Monday, 27 January 2014

Antony Crossfield

Read the full interview:


Foreign Body

This series of photographs, entitled ‘Foreign Body’, explore the relationship between the body and identity whilst also questioning traditional conceptions of corporeality and of the male nude.
In these pictures the body is presented as unstable, ambiguous, permeable, and lacking a singular coherent form. I depict the body not as a protective envelope that defines and unifies our limits, but rather, a place of interface between the subject and the other. The body’s boundaries are questioned and the closure and integrity of the self is placed in doubt.

Figures intersect, seeming to inhabit the same space rendering it unclear where one figure ends and another begins. This results in a kind of fragmentation and incoherence of the body leading to questions over the coherence of the self in relation to the body. The body is no longer the space that secures the idea of self, it is the domain where the self is contested and called into question.

The Innocents by Taryn Simon

 The Innocents by Taryn Simon

The Innocents documents the stories of individuals who served time in prison for violent crimes they did not commit. At issue is the question of photography's function as a credible eyewitness and arbiter of justice.

The primary cause of wrongful conviction is mistaken identification. A victim or eyewitness identifies a suspected perpetrator through law enforcement's use of photographs and lineups. This procedure relies on the assumption of precise visual memory. But, through exposure to composite sketches, mugshots, Polaroids, and lineups, eyewitness memory can change. In the history of these cases, photography offered the criminal justice system a tool that transformed innocent citizens into criminals. Photographs assisted officers in obtaining eyewitness identifications and aided prosecutors in securing convictions.

Simon photographed these men at sites that had particular significance to their illegitimate conviction: the scene of misidentification, the scene of arrest, the scene of the crime or the scene of the alibi. All of these locations hold contradictory meanings for the subjects. The scene of arrest marks the starting point of a reality based in fiction. The scene of the crime is at once arbitrary and crucial: this place, to which they have never been, changed their lives forever. In these photographs Simon confronts photography's ability to blur truth and fiction-an ambiguity that can have severe, even lethal consequences.

Calvin Washinton C&E Motel, Room No. 24, Waco, Texas
Where an informant claimed to have heard Washington confess
Served 13 years of a Life sentence for Capital Murder, 2002
Larry Youngblood Alibi location, Tucson, Arizona
With Alice Laitner, Youngblood's girlfriend and alibi witness at trial
Served 8 years of a 10.5 year sentence for Sexual Assault, Kidnapping and Child Molestation, 2002
Ron Williamson Baseball field, Norman, Oklahoma
Williamson has been drafted by the Oakland Athletics before being sentenced to death
Served 11 years of a death sentence for First Degree Murder, 2002
Charles Irvin Fain Scene of the crime, the snake River, Melba, Idaho
Served 18 years of a death sentence for Kidnapping, Rape and murder, 2002
Charles Irvin Fain Scene of the crime, the snake River, Melba, Idaho
Served 18 years of a death sentence for Kidnapping, Rape and murder, 2002
Tim Durham Skeet shooting, Tulsa, Oklahoma
11 alibi witnesses placed Durham at a skeet-shooting competition at the time of the crime
Served 3.5 years of a 3,220 year sentence for Rape and Robbery, 2002
Frederick Daye Alibi location, American Legion Post 310, San Diego, California
Where 13 witnesses placed Daye at the time of the crime
Served 10 years of a life sentence for Kidnapping, RApe and Vehicle Theft, 2002

Peter Dench - Drinking of England

On January 15th 1915, during the First World War, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George exclaimed that Britain was “fighting Germans, Austrians and Drink, and as far as I can see the greatest of these foes is Drink.”

The Germans and Austrians may have been repelled, twice, but nearly a century on the battle of the booze continues.

The English have turned drinking into a national obsession, nearly an art form. A few national days of significance is far too limiting to the imaginative English imbiber, and hundreds of excuses have been found to indulge in a bender. The English are drinking younger, longer, faster and more cheaply than ever before. Binge drinking followed by public order problems are becoming increasingly common in towns and cities.

I was made in England on Saint Georges Day in 1972; I share a birthday with Shakespeare. Weighing into the world a hefty 10lbs 8oz, the smell of hops and yeast yanked at the nostrils from day one.

Devenish Brewery, where both my parents worked, provided the family home. Each fortnight my Dad would receive an allowance of a crate of bottled beer. If I did my chores, on a Friday night I might be allowed one. If I got up for school before everyone else I could drain the leftovers from the adults night before. I liked the taste, still do. The first time I got proper drunk was aged 12 at my former Junior School Summer Fete. Marc distracted the woman on the Hoopla while I placed the bamboo circle swiftly round the square that supported a bottle of Pomagne. The sun shone, the girls looked pretty, life was good.

Weymouth was a violent place to grow up. A Navy base deposited horny sailors into the town most weekends. The train station deposited horny workers from the Midlands factories during shutdown. The locals were always horny, and hungry, mostly thirsty. Throw in around 180 bars to the mix and something had to give. Often it was my chin. I loved it.

As youth beat a retreat and I traded in my cricket bat for a camera, it was inevitable that one day I would document the drinking habits of the English. Drinking of England is an often laugh-out-loud stagger to the four corners of this badly behaved nation.

The photographs take the viewer from the local pub to posh charity balls, horse race festivals to nightclubs and the hospital to the grave. What I discovered is that the nation's favourite legal high is never far away. That drink is ultimately classless. Whether you are drinking £100 bottles of champagne or £1 bottles of cider, drink too much and the consequences are the same to England

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Erwin Blumenfeld - experimental portraits

 Though self taught, Blumenfeld was an inspired photographer, experimenting with props including ground glass screens, coloured gels and fluted glass to capture optimum visual effect ‘in camera’. He famously began his sittings in the dark, switching on each of his directional lights one by one to allow him to concentrate on the optical effect of each. Blumenfeld was also a virtuoso printer and spent long periods in his darkroom, controlling the appearance of the final artwork, the layout of which he also liked to direct. More an auteur than a team player, Blumenfeld highly resented intervention in any part of this process –from commission to printed page. Most of all, he hated the meddling ‘arse directors’, as he called them, that his fashion work called him to work with.

Despite his extraordinary success, commercial image-making was a double-edged sword for Blumenfeld. Having immersed himself in the Berlin art world at the end of the First World War, fraternising with the early Dadaists, befriending painter Georges Groz and creating montage artworks of his own and working as a painter in Amsterdam in the early 1930s, Blumenfeld’s first priority was to establish himself as an artist. He was a connoisseur of photography and well aware of the scepticism towards the world of commerce expressed by prevailing contemporary art practitioners such as Alfred Steiglitz, Paul Strand and Edward Weston. Blumenfeld echoed their sentiments by openly admitting he loathed being called a ‘commercial’ photographer – as was common in New York - feeling it prevented recognition of his work by the art galleries and museums he so respected.

ART3 - Printing and Presentation of Final Outcomes

Monday, 20 January 2014

A2 Photography ART3 - What are my intentions?

In this task we must demonstrate what we intend(ed) to produce for this module.

A01 Contextual Understanding
Why did I choose this theme/concept? Is there anything personal to my life involved?

What concept possibilities sprang to mind? (Use your brainstorm as a reminder)

How will I assist and explore my idea further? Firstly discuss the 2 research artists you have chose and briefly explain how they link to and will improve your concept/technique? Also discuss any specialist/contextual research you will conduct that informs your concept outside of photography?

A02 Creative Making
What techniques, medium or style do you hope to use? How would these techniques help explain and show your concept? (studio, DSLR, Low mo, Cubism, double exposure, Photoshop editing, photocopying, use of lighting)
What genre will you shoot in? Why is that appropriate? (Briefly discuss the conventions you conform to)

A04 Personal Presentation
How do I plan to present my final piece of work? (online) Will I use Music? a slideshow? Duplets, triplets? Or still images with a written piece? Captions/information for each image?

Discuss what is the best way/method to reflect your concept? 

Do not worry if you do not exactly follow this plan. Remember this is just your intentions not an exact plan. Once you have completed this unit you will explain any changes in your final evaluation and during reflection throughout.

Rafal Maleszyk – Plastic Landscapes

“For me, photography is the ultimate form of art. It allows me to express my innermost experiences with nature. Inhabiting a time-hungry world of fleeting moments and experiences, simplicity is a precious state best captured and experienced under the lens. It is my privilege to witness and record fine and unique perspectives.”