Recapping over this weeks look into the male gaze and how gender is represented within visual culture today. I’m not really looking into gender or any gaze as such but I think that it’s an important consideration when evaluating ones work and even tho its not a main theme being aware of it will no doubt influence the work being produced.
Intent and function
When talking about the intent and function of the images in my I feel it has shifted dramatically.
I started out in the beginning with the intention to be to show people outside of the community and to hopefully capture a sensitive portrait of the people involved in the in the punk rock music scene.
My Intent was to show people a world they would not have seen. I utilised my place within the community to capture moments that I could later deliver via a zine or on a wall.
My strategies where to make contact explain my intentions and put myself in the place where I would capture those events. I had ethical and moral obligations to be mindful about they included making sure people knew I was working and taking images, explaining my intentions and most importantly taking into consideration to the context and arena in which the work was delivered. As I covered in a precious module with Jeff Mitchell’s work that was purchased by UKIP for their anti migration agenda, we as photographers have a moral duty to protect the message, albeit theres a weakness in our own subjectivity in decided what is morally right and wrong we must do our best it is the minimum.
The shift has been a slow but definitive one throughout the modules. In the informing contexts module I’ve been looking at more contemporary artists like Jeff Wall and Crewdson and I’m fascinated with the inter-contextual relationship between disciplines (most notably cinema).
I have a background in film making as well and although I wanted to explore motion images on my Ba I was discouraged by staff but inevitably film found me after graduating. I am now producing both and to me it feels very natural. I mention this because I feel that contemporary photography has a relationship with cinema and they complement each other greatly.
I feel I have grown more throughout this module than in any phase of my working practice. After looking at wall and watching a considerable amount of interviews in which he talks about the way he frames his work, in particular his statement ‘ I don’t make Sets’ and ‘we are all actors’ ( I’ve expanded on in other posts) has changed something within me and I have a new perspective on my photographic practice.
With this new perspective I’ve been exploring my relationship with music. My intention was to build narratives in which there was an ambiguity and also a personal reference. I wanted to create something that was personal and meaningful to me but also open enough that the viewer could find their own meaning and sincerity within the work.
That was my intention whether or not that has been successful is to early to say but the strategies that I’ve employed to attempt it have been to lend certain conventions from cinema ; lighting and very shallow depth of field in urban environments predominantly. The intention was to build an image with said conventions that would include powerful signifiers and ambiguity to build a personal narrative with it.
Then after some experimenting I wanted to anchor the meaning to the projects initial ambitions, I found that by using lyrics from songs that mean a lot to me I was close to archiving a personal connection whilst leaving space and ambiguity for the viewer to have their own. I don’t think my intentions have been completely successful but I feel like the intention is there and perhaps the way I want to archive it but the final outcome perhaps needs some more work.
Originally I had the idea of the work being for a diverse audience and that would be mainly two groups. One being members of the punk rock community themselves and the other being outsiders curious to take a look. I think my-intention to display the work in a zine and exhibition would deliver to both audiences. The context in which the work is consumed would also be affected by the location and medium. I'm still unsure of traditional white wall galleries as space to display the work as I've often found that it connotes negative myths of art being for the wealthy or well educated, mostly to those outside of the art world I want the work to be as accesable as possible whilst keeping a personal meaning to me and also having an ambiguity to afford others personal meanign from the work.