Exercise 4.7 – Photomontage

Brief:- Juxtaposition in photography can be as simple as placing two photos side by side. But juxtaposition can also be said to happen within the frame in still life when objects are purposefully placed together. In photomontage rougher and often amusing juxtapositions result from sticking bits of pictures together. Have a look at the work of John Heartfield and Hannah Hoch to prepare for this exercise. Heartfield’s photomontage’s are politically charged images designed to express social ills: www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/heartfield. For more advanced contemporary examples, search for Beaten Gutschow’s “S” series. Get a few old magazines or newspapers. Decide on a background picture – for example a large view of space or any place. Now add to it a figure, or at least the head and shoulders of a person. Now find some other images that you can substitute for the person’s head (for example a cabbage) or their eyes (telescopes) or mouth (a pothole). Stick them on the face. Photograph the result. As you can see, the process tends to result in bizarre combinations. But there is a deeper meaning to this process. By cutting and pasting fragments of images, you’re choosing how a picture should be made and offering an interpretation of the different subjects you choose. You’re also constructing an image in a way that would be impossible to construct in reality.

For this exercise I produced two ideas boards (seen here), neither of which I have followed through with as yet. Brexit is something which concerns me . IIa  a remainer, I value cultural diversity and I want to remain part of a wider European community. Regardless of my desire for Britain totremain as part of theEU, I feel that the current British Government is making a right pigs ear of Brexit negotiations. When I made the initial collage I had the intent of producing a mixed media image. My final two images include the handmade collage, digital editing I. Photoshop, acquired images from the internet, an uploaded photo, and the Photoshop text tool. I’ve produced two results, one of which replaces Theresa May’s face, as per the brief, and my preferred picture which doesn’t. Overall I’m pleased with the result, but I took far too long in Photoshop when turning the background white.

Original Collage

cof

First Draft

You Will Regret This Brexit Mayhem

Final (as per brief)

You Will Regret This Brexit Mayhem

Final (preferred version)

You Will Regret This Brexit Mayhem

I believe my montage makes a strong political statement, similar in nature to Heartfield, but Hoch had more of an influence. I like that she makes use of image and text, and the business of her collages were more appropriate for my chosen theme, than Heartfield’s minimalist approach.

13 Replies to “Exercise 4.7 – Photomontage”

    1. The per brief one had an image of a far right march. Ive included that because their has been an increase in hate crime since the Brexit Referendum – when the British population (marginally) voted to leave Europe. Nationalism can often have a very ugly face.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Very good Richard! I like your final montage but also the one as per the brief, the shouting face demonstrates the passion the debate has caused. I wonder what the “brief” one would have looked like if you had been able to include Mrs May’s eyes to clearly identify her.

    Liked by 1 person

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