Assignment One: Combined Image – Part 1 Trial

Over the past week I have been playing with the assembly of my tangible Photomontage, I have not actually taken scissors to my final choice of images, although I have been trying to reproduce the final layout with the aid of my computer.  Having trawled both the national and local press for appropriate images to use in this assignment, I must report my disappointment in the lack of reports I found surrounding armistice day; perhaps I was looking in the wrong places to find what I was looking for however, turning to the internet, I have been able to locate some images in order to achieve the four Photomontages for this assignment.

As I wrote before, my theme for part 1 of this assignment is to make the heroes of war the centrepiece within my work, showcasing images taken during conflict against the local backdrop as it stands today; the four photographs used as the base for my Photomontages each represent the local landscape that became part of the local effort.

These four images are not the final product of this assignment, but each of the elements contained within have been printed ready for placement within the frame and as this is done, the final outcome will certainly be different to that seen above, which is okay as the creative process will continue to evolve until I reach the scene I am happy to portray.

I decided to use monochrome as the foundation of my work, therefore tying it into the genre of images found during the early part of the 20th-century, this will also highlight the added elements of the Photomontage, which have mostly been printed on acetate; I came to this decision as I wanted the images of war to be represented by the fading of time.  This method may not be exactly what the Dada or other Photomontage specialists used however, taking advantage of these materials enable me to get the look and feel I want within my final images.

Reference:

Anon.  (n.d.) Poppies [online image].  Available at: http://www.carleton.ca/remember [Accessed 13 November 2017].

Anon.  (n.d.) Parliament and world war one black poppies [photograph] [online image].  Available at: https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/images/113232/orig_parliament-and-world-war-one-black-poppies.jpeg [Accessed 14 November 2017].

BSG Studio.  (n.d.) Dove of Peace [Illustration] [online image].  Available at: http://all-free-download.com/free-vector/download/dove-of-peace_312270.html [Accessed 13 November 2017].

Gutell, S.  (1944) A coffin containing the body of Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. [photograph] [online image].  Available at: http://framework.latimes.com/2014/05/08/how-a-soldier-shot-a-famous-generals-funeral-in-normandy-after-d-day/ [Accessed 13 November 2017].

Harding, J.  (2017) Little Thurrock Cemetery [photograph].  Artists own.

Harding, J.  (2016) Coalhouse Fort Riverside Tower [photograph].  Artists own.

Harding, J.  (2016) Coalhouse Fort Gunnery [photograph].  Artists own.

Harding, J.  (2016) Coalhouse Fort Riverside Access I [photograph].  Artists own.

Hippo Quotes.  (2014) Remembrance Day Image [online image].  Available at: http://www.hippoquotes.com/armistice-quotes [Accessed 13 November 2017].

Wargaming.net.  (2011) World of Warplanes German Aircraft [digital game screenshot] [online image].  Available at: http://gamingshogun.com/2012/01/21/world-of-warplanes-german-aircraft-revealed/ [Accessed 16 November 2017].

Bibliography:

Coalhouse Fort Project.  Website: http://www.coalhousefort.co.uk

Thurrock Council.  (n.d.) Historical places in Thurrock – Coalhouse Fort, East Tilbury [online article].  Available at: https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/historical-places-in-thurrock/coalhouse-fort-east-tilbury [Accessed 9 November 2017].

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Defining Assignment One: Combined Image Part 1

Being quite patriotic, and with armistice day fast approaching, I have decided to use the theme of war heroes for the first part of this assignment.

Having parents who grew up during the second world war, I have heard many stories from their lives as children surrounded by this conflict, they have regaled their experiences of the American soldiers, who would share confectionary rations with the kids, and told tales of the antics older siblings were mixed up in during these troubled times.  I am lucky to have never experienced this kind of conflict during my lifetime and have only admiration and respect for those who put their life on the line to make a better world for us to live in.  I understand that this subject has been covered many times in the past however, I would like to tackle it from my own perspective using local locations I know were involved during the war effort.

It is my ambition to use my own photographs as the base of my Photomontage’s and local areas I would like to record include our fort, which played a major role during the second world-war, along with its riverside location.  Other poignant places would be the nearby church, as well as a local cemetery.

As I know the locations I want to include, it is now my mission to find appropriate images to help tell my story.  Even though this is a cut-and-paste exercise, I have been looking at the internet to find some inspiration.  Poppies, of course, will play a major role in my images and remembering the ceramic poppy installation at the Tower of London a few years ago, I would like to incorporate the effect created by this artwork in some way.

I have found other inspiring images surrounding this theme, which may not be achievable for this assignment, but they certainly give one cause for thought.

With remembrance weekend a few days away, I will look at local papers as well as the broadsheets over the coming days to see if I can find appropriate images of soldiers, and if that fails I will head to the local library to explore this topic further.

Sitting and thinking about my subject for this assignment is sobering, I just hope I can produce some interesting images that justify the actions of these lost souls.

Reference:

Anon.  (n.d.) Poppies-8 [photomontage] [online image].  Available at: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/07/tower-of-london-poppies/ [Accessed 9 November 2017].

Anon.  (2014) Slide 360402 4032167 free [photograph] [online image].  Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/08/04/first-world-war-centenary-bovington_n_5647740.html [Accessed 9 November 2017].

Harding, J.  (2014) Tower of London Poppies [photograph].  Artists own.

Harding, J.  (2016) Fort Poppies [photograph].  Artists own.

Harper, G.  (n.d.) First World War Montage [photomontage] [online image].  Available at: http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-first-world-war-montage-15452108.html [Accessed 9 November 2017].

Harper, G.  (n.d.) Frist World War Montage [photomontage] [online image].  Available at: http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/montage.html?blackwhite=1 [Accessed 9 November 2017].

Bibliography:

Coalhouse Fort Project.  Website: http://www.coalhousefort.co.uk

Thurrock Council.  (n.d.) Historical places in Thurrock – Coalhouse Fort, East Tilbury [online article].  Available at: https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/historical-places-in-thurrock/coalhouse-fort-east-tilbury [Accessed 9 November 2017].

ThoughtCo.  (n.d.) What Is a Photomontage in Art? [online article].  Available at: https://www.thoughtco.com/photomontage-definition-183231 [Accessed 9 November 2017].

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The History of the Photomontage – abridged

Narrowly speaking, photo-collage began with the cut-and-paste work of album-makers such as Lady Filmer and the combination printing of photographers such as Oscar Rejlander.  But the anti-establishment photographic experiments that originated in both Soviet and German experimental photography had different social roots and dissimilar social aims from these Victorian forebears.

Marien (2014 p.244)

Best known for its use by the Dadaists movements in post-World War I Europe (1916-1924), the actual origins of the Photomontage have long been debated (Marien 2014 p.243); the Photomontage, originally known as combination printing[1], first made an appearance during the Victorian era (1837-1901) through the creation of theatrical tableau[2] however, artists such as Henry Peach Robinson (Fading Away (1858)) and Oscar Rejlander (The Two Ways of Life (1857)) challenged this unpretentious form of photography, creating more weighty combination prints taken from real life experiences.  These montages were created using multiple exposures (negatives) combined together to make one single image.

For many throughout Europe, Dada represented a protest against the establishment, against conformity and against nationalism, all of which its members believed to be the root cause of the first World War.  Its output through art and literature was wildly diverse and influenced by other avant-garde movements such as futurism, cubism, constructivism and expressionism;

Dada was the first conceptual art movement where the focus of the artists was not on crafting aesthetically pleasing objects but on making works that often upended bourgeois sensibilities and that generated difficult questions about society, the role of the artist, and the purpose of art.

The Art Story (n.d.)

The Photomontage became more than just an aid to disparage the establishment, as artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray became champions of questioning art itself as they sought to deconstruct day-to-day items and experiences in challenging and rebellious ways; “The key to understanding Dada works lies in reconciling the seemingly silly, slapdash styles with the profound anti-bourgeois message.” (The Art Story).

Central to the production of the Photomontage is the ‘found image’ which is cut, manipulated and rearranged to form a new image containing different perspectives that are bound by a common theme.  Such imagery seeks to abandon any perceived literal recording of the world we see (such as through modernist photography) and encourages a new visual awareness implied by the abstraction produced through the Photomontage.

Even though Dada disband after eight short years, the work of Dadaists, such as Hannah Höch, John Hearfield and Raoul Hausmann continued to transform art, especially with the establishment of the Surrealist movement in Paris 1924, which was influenced by the words of Freud and Marx, both believing that our conscious mind represses the power of our imagination, something often needed to understand Dada art.

The Photomontage never really went away and although the nineteenth century saw an increase in the number of deliberately manipulated images, it was the twentieth century that saw the rise in production of said images as part of a sustained artistic aesthetic.  Clark (1997 p.200) states;

The montage creates its effect through the use of exaggeration, juxtaposition, the use of the unexpected, and visual hyperbole, but also through a wonderful attention to detail which gives the message a rich visual density.

‘Photo Op’ [Photomontage] C.2005 Artist: Kennardphillipps

Jumping forward roughly one hundred years, the evolution of digital technology and the increasing popularity of digital cameras and their ‘digital darkrooms’ has seen a reinvention of the Photomontage with artist such as Peter Kennard and Cat Phillips continuing the political fight through their controversial work; Photo Op is probably their most recognisable Photomontage and one that had defined a generation.

During its origins, the Photomontage was used as a political tool however, artists such as Jeff Wall ‘Dead Troops Talk’ (2012), Wendy McMurdo ‘In a Shaded Place – The Digital and the Uncanny’ (1995) and Adrian Brannan ‘The London Underground – Euston Station’ (n.d.) use this method of image capture to produce a new kind of theatrical tableau.

Instead of using tools such as paper, scissor and glue to produce these works, pixels, layers and digital code are used to produce the Photomontage’s of today, and although these images are more aesthetically pleasing than the crude messages produced by the Dadaists of the early 20th-century, it does not mean that the task to assimilate these is any simpler or that in some cases their messages are more palatable.

‘In A Shaded Place – The Digital and the Uncanny – Helen, Sheffield’ [photomontage] c.1996 Artist: Wendy McMurdo

When I started this course only a short while ago, I was sceptical about the production of Photomontages, especially digital-montages however, now that I have spent the last few days looking at this subject, I have come to realise a few things:

  • I can understand why the Dada adopted the Photomontage as their method of disparaging the first world war. The Dada movement was about bucking against the establishment, not only politically but also artistically and the crude nature of the original Photomontage is a perfect vessel for doing this.
  • Digital-montages afford us a new way of expression, gone are the days where we thought that photography was the ‘one true vision’ of the world in which we live and aside from photojournalism and fashion photography, which in my opinion must categorically show the truth in its subject, I feel more comfortable looking at these kinds of image. Art should be used not only as an expression but also as a distraction and different ways of looking at the world can only encourage us to look at the world differently.

Reference:

The Art Story.  (n.d.) Dada [online article].  Available at: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-dada.htm#synopsys_header [Accessed 7 November 2017].

Brannan, A.  (n.d.) The London Underground (Euston Station) [photomontage] [online image].  Available at: http://www.adrianbrannan.com/gallery%20600%20pages/London%20Underground,%20Euston%20Station.htm [Accessed 8 November 2917].

The Free Dictionary.  (n.d.) Combination Printing [online article].  Available at: https://www.thefreedictionary.com/combination+printing [Accessed 8 November 2017].

Kennardphillipps.  (2005) Photo Op [photomontage] [online image].  Available at: https://www.kennardphillipps.com/category/photomontage/page/3/ [Accessed 8 November 2017].

Marien, M.W.  (2014) Photography: A Cultural History.  4th ed.  London: Laurence King p.243 & p.244

McMurdo, W.  (1995) In A Shaded Place – Helen, Sheffield [photomontage] [online image].  Available at: http://wendymcmurdo.com/photography/in-a-shaded-place/ [Accessed 8 November 2017].

Peach Robinson, H.  (1858) Fading Away [composite photograph made from five negatives] [online image].  Available at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Henry-Peach-Robinson [Accessed 7 November 2017].

Rejlander, O.G.  (1857) The Two Ways of Life [combination print from over 30 negatives] [online image].  Available at: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1276365/the-two-ways-of-life-photograph-rejlander-oscar-gustav/# [Accessed 7 November 2017].

Wall, J.  (1992) Dead Troops Talk [Transparency in lightbox, Cinematographic photograph] [online image].  Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/jeff-wall/jeff-wall-room-guide/jeff-wall-room-guide-room-8 [Accessed 8 November 2017].

Bibliography:

The Art Story.  (n.d.) Dada [online article].  Available at: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-dada.htm#synopsys_header [Accessed 7 November 2017].

Adrian Brannan. Website: http://www.adrianbrannan.com

Britanica.  (n.d.) Henry Peach Robinson – British Photographer [online article].  Available at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Henry-Peach-Robinson [Accessed 7 November 2017].

Clarke, G.  (1997) The Photograph.  Oxford: Oxford University Press pp.187-205

Marien, M.W.  (2014) Photography: A Cultural History.  4th ed.  London: Laurence King pp. 233-251

TATE.  (n.d.) Photomontage [online article].  Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/p/photomontage [Accessed 7 November 2017].

Wells, L. (ed.).  (2009) Photography: A Critical Introduction.  4th edition.  Oxon: Routledge.

[1] Combination Printing: abutting images from more than one negative to create one image, as in creating a panoramic scene usually by joining prints and re-photographing, or combining the same image repeated to form repetitive or kaleidoscope effects

[2] Tableau: a group of models or motionless figures representing a scene from a story or from history; tableau vivant “living picture”

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Assignment One: Combined Image

Produce either a series of four to six portraits (looking at Stezaker and Stenram) or a series of four to six landscape-based images based on your immediate surroundings (as with Gill’s Hackney Marshes series).  Complete Parts 1 and 2 of the assignment and upload the finished images to your learning log together with a short reflection (500-1,000 words) on your motivations, references and methods for both parts of the assignment.

Part 1

Use traditional ‘cut and paste’ techniques (scissors/scalpel and glue) to produce a series of simple photomontages using elements from two to five original or found photographs.  These can be found images and/or images that you’ve shot yourself.  Re-photograph your finished photomontages and present the work in your learning log as a digital file.

Part 2

Using digital montage techniques (Photoshop or similar image-editing software) produce a digital montage using elements from a minimum of two and a maximum of five digital files.  Use components that you have shot yourself rather than found images for this exercise.

Reflection

Before you send your work to your tutor, check it against the assessment criteria listed in the introduction to this course guide and make sure that it meets all the criteria.

—-

I have a few ideas swimming around my head for this task, and in order to put everything in one place, I have produced a mind-map of thoughts surrounding the two parts of this assignment; this is something I have found very useful in the past, helping me to reach a final outcome for my assignments more easily.

Even though we have been given a choice of subject for this assignment, as you can see, I have decided to continue along the landscape theme for my work; further exploration of the land is something I want to continue through my studies, especially as I am not particularly drawn to people photography.

Part 1 of this assignment seems straightforward enough and drawing on the work of Stephen Gill, Helen Sear and Stan Dickenson looks to be the way forward; Kennard and Phillips do create interesting collages however, their images lead me to question whether photomontages always need to be politically motivated?  Dada, of course were the leaders in this type of art and much of the work we have looked at through this part of the course highlights propaganda and equality issues through the photomontage, nonetheless Sear and Dickenson found a way to steer clear from political satire in their imagery and this is certainly something I would like to achieve.

‘Four Seasons Layered Image’ [Digital Montage] [Photograph] c.2017 Artist: Julie Harding

Part 2 on the other hand could be a little trickier, especially as we have been tasked with using our own photographs for this part of the assignment.  Initially, my ideas surrounding these images came from the work of Shimon Attie (The writing on the Wall) or Peter Kane (Significant Space) both of whom we studied during the Landscape module; using the theme ‘then and now’ both artists, utilising different methods highlighted how a landscape can change over time.  Unfortunately, I would need to use found images to achieve exactly what I was looking for in my imagery and therefore the final outcome of my work would not sit within the assignment brief.  An alternate idea I have been playing with involves the production of work similar to Idris Khan and Corinne Vionnet; for our last Photography 2: Landscape assignment I produced a 3D image of the landscape using four photographs layered on top of each other using Photoshop however, these images were taken over the course of one year so I would need to look into ways of capturing my 2-5 photographs immediately.  Another seed of doubt I have is that the two projects could lead to different subject matter being used, do parts 1 & 2 need to have the same theme to bring coherence to my work?

As I type, new ideas are formulating in my head and my creativeness is starting to be challenged as I work out what I need to do to achieve this assignment; I am thinking about the images I already have, what I can find on the internet or through print materials and what photos I need to go out and take, what processes do I already know, and what needs to be learnt, and can I really be trusted with a pair of scissors and pot of paste …

Reference:

Harding, J.  (2017) Four Seasons Layered Image [Digital Montage] [online image].  Available at: https://juliehardinglandscapes.wordpress.com/page/2/ [Accessed 7 November 2017].

Bibliography:

Afterall Online.  (2011) Jeff Wall in conversation with David Campany – full audio [online article/video].  Available at: http://www.afterall.org/online/jw-audio#.VC1G3Uu8IUE [Accessed 6 November 2017].

Cartwright, J.  (2015) Idris Khan: blurred lines [online article].  Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/may/04/idris-khan-artist-interview-blurred-lines-photographs-sculpture [Accessed 7 November 2017].

Clark, T. (2012) A Photographic Portrayal of the Painting of Balthus – The Balthus poems.  Foam Magazine.  October 2012.  pp. 45-48.  Available at: http://issuu.com/foam-magazine/docs/08_058_ref._all [Accessed 6 November 2017].

The Guardian.  (2006) Between the lines [online article].  Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/may/04/idris-khan-artist-interview-blurred-lines-photographs-sculpture [Accessed 7 November 2017].

Hudson, M.  (2014) Hanna Hock: The woman that art history forgot [online article].  Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/10545071/Hannah-Hoch-The-woman-that-art-history-forgot.html [Accessed 6 November 2017].

Issuu.  (2014) Under Construction – New Positions in American Photography.  Foam Magazine.  #38 May 2014.  pp. 1-42.  Available at: https://issuu.com/foam-magazine/docs/08-081_underconstruction_issuu_elis [Accessed 6 November 2017].

Jones, J.  (2013) The Tony Blair ‘selfie’ Photo Op will have a place in history [online article].  Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/oct/15/tony-blair-selfie-photo-op-imperial-war-museum [Accessed 6 November 2017].

KennardPhillips.  (2013) A response from Peter Kennard and Cat Phillips: Censorship is flourishing in our “public space” [online article].  Available at: https://www.newstatesman.com/art-and-design/2013/10/response-peter-kennard-and-cat-phillips-censorship-flourishing-our-public-spa [Accessed 6 November 2017].

KennardPhillips.  (various) Photomontage [online gallery].  Available at: https://www.kennardphillipps.com/category/photomontage/ [Accessed 6 November 2017.

Leiser, E.  (1994) The Saddest Streets in the World: Shimon Attie projects a Jewish past on to present-day Berlin.  Erwin Leiser, himself a child of the thirties ghetto, explains [online article].  Available at: http://www.corinnevionnet.com/-re-image.html [Accessed 7 November 2017].

Manchester, E.  (2003) Jeff Wall – Study for ‘A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hokusai)’ 1993 [online article].  Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/wall-study-for-a-sudden-gust-of-wind-after-hokusai-t07235 [Accessed 6 November 2017].

Manchester, E.  (2003) Jeff Wall – A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) [online article].  Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/wall-a-sudden-gust-of-wind-after-hokusai-t06951 [Accessed 6 November 2017].

Newman, C.  (2013) Looks Familiar: Corinne Vionnet at Arles Photography Festival [online article].  Available at: http://www.corinnevionnet.com/-re-image.html [Accessed 7 November 2017].

Open Eye Gallery.  (2013) Eva Stenram @ Open Eye Gallery, 20 April 2013 [online video].  Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxLjuT8QV54 [Accessed 6 November 2017].

Respini, E.  (2009) Daniel Gordon in New Photography 2009 [online video].  Available at: https://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2009/11/25/daniel-gordon-in-new-photography-2009/ [Accessed 6 November 2017].

Stenram. E.  (n.d.) Drape [website article].  Available at: http://www.evastenram.co.uk/pages/drape/drapetext.htm [Accessed 6 November 2017].

Corinne Vionnet Website: http://www.corinnevionnet.com/-re-image.html

Wall, J.  (1993) A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hokusai) [Transparency on Lightbox] [online image].  Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/wall-study-for-a-sudden-gust-of-wind-after-hokusai-t07235 [Accessed 6 November 2017].

Wall, J.  (1993) A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) [Transparency on lightbox] [online image].  Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/wall-a-sudden-gust-of-wind-after-hokusai-t06951 [Accessed 6 November 2017].

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Project 4: Photomontage in the age of the Internet [update]

Having found more resource material, I have updated and reposted my last blog entry

As digital cameras became more affordable in the late 1990’s, an upsurge in their purchase became evident within the marketplace; at the same time, we experienced an accelerated growth within the technology sector, making the internet more accessible within society and mobile devices continued to develop at a phenomenal speed.  These developments had a sweeping impact on a new generation of artist-photographers who were keen to embrace and manipulate the changing world around them.

The eighties brought the first signs of change with the incipient flowering of photography as a form of cultural and artistic expression.  The auteur[1] spirit decisively installed itself in photography, leading fundamentalist theorists to bewail the fact that it had sold its soul in order to enter the Parnassus of art.  Meanwhile the irruption of digital technology and image processing software totally transformed the original paradigm of photography.

Fontcuberta (2014)

British artist, Eva Stenram (b.1976), explores how the combination of digital technologies, photography and the internet play a large part in the portrayal of desire and human sexuality.  Stenram quotes when discussing her series Drape (2011, ongoing):

Drape uses vintage pin-up photographs as its source material.  These photographs, probably mostly from the 1950’s and 60’s, depict women that are posed in interior (semi-) domestic sets in front of curtains or drapes.  After scanning these pin-up photographs, the curtains or drapes were digitally extended in order to partially obscure the women. 

‘Drape I’ (2011) [Fibre Based Lambda Print] Artist: Eva Stenram

This work embodies voyeuristic desires as our eyes tend to ricochet around the frame trying to distinguish between the benign (the backdrop) and the fantasy (the female body parts) in an eclectic mix of domestically themed montages.  Most of the images used by Stenram come from negatives, slides or magazines found on internet auction sites; in this series (Drape), all of the work is produced using vintage pin-up imagery although other projects (Harlequinade, Split, Arm) have used images from NASA, Internet pornography sites as well as from her own family album.  Of her technique Stenram states; “The source photographs are manipulated through re-photography, darkroom techniques and most often, digitally.  The intervention may subvert, undermine or challenge the photograph’s original function, or it might conversely serve to highlight and underline some of the original characteristics and functions of the source photograph.” (2015).

‘Hackney Wick’ (n.d.) [photomontage] Artist: Stephen Gill

Stenram is one in a growing number of artists who work with found material, her constructed photomontages are made up from material, often found through online searches, that are then scanned and manipulated on-screen, the resulting work is then represented as photographic prints.

Another British artist, Stephen Gill (b.1971), has a similar workflow to that of Stenram, although his subject matter can seem more palatable and even serene, where he scans and re-photographs images alongside innocuous objects found whilst on location.  Gill’s project Hackney Flowers, uses fragments of organic material (mostly flowers, but iron, wood, metal etc.) alongside his own photographs to re-produce a poetic, multi-layered representation of life in his hometown the Hackney Marshes.  Gill is classed as an experimental photographer and is often seen to tear, rip, fold or burn his photographic images to create the effect he is looking for.  These effects can also be found in the work of other photographers, especially John Stezaker (b.1949) who cuts and tears to uncomfortable effect, forcing connections between previously unrelated images; by bringing two images together, Stezaker suggests that society is infinitely interchangeable.

‘Marriage’ (2010) [photomontage] Artist: John Stezaker

Using a similar work ethic to those artists mentioned above, whereby vintage imagery, found documents and in the case of Gill, current photographs are used, OCA student Stan Dickinson explored an interesting outcome for his series of work Cricket Matches that both documents and celebrates the history of cricket’s biggest rivalry between England and Australia.  Stan’s work can be found here.

The artists reviewed above each have different ideas and points to make through their photography however, the underlying theme comes down to the subjectivity created by photography, or should I write art in general?  Stenram sums this up in her statement; “The intervention may subvert, undermine or challenge the photograph’s original function, or it might conversely serve to highlight and underline some of the original characteristic and functions of the source photograph.” As photographers (artists?) we each have different views of the world, and even though we stand in the same spot and frame the same image, we take away our own personal experience of a precise moment in time that we manipulate through our minds eye; Campany (2012) encapsulates this perfectly; “Preoccupations often persist like a subterranean stream running beneath the superficial changes of our shared lives.”  However, as we have seen, others may interpret our representation differently and try to show this through the creation of photomontages that challenge our beliefs not only within society but also within art.

Reference:

Dickinson, S.  (2013) Stan’s OCA ‘Progressing with Digital Photography’ Blog – Assignment Five [online blog].  Available at: http://stansocapwdp.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Assignment%20Five [Accessed 27 October 2017].

Fontcuberta, J.  (2014) Pandora’s Camera.  Barcelona: MACK (p.187).

Gill, S.  (2014) Hackney Wick [photograph] [online image].  Available at: http://www.we-find-wildness.com/2010/12/stephen-gill/ [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Stenram, E.  (2011 -) Draped [online gallery/website].  Available at: http://www.evastenram.co.uk/pages/mumdraped.htm [Accessed 24 October 2017].

Stenram, E.  (2015) Ideas Series Interview: Eva Stenram [online article/interview].  Available at: https://photoworks.org.uk/interview-eva-stenram/#close-no [Accessed 24 October 2017].

Stenram, E.  (20100) Drape I [fibre Based Lambda Print] [online image].  Available at: Stenram, E.  https://photogrist.com/fine-art-photography-eva-stenram/ [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Stezaker, J.  (n.d.) 16. The Marriage [photomontage] [online image].  Available at: http://theapproach.co.uk/artists/john-stezaker/images/ [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Bibliography:

The Approach.  (n.d.) John Stezaker [online gallery].  Available at: http://theapproach.co.uk/artists/john-stezaker/images/ [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Campany, D.  (2012) John Stezaker – Too Much, Too Little – Deutsche Börse Photography Prize catalogue, 2012 [online article].  Available at: http://davidcampany.com/john-stezaker-deutsche/ [Accessed 27 October 2017].

Dickinson, S.  (2013) Stan’s OCA ‘Progressing with Digital Photography’ Blog – Assignment Five [online blog].  Available at: http://stansocapwdp.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Assignment%20Five [Accessed 27 October 2017].

Fontcuberta, J.  (2014) Pandora’s Camera.  Barcelona: MACK (pp182-188).

Gill, S.  (2014) Hackney Flowers [online gallery].  Available at: https://www.stephengill.co.uk/portfolio/portfolio/nggallery/album-1-2/hackney-flowers/thumbnails [Accessed 24 October 2017]

Gill, S.  (2013) Best Before End [online video].  Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5foLoTcDXdE [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Lager Vestber, N.  (2013) The Photographic Image in Digital Archives in Lister, M. (ed.) (2013) The Photographic Image in Digital Culture.  Abingdon: Routledge (pp. 113-130).

O’Hagan, S.  (2014) John Stezaker: ‘cutting a photograph can feel like cutting through flesh’ [online article].  Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/australia-culture-blog/2014/mar/27/john-stezaker-sydney-biennale [Accessed 24 October 2017]

Photogrist.  (2016) Fine Art Photography by Eva Stenrem [online gallery].  Available at: Stenram, E.  https://photogrist.com/fine-art-photography-eva-stenram/ [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Stenram, E.  (2011 -) Draped [online gallery/website].  Available at: http://www.evastenram.co.uk/pages/mumdraped.htm [Accessed 24 October 2017].

Stenram, E.  (2013) Eva Stenram @ Open Eye Gallery, 20 April 2013 [online video].  Available at: https://vimeo.com/68762148 [Accessed 25 October 2017].

[1] Auteur: a filmmaker whose personal influence and artistic control over a movie are so great that the filmmaker is regarded as the author of the movie

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Project 4: Photomontage in the age of the Internet

As digital cameras became more affordable in the late 1990’s, an upsurge in their purchase became evident within the marketplace; at the same time, we experienced an accelerated growth within the technology sector, making the internet more accessible within society and mobile devices continued to develop at a phenomenal speed.  These developments had a sweeping impact on a new generation of artist-photographers who were keen to embrace and manipulate the changing world around them.

British artist, Eva Stenram (b.1976), explores how the combination of digital technologies, photography and the internet play a large part in the portrayal of desire and human sexuality.  Stenram quotes when discussing her series Drape (2011, ongoing):

Drape uses vintage pin-up photographs as its source material.  These photographs, probably mostly from the 1950’s and 60’s, depict women that are posed in interior (semi-) domestic sets in front of curtains or drapes.  After scanning these pin-up photographs, the curtains or drapes were digitally extended in order to partially obscure the women.

‘Drape I’ (2011) [Fibre Based Lambda Print] Artist: Eva Stenram

This work embodies voyeuristic desires as our eyes tend to ricochet around the frame trying to distinguish between the benign (the backdrop) and the fantasy (the female body parts).  Most of the images used by Stenram come from negatives, slides or magazines found on internet auction sites; in this series (Drape), all of the work is produced using vintage pin-up imagery although other projects (Harlequinade, Split, Arm) have used images from NASA, Internet pornography sites as well as from her own family album.  Of her technique Stenram states; “The source photographs are manipulated through re-photography, darkroom techniques and most often, digitally.  The intervention may subvert, undermine or challenge the photograph’s original function, or it might conversely serve to highlight and underline some of the original characteristics and functions of the source photograph.” (2015).

Stenram is one in a growing number of artists who work with found material, her constructed photomontages are made up from material, often found through online searches, that are then scanned and manipulated on-screen, the resulting work is then represented as photographic prints.

‘Hackney Wick’ (n.d.) [photomontage] Artist: Stephen Gill

Another British artist, Stephen Gill (b.1971), has a similar workflow to that of Stenram, although his subject matter can seem more palatable, where he scans and re-photographs images alongside objects found whilst on location.  Gill’s project Hackney Flowers, uses fragments of organic material (mostly flowers, but iron, wood, metal etc.) alongside his own photographs to produce a poetic, multi-layered representation of life in the Hackney Marshes.  Gill is classed as an experimental photographer and is often seen to tear, rip, fold or burn his photographic images to create the effect he is looking for.  These effects can also be found in the work of other photographers, especially John Stezaker (b.1949) who cuts and tears to uncomfortable effect, forcing connections between previously unconnected images; by bringing two images together, Stezaker suggests that society is infinitely interchangeable.

‘Marriage’ (2010) [photomontage] Artist: John Stezaker

The artists reviewed above each have different ideas and points to make through their photography however, the underlying theme comes down to the subjectivity created by photography, or should I write art in general?  Stenram sums this up in her statement; “The intervention may subvert, undermine or challenge the photograph’s original function, or it might conversely serve to highlight and underline some of the original characteristic and functions of the source photograph.”   As photographers (artists?) we each have different views of the world, and even though we stand in the same spot and frame the same image, we take away our own personal experience of a precise moment in time that we manipulate to our minds eye however, others may interpret this representation differently and try to show this through the creation of photomontages that challenge our beliefs within society.

Reference:

Gill, S.  (2014) Hackney Wick [photograph] [online image].  Available at: http://www.we-find-wildness.com/2010/12/stephen-gill/ [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Stenram, E.  (2011 -) Draped [online gallery/website].  Available at: http://www.evastenram.co.uk/pages/mumdraped.htm [Accessed 24 October 2017].

Stenram, E.  (2015) Ideas Series Interview: Eva Stenram [online article/interview].  Available at: https://photoworks.org.uk/interview-eva-stenram/#close-no [Accessed 24 October 2017].

Stenram, E.  (20100) Drape I [fibre Based Lambda Print] [online image].  Available at: Stenram, E.  https://photogrist.com/fine-art-photography-eva-stenram/ [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Stezaker, J.  (n.d.) 16. The Marriage [photomontage] [online image].  Available at: http://theapproach.co.uk/artists/john-stezaker/images/ [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Bibliography:

The Approach.  (n.d.) John Stezaker [online gallery].  Available at: http://theapproach.co.uk/artists/john-stezaker/images/ [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Gill, S.  (2014) Hackney Flowers [online gallery].  Available at: https://www.stephengill.co.uk/portfolio/portfolio/nggallery/album-1-2/hackney-flowers/thumbnails [Accessed 24 October 2017]

Gill, S.  (2013) Best Before End [online video].  Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5foLoTcDXdE [Accessed 25 October 2017].

O’Hagan, S.  (2014) John Stezaker: ‘cutting a photograph can feel like cutting through flesh’ [online article].  Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/australia-culture-blog/2014/mar/27/john-stezaker-sydney-biennale [Accessed 24 October 2017]

Photogrist.  (2016) Fine Art Photography by Eva Stenrem [online gallery].  Available at: Stenram, E.  https://photogrist.com/fine-art-photography-eva-stenram/ [Accessed 25 October 2017].

Stenram, E.  (2011 -) Draped [online gallery/website].  Available at: http://www.evastenram.co.uk/pages/mumdraped.htm [Accessed 24 October 2017].

Stenram, E.  (2013) Eva Stenram @ Open Eye Gallery, 20 April 2013 [online video].  Available at: https://vimeo.com/68762148 [Accessed 25 October 2017].

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Exercise 1.3

To complete this exercise, use readily available images to make a short narrative series of four to six collages based on a recent or contemporary news event.

Having watch two videos suggested by our course work (referenced below), I felt compelled to have war as the theme of my images for this exercise; it was not a prerequisite of the exercise to create images of this nature however, as our news and current affairs seems to be peppered with endless war and conflict at the moment, I decided that this was a good news event to cover during this exercise.

With the recent propaganda surrounding North Korea and their increasing nuclear capabilities, I get worried about the state of the world and what lies ahead for future generations.  Thinking about this topic for our exercise, I began to wonder what cities, landmarks or countries would be prime targets if this kind of war took place in our lifetime and taking my lead from the Dadaists of the early 20th-century, my images are crude in their design, intending them to provoke thought in the viewer of what could come to pass.  As I wanted the photomontages to goad their viewer, I have included cities that could easily become a target, as well as those countries that currently have that have nuclear capabilities.

Original Images:

Reference:

Anon.  (n.d.) Great Wall of China [photograph] [online image].  Available at: http://photoeverywhere.co.uk/east/china/slides/great_wall_of_china01675.htm [Accessed 23 October 2017].

Damn Cool Pictures.  (n.d.) Syria before the war [photograph] [online image].  Available at: http://www.damncoolpictures.com/2016/04/this-is-what-syria-looked-like-before.html [Accessed 23 October 2017].

Harding, J.  (2017) Canary Wharf [photograph].  Artists Own

Hingley, T.  (2015) Ryugyong Hotel [photograph] [online image].  Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3336186/North-Korea-allows-helicopter-tours-Pyongyang.html [Accessed 23 October 2017].

Saiko3p.  (n.d.) Taj Mahal in sunrise light [photograph] [online image].  Available at: https://depositphotos.com/20253853/stock-photo-taj-mahal-in-sunrise-light.html [Accessed 23 October 2017].

Valadi, S.  (n.d.) New York [photograph] [online image].  Available at: https://archpaper.com/2016/08/new-york-energy-code/ [Accessed 23 October 2017].

Bibliography:

Gost.  (n.d.) Chateau Despair / Lisa Barnard [online video/article].  Available at: http://www.gostbooks.com/books/31/chateau-despair [Accessed 23 October 2017].

Kennard, P.  (2007) Photo Op [Photograph] [online image].  Available at: http://www.iwm.org.uk/learning/resources/contemporary-art-and-war [Accessed 23 October 2017].

Kennard, P.  (2007) Photo Op [online video].  Available at: http://www.iwm.org.uk/learning/resources/contemporary-art-and-war [Accessed 23 October 2017].

Kitching, C.  (2015) A bird’s-eye view of the most secretive city on earth” Aerial photos show Pyongyang like never before as North Korea allows helicopter sightseeing tours for the first time [online article].  Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3336186/North-Korea-allows-helicopter-tours-Pyongyang.html [Accessed 23 October 2017].

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