Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Initial thoughts and research for 'Buildings and spaces'

The interior 'space' that sprung to my mind first when I started thinking about 'Buildings and spaces' was inside a library. More specifically the scene included a member of the library searching for a book while someone studied on a table nearby. This was quite a detailed imagining of the scene, which helped me generate extra ideas and viewpoints for how I would photograph a library as it was intended to be used later.

   As for research I admittedly found it difficult to come across artists that specialised in non-architectural photography of buildings and instead relied upon mostly singular works that I found fitted this niche and that inspired me.

   Some examples of this type of photgraph were Insomnia, 1994 by Jeff Wall found in C. Cotton, the photograph as contemporary art – New Edition 2009, C. Cotton, Thames and Hudson, London WC1V, 7QX, 2009, page 50 and David Spero's series of 'Ball Photographs' and 'Interiors (1997-2000): found at http://www.davidspero.co.uk/imagepages/ball/001ball.html and http://www.davidspero.co.uk/imagepages/interiors/001interiors.html and accessed on 5 July 2012. With Jeff Wall's work: Insomnia I thought the scene was very striking, obviously because of the man lying on the floor but also visually including colours and lighting. Those were the features that had the most impact on me firstly but looking again I found my eyes 'lead' around the photograph due to mainly the composition with its diagonal lines, half open doors and the placement of seemingly inconsequential objects that took more importance as I grasped the concept of the photo. The book I originally came across this photo in was: 'The Photograph as Contemporary Art' by Charlotte Cotton. It also made the same observation that the diagonal lines cleverly lead the viewer's eye around the photo and I made a note of this for myself for later on. For reference their way of putting that was:'the angles and objects of a kitchen scene directing us through the picture and leading our understanding of the action and narrative.'- C. Cotton, the photograph as contemporary art – New Edition 2009, C. Cotton, Thames and Hudson, London WC1V, 7QX, 2009, page 50.

   With David Spero's 'Ball Photographs' series the objects were of more importance and although quite unobtrusive at first glance, they made me look at the photographs in a different way; namely spatially. Again I made a note, this time regarding how objects when placed deliberately could impact on how a photograph was viewed. Obviously for me this would relate more to conveying how a building was used later on and the objects used would probably be different (not balls!) but I thought it was useful nevertheless.

   One artist I did find however, was Sarah Szwajkos. Although her work (of what was available) found at http://www.damnrabbitstudios.com/#/portfolios/fine-art/personal-space/080413-02-4-Edit_NEW and accessed on 6 July 2012, was stuck firmly in people's living spaces, I found it to be very useful and thought-provoking. The photographs for me clearly showed how the (all) interior spaces were used by people. This was very much in keeping with what I was trying to become familiar with. I thought it was clever that although no people were present in the photographs, to me at least, they were very much there in presence. I thought she managed to achieve this by placing objects that would be immediately familiar to the viewer in the photographs. Those objects would then suggest what the space was being used for. I decided I would keep a note of this artist and use it in Buildings and Spaces.

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