The pairing of images has brought up issues regarding what is the most prominent quality of the pairings as a single image; the compositional aspects or the narrative aspects and is it important for both to be present? The short answer in regards to the latter question is yes. In terms of the development of my work, which has thus far been largely dependant economic use of elements to imply narrative, it would be a shame to lose this quality.
However in pairings such as this with such an overwhelming similarity in the upside-down V shapes, it is hard to see past the compositional similarities and find any further dialogue between the images in terms of narrative. There is a degree to which this may only be the case because I have spent so much time looking at the images on their own and suddenly placing them in this context changes the relationship I have with the image.
There are other images such as these which I feel have benefited from being paired. I was never particularly gripped by the left-hand image, but here there is a strong dialogue caused by over-running horizontal lines and the square shapes. In this instance, to refer once more to Barthes, it is the compositional similarities which grab our attention at this studium level, but then this relationship between the square shapes is lighter than the strong upside-down V shapes in the first image and our curiosity moves from form to content and we look at the image in terms of narrative, this further level of intrigue providing Barthes’ punctum.
What makes a good pairing then is the length of pauses between the form and content. In the ideal instance the form has the same weighting as a comma, allowing us to move on to the content which ends with a full-stop, where we can then absorb the image as a whole. In pairings with such an overwhelming sense of formal similarities, we are faced with a full-stop when we are struck by the form; providing us with two independent clauses rather than the structural harmony I am striving for.