Surfaces and Strategies Week 5 Three Surfaces / by Chris Chucas

Week 5 Three Surfaces

This week we have been looking at our potential exhibitions, workshops and publications that we have the option of engaging with.

I’ve had to think about how I would like to present my work and how I want it to be received.


Martin Parr Common Sense 1999

Martin Parr Common Sense 1999

So far we’ve been set the dates of Aug 11th to Aug 18th.  My initial thoughts to the very word exhibition are not positive ones. It summons up thoughts of white wall galleries and elitist communities to me. It’s fair to say I have a fairly anti gallery culture attitude towards these arenas. I think that’s interesting, especially when looking at my practice and personal history with photography. Having to stop and write about my experiences for the CRJ makes me question certain elements that I have maybe not thought about or considered before. In this instance; why do I feel so negatively about an exhibition and what exactly does that word mean? Amongst the backdrop of education and similar institutions, I assume that an ‘exhibition’ falls into the white wall, high society, elitism stereotype that has turned me away from it. After a few discussions with fellow students and lecturing staff, I’ve found that I’m not the only one, and that there is space for me with such opinions within the course. What I was most surprised with was the large number of my peers who really wanted to embrace the traditional high art exhibition form. 

DOX martin parr COmmon sense .jpg


I am excited about the possibility of exhibiting, but not a great fan of the word and the general connotations that people have for them. I’m initially thinking that to exhibit at a show where bands are playing would be a great idea. The notion of printing images on laser jets, like Parr (Common Sense 1999) did with his Xerox series, is also appealing. I want people to not think of the photograph as holding a superior value, more so that it’s a cheap and limited look back to something, that something ultimately will remain and pop up again in some other life (another print or zine) but not to place any ultimate value on the piece of paper. This aspect of the works value is important to me and something that I want to be communicated throughout.


We also have the chance to produce a publication to support the work. I like the idea of a publication as it is a tactile piece of the work that people can take with them. Within my project specifically, it would be nice to connect with with audience, I’m thinking of my audience as close friends and people that I’ve met.  Making friends and sharing positive experiences is one of the first things I think of when thinking about the Punk Rock Community. 


In addition to the publication we’ve also been told we may undertake a workshop. My limited experience of workshops made me instantly think of of workshops, where photographers go and pay more successful photographers in order to learn techniques or ways of working. This has never appealed to me and I had negative connotations associated with it initially. From talks with peers and lecturing staff the potential for using ‘workshops’ as a way of connecting with the audience has become more apparent. After some initial talks with lecturing staff, we thought an interesting way to engage with the audience could be to shoot portraits at a show and print them of via a laser printer. The idea came from -------(find out the NY portrait wall person same idea). I think this could really engage people and be a …?

I’ve been busy with my photography business and not had as much time as I would like to participate in the activities. There has been a team of designers and curators set up and I’ve been asked to submit some information to them for the marketing of our work.

I submitted the following info. 


  • • five key words describing your practice / project.

Communities Relationships Punkrock People Immersive

  • • one sentence describing the aims of the work you might display.

A sensitive portrait of the Punk Rock Community

  • • one sentence describing roughly where and what your display could look like (e.g. a white-walled gallery exhibition of 10 small framed prints).

I hope to exhibit somewhere that feels comfortable and fitting with the project. Either a music venue or practice room with laser prints taped to the wall. 

  • • two images that best illustrate your practice.
©Chris Chucas-1436Bangers, Falmouth Uni, Ma, Posistions and Practice., Punkrock.jpg
©Chris Chucas-CRJ 1488  April 22, 2017 Falmouth University Ma Documentary Photography.jpg

I’ve been continuing to shoot more diaristic images this week. I spent time with friends from a local band, we went to dinner and had drinks and I photographed the night. I thought it produced some interesting images. I had my partner Becky with me, and Tom and his partner had a friend visiting town. We had to meet him at a gay bar and there was karaoke on. I passed the camera around and had some people take images of me. It makes me think of Nan Goldins way of working and although there is nothing bold or striking compared to previous work, I still think that the work is good and working well. The inspiration of artists whom I’ve always admired seems to becoming more apparent the more I shoot.