Researching my role as the curator

Here is the definition of a curator –

curator (from Latin: curare meaning “take care”) is a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution (e.g., galley, museum, library or  archive) is a content specialist responsible for an institution’s  collections and involved with the interpretation of heritage material. The object of a traditional curator’s concern necessarily involves tangible objects of some sort, whether it be artwork, collectibles, historic items or scientific collections. More recently, new kinds of curators are emerging: curators of digital objects and biocurators.

Here is a link to the website that I read through about curating and what it involves. –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curator

I found the curator responsibilities part of the web page particularly interesting. Here is a some of the text surrounding the responsibilities. –

“In smaller organizations, a curator may have sole responsibility for the acquisition and care of objects. The curator will make decisions regarding what objects to take, oversee their potential and documentations, conduct research based on the collection and history that provides proper packaging of art for transportation, and share that research with the public and polymath community through exhibitions and publications. In very small volunteer-based museums, such as local historical societies, a curator may be the only paid staff member”.

“In larger institutions, the curator’s primary function is as a subject specialist, with the expectation that he or she will conduct original research on objects and guide the organization in its collecting. Such institutions can have multiple curators, each assigned to a specific collecting area (e.g. Curator of Ancient Art, Curator of Prints and Drawings, etc.) and often operating under the direction of a head curator. In such organizations, the physical care of the collection may be overseen by museum collections managers or museum conservators, and documentation and administrative matters (such as insurance and loans) are handled by a museum registrar”.

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‘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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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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