place in the world. I have noted in previous tutorials the inability to escape this opposition, or perhaps even intertwining, of man-made and natural elements as long as I am in a suburban city like Norwich, and as such this is something I would like to play up to in my photography, but I need a suggestion of humanity. This image for example was praised for the ability of the composition to create some interesting geometric shapes and lead the eye towards the tower block, which of course contain people and gives the location a place in the world. Although I want my photographs to have their location shrouded, they must be rooted in this world and associated with the human. This brings in a sense of narrative as well. The images below for example; the first is spoilt somewhat by the half-inclusion of the sign on the right hand side, but is improved when this is excluded in the image below it and replaced by a man. By introducing a person in the frame we are able to ask questions about where he is going, drawing our attention to composition, but also creating space to construct a narrative as a viewer.

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