Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Final Portfolio Presentation and Artist Statement

The art of photography has always held a special place in my life. The capturing of an instance resonates with the need for someone, somewhere, to experience the same moment as I and to gain or conclude from what is implied. This series focuses on night photography. In these photographs, I show a specific emphasis on the way that darkness alludes to a mood that is both mysterious and calming. I imply to the fact that night is looming and creepy, but we all must face it. At night, artificial light helps to create a mysterious scenario. All of my photos contain a luminous, yet ominous mood.

I hope my viewer can hear my voice throughout this series. I myself have struggled with this series because night photography is inherently a challenging medium. The right light, angles, and shutter speed are key components in my work. I believe the detached emotion of my work better enables the mysterious scenes to appear. Through this, I display seemingly normal environments that are unthreatening in the day, a dark and mysterious universe when shown at night.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Critique #4

This semester, I have focused my series on night photography. In my series, I show a specific voice that is both mysterious and calming. I allude to the fact that night is creepy, but we all must face it. At night, artificial light helps to create a mysterious scenario. All of my photos use artificial light and color to help create a luminous scene.
I hope my viewer can hear my voice through these pieces. I myself have struggled with this series because night photography is inherently a daunting task. The right light, angles, and shutter speed have dictated my thought process throughout this venture. I believe that through this detached style, which follows the contemporary deadpan technique, I have accurately portrayed seemly normal environments with a mystical flare using light and color.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blog Quiz 4/6

Charlotte Cotton’s text, The Photography As Contemporary Art has helped to expand my knowledge of photographic skills and the postmodern history of the digital photography medium. Before this class began, I was mostly partial to portrait photography and photos that included a lot of detail and specific subject matter. Through reading the text and learning about the different aspects of photography and its different “lenses”, I have grow a love for landscape and deadpan photography, which contrasts my previous photographic style.

Through this shift in my artistic education, my style of photos has changed as well. Currently, I am working on a night photography series that incorporates elements of deadpan photography.

Two examples of this photographic skill are James Casebere’s Pink Hallway #3 and Rut Blees Luxemburg’s Nach Innen/In Deeper.

Both of theses photos utilize environment, natural elements (water in both), an absence of human activity, and a non-specific subject matter. Using these photos, I have become to understand my own work in my series and continue to pursue this artistic direction.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Critique #3

I leave my third critique with a more specific approach to my series. Personally, I am partial to the unattached, deadpan photographs of my last critique. This week, I tried to show definite subject matter in my photos. By doing this, I was able to show detail and specific framework. A disadvantage to this technique is a lack of environment around my subjects and an open interpretation as to what my subjects imply. Therefore, I am going to work consciously on photography that demonstrates a wider lens angle and opens scope to include environment in the night. 

Monday, March 16, 2009

working with curves

Shooting by Elizabeth Hall.

Sprinkler systems outside of Olin Library.

After a rainstorm.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Photo Critique #2

As my project progresses in the direction of light and nighttime photography, I have tried to experiment with the deadpan technique in these photos. In our text, The Photograph As Contemporary Art, author Charlotte Cotton writes, “The adoption of a deadpan aesthetic moves photography outside the hyperbolic, sentimental, and subjective. These pictures may engage us with emotional subjects, but our sense of what the photographers’ emotion might be is not the obvious guide to understanding the meaning of the images” (81). In breaking my traditional partiality to detail, I experimented with viewing the entire scene and creating more depth of field in my photography.

Tennis courts at night.

Rollins Chapel during a night service.

Mills Lawn at night.

Shooting light and angles in Chi Omega.

A side of Elizabeth Hall at night.

The intent of these works is very straightforward. All deal with light and angle in a nighttime environment. These photos represent deadpan because they are avoidant of emotion from a creational aspect. However, the viewer of these images might connect particularly with a subject that is not emphasized. For example, the image of the church lit up at night could signify a viewer to feel religious, i.e. “the light of god”. I feel these products are mostly subjective to the viewer, and therefore demonstrate the technique of deadpan. At this point, I feel the use of light and nighttime photography is a skill that I would like to continue with, as it is a medium I have never challenged myself to work with until now.

Contact Sheets

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Artist Presentation #1: Wendy McMurdo

Wendy McMurdo utilizes technology and traditional photography to create pictures of child subjects who appear unattached from their environments, and even slightly “alien like”. Her work demonstrates a postmodern verisimilitude between truth and fiction, also known as tableau photography. Author Charlotte Cotton describes this medium as having,
“…visualized collective fears and fantasies with an emphasis on the uncanny, the use of youthful protagonists has been especially prevalent” (Cotton 64).

McMurdo has been involved with many projects, publications and exhibits. She is most famously recognized for her self-titled publication, Wendy McMurdo, which was published in 1998. McMurdo has been published in collections of contemporary photography works, including David Campany’s book titled, Art and Photography . Her work has appeared in exhibits around the world. A particular series, “Through the Looking Glass: Childhood in Contemporary Photography”, was shown at the Louis Glucksman Gallery in Cork, Ireland in 2005. (http://www.wendymcmurdo.com)

Below, we view McMurdo’s work with a postmodern lens and an insight to her special medium.

Using new media technology, McMurdo is capable of creating tableau photography. Her work often features the use of a doppelgänger, which is a German word used to describe the look-alike of a person. This form of tableau art is exemplified in the Verizon Wireless Campaign, “Dead Zones”.

Continually, we see McMurdo’s work lacking the emotion in which we connect as childish or playful. The point of her focus is to view children unattached within adult environments. Instead, McMurdo shows children as beings that probe, question, and challenge the environments that surround them. Additionally, all the subjects of her work portray the critical “gaze”. In an interview with Sheila Lawson, McMurdo states,

“If one of the figures had been looking out of the group toward the viewer they would be very different images. They only look inward, toward the group; their gaze(s) never meet and in a way the image itself becomes sightless” (Brittain 254).

McMurdo continues to produce work that exemplifies contemporary art theory and incorporates the use of technology. While challenging the ideology of youthful subjectivity in art, McMurdo sets precedent for contemporary media and advertising. She has created a name that is a consistent in her medium and whom deserves recognition for her innovative artistic approaches.