Always Follow Ur Dreams!! Latest work and Test Video Format

Posted on November 5, 2013

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One of the key factors I need to consider with this project is how I will show text along with the images. There are many options.

So far in presenting the work I have included the text as a side panel alongside each photograph.  This option is quite common. For example it is the style used by both Joel Sternfeld (On this Site) and David Gillander (Uncivilised) – both these works utilise text and images to revisit places which are associated with shocking events and have some resonance with my own work.

Other photographers such as Richard Misrach (Petrochemical America) and Simon Norfolk (Afghanistan) have used a slightly different approach to Sternfeld and Gillander when presenting their work in book form. They have tended to separate text and images in the book. It might be argued that this presents the photographs as art, which should be capable of standing alone. On the other hand it could also be a deliberate tactic to ensure that both image and text are given due consideration.

Allan Sekula in his work, both in book form and in gallery installations, tends to separate the text from the image. His aim appears to be to force the viewer to read the text and then with this still fresh in his/her mind the viewer then confronts the  prints or slide shows. Sekula’s use of slide shows is also interesting as this places him in control of the how the viewer looks at his work – it has a cinematic quality. Sekula’s view is that photography fits in a space somewhere between literature, cinema and  painting.  Using slide shows of images with text placed behind the viewer on wall panels he references all these elements – literature (through the text), painting (through the images) and cinema (through the use of projection).

I thought it would be interesting to see how presenting the work as a video might look. I have made a test video of around 7 images. I have displayed each image/text for 12 seconds and I have deliberately reduced the length of the texts for easy reading.

My immediate thought is that I think the viewer needs to be made aware of the context of the work for he/she to get to grips with it. So I would imagine using a text panel alongside the work if it were to be shown in a gallery context. I also wonder if 12 seconds is long enough? I have deliberately not included any soundtrack. I feel that this adds to the contemplative feel of the work and I also sense that sound as well as text and image would lead to sensory overload for the viewer. My initial reaction to this video is quite positive and I am wondering if ultimately I might be looking at a multi-media presentation with the landscapes and interiors being presented in a video with the portraits as wall prints…. We shall see but definitely a worthwhile experiment.

The video can be seen on Vimeo be clicking the photograph below:

Vimeo page grab

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