Jeff Wall and Cindy Sherman / by Chris Chucas

L03 - L05

I feel that it has a lot in common with Jeff Wall with his constructed fiction work. I’m really interested in how Wall and Fincher make work using cameras. To the lamen as soon as you constructively choose to depict a scene or arrange something it becomes ‘fake’ but in Jeff Walls ‘we are all actors’ argument he has a differing opinion and I have adopted this approach within my own work. Especially within the ‘cinematic’ side of the images.

‘Art is made essentially  to be experienced. It’s an experiential thing and the  aesthetic experience we can call beauty is also a judgment of quality’.


‘There’s  always been a magical feeling of the world vanishing into the photograph. …. The artwork never gives us the thing, but the sense of the thing…’

Wall. We are all Actors.

I take a lot from wall’s sentiment here and I also like building cinematic images based of a feeling or memories. I like the openess of the art work (in this case the images) given the sense of the ‘thing’ which for me is a personal feeling I had at some time this could be from seeing something or hearing something, a conversation or simply stopping for a sec to look to me left on a walk home. It’s these feelings that I like to embed into my work.

 Jeff Wall, Mimic

Jeff Wall, Mimic

https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/jeff-wall/jeff-wall-room-guide/jeff-wall-room-guide-room-3

Wall stages and places models in a way to re enact something he’s already seen I feel that I produce work in a similar way but perhaps more indirect. I went out for an explore with a friend of mine to help me take a self portrait.

 Untitled. Chucas, 2018

Untitled. Chucas, 2018

I found this scene and was instantly draw to the broken piece of fence. The way the street was lit gave me a feeling I had when I was younger and looking for places to be to get away as a teenager. I placed myself in the image deliberately and made an effort to stand tall. I did this because I remember the areas I grew up in as a young man body language and the way you carried yourself was important to keep safe.

I also feel that choosing to shoot this in landscape is a tip to the hat to my other me ( the film maker) and I’ve deliberately keept myself small in the frame as I feel it’s a detail that’s better not made obvious ( see the previous post looking at FIncher HERE where I talk about my cinema influences more in depth.)

Thinking about it I also feel that fondness of Cindy Sherman is coming through here. I have taken the staging and ‘empowering’ aspect of revisiting a more vunerable time but taking charge of it by owning it. Thinking about it now i feel that this is the case for this image with me revisting an earlier part of my life, basically being a teenager trying to get from one place to another wihtout being beaten up which was normal in the area I lived in but perhaps when I shoot the other side of the project ( the ediorial stlye portraits) that I’m potentially allowing the subjects I’m working with that same power, to become another to tracend from what the world normally see’s them as. In most cases people ask for a photo its for social media and to look happy ( I talk about all the major issues I have with this falseness HERE) or to send to friends and family. The normal non model hardly ever has a professional photographer shoot their portrait for an art project.

 Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #21 29178 , MoMa

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #21 29178 , MoMa

I need to continue developing the work with text so I’ve allowed space for that here. I want to keep it as close as possible to the full frame of the original shot so that I don’t have any limitations on print size from cropping in to much. I feel like I’ve drawn fairly obvious influences from Wall, Sherman, and Fincher with dark negative space around the subject, the cinematic framing and also the performative nature of the subject much like Sherman does with herself.






https://www.moma.org/collection/works/56618