Monday, July 30, 2007

2nd Residency Reaction

As asked for:

Overall - What do I need to do? Continue to figure out "who I am" as I make these huge personal changes I need to keep of with how I am changing as a photographer & artist. I need to push harder in my work. I make "good" photographs but I want to do something GREAT. Now is the time to really look at myself and my work. I need to take these observations and use them to make work that is not only personally fulfilling and "thesis worthy." To do this I need to be more of an active participant in my work rather than they stereotyped "voyeur" photographer. I need to build relationships with my subjects and direct them to make MY photographs. I also need to be thinking about how I present my work and how/which venues I would like it to be shown to the world.

My Observations about my own work:
• Fascination w/history – images of what has been
• My Fairgrounds photos were thought to be of the ‘fringes of society’
• I shoot things that are very AMERICAN with a history, fairs, racetracks, veterans…

Crits (other’s observations):

Deb Davidson
liked my 1st residency pairings
Sees heroic acts & celebrations of little heroes
Exchange between myself & subjects
Is there a narrative? Add text?
What is the end product? Think about it while I’m working.
Have a vision
Engage more with my subjects they still look hesitant
Bring different tools into my space (ladder, lay on the floor)
Create narrative (fiction or non-fiction)
Be a director

Sees a potential for exploitation
Bring more than sentiment (not removed but acknowledged)
Kissing couple engagement shot - is it art because they aren’t ‘models’
Show the truth even if it’s ugly
Who are the photos for

I need to narrow my focus
Marginalized people?
Veterans – too narrow
Generations / non-generational
Power Issues… I have the camera

Social Portraiture: Any photographer who shoots people they don’t know
Transfer power/authorship of photographer to the subject
See a show @ lightwork (Syracuse, NY) about returning Iraq vets

Fix artist statement – reference work
Focal length & composition similar
Am I out of my comfort zone?
“Bring me images that make me sick”

Likes my impulses to find subculture but I should push harder in these spaces
It’s legitimate to not know what I’m looking for
Research NY Times magazine photographers
Use props (ladder, fans)
Practice with my friends/family

Other comments
Derby shots – subject is ignoring me, not directed
Make conscious framing choices – sharpen instincts
Shooting from above looks like judging
Experiment with-in portraiture
Super close
Elements of story
My story vs. their story (show them portraits)
Write about power relationships
My “looking up” photo is successful because people can relate to it
When do these moments people relate to occur? activities

Grad Presentations - What works:

Introduction is well defined
Interpretations of work are well defended
Conclusion that ties in all aspects of presentation
Tie in some personal history/stories
Anticipate questions and answer them in your talk
There needs to be a “theme” of the work
Talk about your process & evolution
Know where you fit in the art world (contemporary artists)
Know where you are going! (What’s next is a common question)
Show enough evidence of books/research
Relevant to you/home
Be Brave, persuasive, & firm
Phrases like “my work is concerned with…”

Learned from other People’s Crits:
Straight photo, it’s been done
Take risks
Let your freak flag fly
Find something that has “legs” (you can keep working on)
Identify your rules… know what/when to break them
Grad school/Art is a game – know how to crit/review
Read more about your subject

The Plan:
Work on several different potentially “thesis worthy” projects
Be aware of the issues in each project
Do things that are different
Look at every portrait artist I can
Do things I’ve never thought of before
Look at advertisements & pull out what I like

• Visit galleries, shows, and lectures.
- (I already attended the Joyce Tenneson Lecture at the Griffin Museum of Photography)
- Go up to the Maine Photographic workshops – even if just for their lectures
- Visit NYC (past mentor Tanyth Berkley's show at MOMA)
- Boston-area shows, Museums
- Portland, ME Galleries (Juror from BYC show)
- Lightwork Gallery, Syracuse, NY
- Trash the dress wedding photo art project

• Research Photographers & other Artists
- Netflix (I started watching the DVD series contacts)
- Itinerant Photographers/Painters
- 19th century French painting
Bellini family
Ideas of patronage
- Photographers
Tina Barney
Katy Grannan
Lauren Greenfield
Philip Lorca Dicorcia
NY Times Magazine
Globe Magazine
Dawood Bay
Judy Gelles
Hary Callaham
Jim Goldberg
Eugene Smith
Eli Reed
David Wells
Joelle Jensein
Juile Blackman
Jessica Bruan
Kelli Connell
Michael Lewis
Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange (rural portraiture)

- Reading List:
*Camera Lucida, Reflections on Photography. Barthes, Roland
*The Moment of Seeing. Comer, Stephanie.
*The Photograph as Contemporary Art. Cotton, Charlotte.
The contest of Meaning. Bolton, Richard
Witness in Our Time, Light, Ken.
*Why People Photograph. Adams, Robert
Light Matters, Vicky Goldberg
The Object Stares Back, James Elkins
*The Familial Gaze, Marianne Hirsch
Towards a Philosophy of Photography. Vizen Elisser
*Looking at Photographs. John Szarkowski
The Photography Reader. Liz Wells
*On Photography, Susan Sontag
*Artist Statements, Show crits, Book intros…
The Lost Photographs of Edward Manet
Photo Play. Jenny Lynn
The Portrait Now essays. Sandy Marine & Sarah Howgate
The Creative Habit. Twila Tharp
Singular Images, Sophie Honarth
The History of Modern Art, H.H. Arnason

Art forum
Art in America
Art calendar
Contact sheets
Globe magazine
NY Sunday Times

• Shoot! Continued & new projects
- Old Orchard Beach Photos: rides & beach
- State Fair Photographs
- Soldier’s Home Project
- Younger Vets – Those about to leave… those left behind
- Bingo Hall photographs. Perhaps ask some people from my local Bingo hall if I can photograph them in their homes or with family
- “The people who live there now” Project (portraits of people who now live in places I once lived)
- Anthony (my fiancé) cubicle dwellers behind the scenes
- McMansions projects, family portraits
- My grandfather
- Demolition derby

• Thought Papers
Write about issues prevalent in my work and bits of possible thesis topics.
- Social Portraiture
- Family & Aging
- Itinerant Photographers/Painters
- Ideas from my readings
- Straight Photography vs. Artist using medium of Photography, where did the break happen & where do I fall?

• Get Married 10.27.2007
How does this affect deadlines & time management
Name, Website, Contact Info Changes

1 comment:

Rebecca Moran said...

Katie, I really liked the bullet form of summarizing you've used. There is so much to think about at residency and the way you wrote this shows how intense it is for us! Thanks for posting it :-)