Category Archives: 352MC -Professional Photographic Practice

Final Year Major Project

‘Reify’ Project – Explicit Version – 18+ ONLY

 

This project delves into the wonderful world of the abstract nude.

I have created it through scraping graphic frames via the internet and then used them to construct a large and by definition “formulaic” montage. These dense montages of frames are from a distance an attractive pattern but as Marcus Harveys work explores, on closer inspection there challenging nature confronts the viewer, setting up a tension between the accompanying set of images. These artifacts use a different vernacular. It is the beautified language of the large format full-frame toned fine print that captivates viewers, drawing them in, using beauty as a tool, seducing them, and leading them deeper into this conceptual paradox.

PRINTS ON WALL !!!

Upon looking back over the forked paths that I have ventured through, it is evident that the act of creating the artifacts through layering meaning upon them has enabled me to understand the importance and the power of the ‘artifact’ in it’s ‘self. Revisiting the beginning stages of this project facilitated the understanding of the evident research loop that flowed throughout the project, a research loop that culminates with artifacts that hold a powerful presence not only within the project but the viewers that are witnessing them.

MAIN WALLPAPER MERGED 31.5.13

To conclude the juxtaposition between the montage of frames and the accompanying artifacts has allowed me to manufacture a conceptual, metaphorical space for the viewers to explore and it is within this exploration that the viewers interact with the work.

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They have further, ‘reified’ rather than resolved the ever-conceptual contradictions within this work.

QR IMAGE

 

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Content Warning

This blog contains some content which may be considered offensive to certain viewers. The work shown here is produced in line with my role as a professional photographic practitioner and student. If you feel that you may be offended by any content then please close this webpage or redirect to another URL now.

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Filed under #PHONAR, 1st Year, 2nd Year, 352MC -Professional Photographic Practice, 3rd Year, Professional Experience, Rethink, React, Respond, Working with Photography in Context - Symposium

Framing Mock Up – Using Photoshop

box frame

Above is the exact style of box framing that I am going to use for my final work. I have decided to have the final artefacts presented in this way, as I feel that it enhances the over all dynamics of the artefacts. Below is a final photoshop mock up of how the whole work is going to be presented. Personally I feel that the simpler box framing works well with the whole piece as it centres the viewers eye onto the main frames in question. Not to mention by doing this the viewer is also invited to observe the work from a closer perspective, enabling the graphic small scale wallpaper to then reveal it’s subject matter. This intern facilitates the viewers to explore the metaphorical space between the two aspects of this project.

FINAL FRAMED MOC UP !!

 

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Critical Reflection

The research for this project began in mid February 2013 after I completed my symposium project titled, Power Dynamics in Relation to the Erotic Works of Helmut Newton and Igor Amelkovich.

Having completed my symposium I wanted to expand the project further, exploring power dynamics within imagery and where erotic frames stood within todays society. However I began to flow down a completely different path with my research, I went from being lost within my own assumptions of societies opinions towards graphic media and erotica, right through to immersing myself into this incredibly daunting and graphically harsh environment. It was at this point that I realized I was tricking myself into believing that this project was about comparing and contrasting erotic photography against pornography, this was not so.

When engaging in conversations with fellow students and tutors, I was struck by the stark realization that I could not clearly explain my project. The only aspect of the project that I kept being drawn back to was an interest in the differences between implicitly and explicitly sexual material. Still I was drawn through to a deeper, darker conceptual space from which I couldn’t find a way back.

At this low period whilst still “making” I decided to explore these concepts from an investigative point of view, to reify the tension between what I now saw as two paradigms.

I began to scrape[1] graphic frames and used them to construct a large and by definition “formulaic” montage. This dense montage of frames are from a distance an attractive pattern but as Marcus Harveys work, on closer inspection there challenging nature confronts the viewer, setting up a tension between the accompanying set of images. These artifacts use a different vernacular. It is the beautified language of the large format full-frame toned fine print that captivates viewers, drawing them in, using beauty as a tool[2], seducing them, and leading them deeper into this conceptual paradox.

Upon looking back over the forked paths that I have ventured through, it is evident that the act of creating the artifacts through layering meaning upon them has enabled me to understand the importance and the power of the ‘artifact’ in it’s ‘self. Revisiting the beginning stages of this project facilitated the understanding of the evident research loop that flowed throughout the project, a research loop that culminates with artifacts that hold a powerful presence not only within the project that they are situated within but the viewers that are witnessing them.

To conclude, the juxtaposition between the montage of frames and the accompanying artifacts allowed me to manufacture a conceptual, metaphorical space for the viewers to explore and it is within this exploration that the viewers interact with the work.

The definitive set of artifacts delve into the wonderful world of the abstract nude. They have further, ‘reified’ rather than resolved the ever-conceptual contradictions within this project.


[1] Scraping is getting a computer to capture information from online sources.

[2] Simon Norfolk – ‘Beauty is a useful tool’

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Artist Research – Marcus Harvey

Here is a link to the Wikipedia page, that delves into a greater level of information surrounding the moors murders back in 1965. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moors_murders

 

Moors Murderers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady-825896

Whilst writing up my project reflection, I was introduced to a piece of work by an artist called Marcus Harvey. The work in question was based on a woman called Myra Hindley who was know to be involved in  the murders of five children, four of whom were sexually assaulted. 

At first sight Harvey’s painting resembles a greatly magnified version of a black and white photograph printed in a newspaper. It was produced using casts of  infant’s hands to build up a mosaic of black, grey and white handprints, thus creating a reproduction of the iconic police photograph of a hard-faced Myra Hindley. 

hindleyportrait-getty-52014066

The photograph  that Harvey decided to use within his painting, is widely recognised in Britain, having been published in British newspapers in the decades after Hindley’s conviction.

 Harvey has said, “The whole point of the painting is the photograph. That photograph. The iconic power that has come to it as a result of years of obsessive media reproduction.” The painting consciously juxtaposes, as Jennifer Friedlander describes it, the tiny handprints of an “innocent child” and the “depraved world of adults”. 

Here is a link to the Wikipedia website page explaining Marcus Harvey’s painting of Myra Hindley  – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myra_(painting)

Marcus-Harvey-Myra 1

The media saturation and public opinion over Myra Hindley lead to a revolted against the Academy and the painting during its exhibition. various groups, including Mothers Against Murder And Aggression, accompanied by one of the victim’s mother,  protested outside Burlington House of the Royal Academy for the work to be removed. The painting was condemned in the press, and caused resignations within the Royal Academy itself. During this process the painting was removed, restored and re-exhibited behind Perspex and guarded by security. The aim of the Sensation exhibition was to provoke and it is this provocation  that links well with my work and this is why I am mentioning Harveys work within my critical reflection. 

 

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Scraping !

So I am still learning about scraping!!

Scraping is simply getting a computer to capture information from online sources.

Here is a great website that explains it further –

http://www.automationanywhere.com/solutions/screenScrape.htm?r=google&w=screenscrape&kw=Scrape%20A%20Website&match=b&network=g&place=&gclid=CMnGz-a2qbcCFcXItAodRWgAcg

To understand the act of ‘scraping data from the web I must invest a great deal of time to scraping. This is something that I shall further after this project as time is something  that I am lacking.

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 14.13.45

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Titling The Project – ‘Reify’

Deciding on a title for this project was very difficult as I did not want to revert back to referring to the work as pornographic or erotic.

The only title that was very average, that I could think of was – compare and contrast. The rest of the titles that I came up with are not even worth writing up in this blog post. It was not until I spoke to tutor about this issue that he advised me to research into Albert Camus, who was an author, journalist, and philosopher. Albert Camus once stated,”the role of the artist is to reify ideas’. It was this quote that lead me onto find out what, ‘reify’ meant.

REIFY – To make something abstract more concrete or real. After most of the afternoon thinking about this word I feel that it would be great as my projects title. Due to the simple fact that I have done exactly this with my project, I have ‘reified’ rather than resolved the ever-conceptual contradictions within the project.

It was from the following website (that my tutor showed me), that I read through and really found mind opening. – http://albertcamusandart.wikispaces.com/

This quote really grabbed my attention, and although I am still digesting it’s meaning I can’t help but wonder how this quote came about. – “Even though art is a work of intelligence, its rational achievement consists in nothing other than the acknowledgment of its own nullification in fathoming reality (Sefler 416).”

“If one were a truly great artist, according to Camus, he or she would not be pretentious enough to claim or believe that his or her art exemplifies life. Instead that artist would understand that the work may capture an aspect or two of life, but it is not an exemplar of life itself”. This quote taken from the website (above) really does hit home how I used to be about this project, lost within my own assumptions of societiies opinions towards graphic media and erotica.

Although I find myself having gone off on a bit of a tangent this article is a great read and full of some thought provoking concepts. – http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/14/sartre-and-camus-in-new-york/

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