Google Hangout #2

Three of us joined the Google Hangout today, Selina, Jane and myself.

Both Jane and Selina have been doing the course for about a year. Selina sets herself a timetable to keep up to date with the coursework, I need to do something similar. We discussed the difficulty of choosing a final set of images and how sometimes a favourite might need to be excluded in order to create a more unified BoW.

Selina shared her latest photographs taken in the arid area of Flinders Ranges (South Australia) which were fascinating. Selina is exploring the female gaze/pose and includes self-portraiture in her imagery, they also convey her relationship with the landscape. She also showed us some earlier images, where they might fit into her BoW and discussed whether to include more urban landscapes in addition to images without her presence.

Jane uses self-portraiture, colour and emojis in her exploration of the climacteric. She has had replies from two artists she contacted questioning why they choose to use particular colours in their work, one sent her an extended artist’s statement. She is working on her 3rd Contextual Studies assignment and plans to finish it today.

As I have only set up the Hangout app on my MacBook I was unable to share my latest work but will set it up on my iMac where I keep all my OCA work/images and will share it at our next Hangout scheduled for the 19th August. I must admit I’m a little apprehensive about that but am sure everyone has felt the same initially.

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Astrid Reischwitz

Astrid Reischwitz (b.Germany, based in Boston USA)

Stories from the Kitchen Table

Telling these tales gives me a chance for reflection and transformation. Memories and emotions intertwine into new memories
Astrid Reischwitz

Reischwitz combines personal archival photographs with objects, flowers and bits of material she finds around her old family farmhouse in Germany. Some of these possessions have been owned by the family since 1799. The unfolding narrative is an intimate exploration of a way of life that is in decline and will eventually vanish.

She credits her grandmother, a museum supervisor and ‘keeper of family stories‘ (Lenscratch) as being significantly inspirational in this exploration of her family history . Whilst the tradition of oral storytelling practiced by her grandmother has practically disappeared, Reischwitz reconstructs them visually.

There is a fragility about the juxtaposed and layered imagery that is touching. The faded and frayed materials, treasured objects and present day images connote the passing of time as Reischwitz conceives new memories.

IMAGES HERE

References / Bibliography

Smithson, A. 2017. Astrid Reischwitz : Stories from the Kitchen Table. Lenscratch.com

Accessed 15/7/18
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Accessed 15/7/18

Josh Huxham

Josh Huxham (b.1996)

Currently studying an MA in photography Huxham’s series of work Silence reminds me very much of John Stezaker’s collages. I am a great admirer of Stezaker (see my post HERE) his collages are simple yet highly effective but whilst Stezaker ‘marries’ heterogeneous couples Huxley has turned to the family archive. He cites both Stezaker and Roland Barthes as the stimulus for his art, I too find Barthes invaluable (but it takes at least two readings to really appreciate the prose).

Despite their minimalism I find them very moving, they connote so much more than lost youth. Huxham’s exploration highlights the nebulous nature of the past as he re-interprets his own family album. After scanning and re-printing his archival images Huxham uses assorted methods to age and re-assemble them, giving his relatives a ‘voice’ breaking the silence of the past.

Printed 6×4 inches. VIEW IMAGES HERE 

 

References / Bibliography
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Accessed 12/7/18

Isabelle Levistre

A really short post. I have been experimenting with double exposures (post to follow) and came across this work by Isabelle Levistre (b.1966 France).

Anamnèse

Through these photographs, I rewrite my own history
Isabelle Levistre

This is a haunting and beautiful body of work by French photographer Isabelle Levistre. Shot mostly with a Holga camera the images are ethereal and evocative. The children are Levistre’s and she describes childhood as a magical, enigmatic and sometimes lonely world; one she no longer inhabits and has few memories of. The double exposures are my favourites, they symbolise the evanescence of childhood.

 

References/Bibliography

Accessed 8/7/18

 

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Chris Dorley-Brown

The Longest Way Round.

With photographs you can extend and compress time as you choose, they are interactive and can be assembled into narratives of your own design
Chris Dorley-Brown

Chris Dorley-Brown is a documentary photographer living in London. The Longest Way Round unravels and reassembles the lives of his deceased parents using a mix of archival material originally excluded from the family album in addition to Dorley-Brown’s own contemporary imagery. I bought the book prior to starting the BoW course and like the layout and design of the book very much. It summons up a feeling of longing for the past, especially as my own parents are from the same era as Dorley-Brown’s.

Following his parent’s deaths he kept their photographs, letters and other personal items in his studio for a long time ; they haunted him.

I believe in ghosts. The dead and departed remain with us
Chris Dorley-Brown

His father was a prisoner of war in Germany during WW2 who married his mother in 1947, it was her third marriage, the photographs of his mother before his parents met are beautiful. The mix of archival material and Dorley-Brown’s own images throughout the book connotes the passage of time. Past and present co-exist at the same time yet there is a pervading sadness too, of loss and longing for what is no longer there.

The innate optimism my young parents exude in these pictures remains as reassuring to me now as it ever was, but I know what happened next
Chris Dorley-Brown

Interestingly Dorley-Brown’s father and one of his German guards a man called Conrad Barnack, became friends. Their friendship lasted long after the war finished and the book includes photographs of Conrad and his wife in the area where his father was once a prisoner and more recent ones taken by Dorley-Brown. Barnack’s father invented the Leica 35mm camera, Conrad lived in a flat above his father’s camera shop and a young Chris Dorley-Brown was taken on a visit there, he contemplates the possibility that the visit sparked his interest in photography.

In relation to my own practice this genre is something I am very interested in and explored during my Level 2 Documentary course. I made Blurb photo books myself for three of my assignments (links below) but they are quite basic in design compared to The Longest Way Round which really is an exceptional book.

http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/7138556-precious-memories

http://www.blurb.co.uk/books/7003332-happy-days

http://www.blurb.co.uk/books/7138512-the-boy-who-looked-like-me

References / Bibliography

Dorley-Brown , C. (2015) The Longest Way Round . UK : Overlapse

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Lorena Guillén Vaschetti

Lorena Guillén Vaschetti (b.1974 Argentina)

Historia, Memoria y Silencias, (Unopened) 2012

A complicated and occasionally unhappy family past re-intepreted by Vaschetti.

Once part of a large Italian family Vaschetti and her mother were the only members left when she rescued a box of her grandfather’s slides, in addition to unopened cans, slides in packets and written ephemera. Her mother had already thrown the majority of their personal archive away wanting to protect her daughter from the past.

This body of work is a personal exploration of remembrance and the fabrication of memory through photography, constructed by what is concealed and what is disclosed.

‘Is it possible to have an accurate depiction of the past when one’s viewfinder is occupied by someone else? …sometimes a photograph can confuse or replace a memory…. the artist adds her own voice to the equation (via editing and re-photographing) enhancing the story, bringing it up to date and including herself, albeit invisibly, in the material’ Sharon Boothroyd interview with Lorena Guillén Vaschetti available online @ https://photoparley.wordpress.com/category/lorena-guillen-vaschetti/

What exited Vaschetti were the unopened artefacts, that she chose not to open, which she re-photographed SEE HERE against a black background. The objects placed on a plain background make visually striking images.

“I work with objects and my interest lies in its inaccessible content, which have been silenced by the passing of time or that would vanish if revealed. My work explores the idealization of the unknown, beauty and the possibilities from doubt
Lorena Guillén Vaschetti

Her family slides HERE are tokens of private moments that have shaped recollections of the past yet they are also ubiquitous, we could all construct family stories from these. Many details in the original slides have been deliberately left out of focus by Vaschetti when she re-photographed them. The intentional blurring of detail creates an ethereal and ambiguous element that didn’t originally exist. She used a macro lens, placing the slides on a light table and using a narrow DOF, the past revisited and reinterpreted.

“Between silences, secrets and oblivions there are many stories and with them we can build and rebuild our own, and with it, our identities”
Lorena Guillén Vaschetti

The work has been presented in book form and as an exhibition of printed material. The accompanying music in the video below adds another level of poignancy as the viewer contemplates not only Vaschetti’s reconstruction of the past but our own too. ‘The simplicity of the work of her work allows the viewers to bring their own stories, conclusions and realities to the project’ (Smithson).

References /Bibliography

Boothroyd, S. (2012) Interview with Lorena Guillén Vaschetti

Available online @ https://photoparley.wordpress.com/category/lorena-guillen-vaschetti/

Smithson, A.(2012) Interview with Lorena Guillén Vaschetti:Historia, Memoria Y Silencios
Available online @ http://lenscratch.com/2012/02/interview-with-lorena-guillen-vaschetti/

Accessed 5/7/18
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Clarisse D’Arcimoles

Clarisse D’Arcimoles (French b.1986)

Now based in London Clarisse D’Arcimoles is a really interesting photographer whose carefully constructed images explore the power of photography to evoke corporeal memories. The two bodies of work below both use tableaux to explore abstract concepts.

Un-possible Retour

“A memory is never static, it changes as we grow, ………….There is no return into time
Clarisse D’Arcimoles

In this series D’Arcimoles explores memory and how it is shaped by family albums and snapshots.

She studied Set Design prior to obtaining a Post-graduate degree in photography. Her re-staged family photographs are carefully planned, unlike the original snap shots they emulate which were spontaneous captures of family life. The series includes self-portraiture in addition to the images of her family members.

D’Arcimoles uses a digital camera to take the present day images that she manipulates to closely resemble the original. Digital technology means few, if any, of the future generation will own a physical family album and she feels hers is the ‘last that will have this kind of album, with photo’s printed out and then bound together in a book’ (Guardian online).

Forget Nostalgia

This series of self-portraits explores how photography encapsulates and preserves snippets of time. Furthermore the images examine the authenticity of photographic representation by considering how past generations chose to immortalise themselves for future viewers by their choice of clothing, props etc.

 

I will continue to explore her work further.

References / Bibliography

Pulver, A. 2010.  Clarisse D’Arcimoles best Shot. Guardian online accessed 28/6/18

 

Accessed 28/6/18