Presentation on theme: "CU Summer Project. Task 1 - Research Chapter 5 in ‘The photograph as a contemporary art’ is very much about people and photographing people. People that."— Presentation transcript:
CU Summer Project
Task 1 - Research Chapter 5 in ‘The photograph as a contemporary art’ is very much about people and photographing people. People that are very close to the photographer, i.e. family and close friends. This chapter also has a lot of emotions in shown by the various photographers, these emotions express themselves in the people or subjects photographed by the photographer. There is talk of photographing events and the people in them in this chapter, but mostly (and on all the images displayed) this chapter is about photographing the day to day lives the ‘normal’ things that the people who are being photographed would do. Weather these ‘normal’ things seem normal to us reading it is a different question, there is some photographs of people having a conversation in their homes and there’s others that bring out different emotions, such as upset people and drug abuse. The first photographer this chapter talks about is Nan Goldin. Her images were very personal to her, she photographed things that went on around her as she lived her day to day life. She began taking pictures of her friends in the early 1970’s, but not recognized till the 90’s. When Goldin took a gap year from the School of the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, she no longer had access to develop black and white film in the dark room, so she started using colour slides and she’s used colour ever since. Her photographs included a lot of sexual relations and emotions, she showed a lot of the gloomy side to life, including lots of drug abuse. Some of her photos as posed portraits, others more as action shots, people in conversation, people during intimacy, people celebrating or weeping and then people doing their every day normality, ‘Goldin’s photographs of those around her counterbalanced celebration with loss’. Whilst Goldin was abusing drugs herself, she continued to photograph drug abuse, in and out of sexual contact and a lot of time in the performing arts industry. ‘In recent years, Goldin has broken her cycle of drug addiction and, literally, has begun to see more sunshine, she has incorporated daylight into her photographs (as opposed to the flash-illuminated low light of clubs and bars in her earlier work)’.
The next mentioned photographer in this chapter who caught my eye was American photographer and film director Larry Clark. He photographed primarily out of control, young people involving themselves in sex, drugs and violence. Like Goldin, a lot of his work is documentary, he documented a lot of his youth hanging around with his friends, getting into to all sorts of trouble. As Clark got older, his photographs of the youth culture had to be transferred to a younger generation of rebels as him and his friends weren’t youths any more. He recorded the teenage youth progressing into adulthood, his passion for youth culture, what goes about it and how it evolves is obviously very great. By the mid-1990’s, contemporary art had got through to the fashion Industry, the grunge fashion became more popular in mainstream fashion and therefor fashion photography in a contemporary art became a lot more widely used and was sold a lot more. ‘Inspired by books such as Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency and Clark’s Tulsa and Teenage Lust, the emerging fashion photographers of the 1990’s and their supporters sought to divest their medium of the faked glamour of high-production fashion shoots that had been prevalent in the mid-1980’s, and instead represented fashion as it was customized and used by young people. This was very relevant for any photographer at this time because this meant that there was a whole new approach to fashion photography that had recently became acceptable, this gave contemporary artists a new window of light for the fashion world. Glamourizing eating disorders and drug abuse was a big part of this new fashion, so President Bill Clinton at the time made a speech attacking advertising campaigns and magazines who did this as drugs like heroin were becoming quite a social drug, this obviously ruining the lives of people. British artist Richard Billingham is the next photographer in this chapter who caught my eye. He photographed his family (mum, dad and brother) who lived in a small, untidy council flat in the west midlands. The photographs he took in his house were almost all ‘action shots’ as you would call them. He simply caught moments of normality in his home but not staged at all, e.g. his mum simply watching television whilst sitting on the sofa, his brother playing computer games or his mum and dad having a normal conversation. What I like about Billingham’s photographs is how much it reminds me of home, and when I was younger myself. My youth didn’t look exactly like what it does on his photographs, but it was definitely a slightly more modern version of what he is capturing. What also interests me about his work is that none of his photos were professionally composed, all of the photos were taken for the purpose of a sketch for a painting, Billingham went to art school primarily as a fine art painter, it was not until an examiner who happened to be a photo editor pointed out the quality of his photography.