Review – Duane Michals

Brief:- Images in Sequence. What defines a sequence, as opposed to a series, is the connectivity of the images in time or concept. Make sure that you are clear about the difference between a series and sequence. Photographers have used sequences of images in many different ways.

Duane Michals 1932

AndyFig. 1.

Initial Thoughts – Perspective. Series rather than sequence? Both? I’m going to say this is a sequence. A sequence that is comprised of differing perspectives, rather than chronological or motion. The perspective then becomes conceptual, and is an exploration of other. It breaks down what it means to be a person, a question of identity. Are we made up of parts? Is the whole more than the flesh and bone of being human? Am I just physical features and attributes. The first three images would also stand as a tryptich – see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil? or the converse, see evil, hear evil, speak evil.

As you can tell this sequence speaks to me. Out of all of the many series that I saw of Michals’, this was the one that I was drawn towards. Interestingly this sequence is by no means the favoured or famed portraits that Michals made of his friend Andy Warhol. In fact I have struggled to find any information about this series online.

It’s a different concept of photographs as sequence than I have seen so far. Its a concept that I like, the change of perspective tears down, and deconstructs in its own right. It’s this deconstruction that then prompts me to examine the concept of identity, self and other. I find it hard to see the “other”, because of the questions that arise for me in relation to my own personal question/raison d’être “Who am I?”

Michals presents his sequences in differing formats, and although Andy x 4 is presented in a left to right timeline, he uses vertical timelines, and grids of various sizes.

There is so much to explore, discuss and write about Michals, but as I am trying to stick to the brief, I will leave that for when I study photography at degree level. The other concept that I like about Michals photography is his use of hand written text on his photographs, that enhance the story telling that is created by his use of frame by frame sequence.

 

Illustrations

Figure 1; Michals, D; 1980; Andy x 4 [Gelatin Silver Print]; AT: http://www.dcmooregallery.com/artists/duane-michals/series/sequences (accessed on 22/02/2018)

Feature Image; Michals D; 973; Things are Queer [9 Gelatin Silver Prints with hand applied text]; AT: http://www.dcmooregallery.com/artists/duane-michals/series/sequences?view=slider#5 (accessed on 22/02/2018)

References

Anderson, JF; 2018; Documentary and Portraiture Photography, Case Studies, Duane Michals; Online AT: http://www.dshed.net/digitised/reveal/resources/case_study_duane.html (accessed on 22/02/2018)

DC Moore Gallery; 2018; Duane Michals Biography; Online AT: http://www.dcmooregallery.com/artists/duane-michals/series/sequences?view=slider#7 (accessed on 22/02/2018)

Woods, K; 2014; Book Review: ABCDuane by Duane Michals; Online AT: http://museemagazine.com/culture/culture/reviews/book-review-abcduane-by-duane-michals (accessed on 22/02/2018)

 

Review – Eadweard Muybridge

Brief:- Images in Sequence. What defines a sequence, as opposed to a series, is the connectivity of the images in time or concept. Make sure that you are clear about the difference between a series and sequence. Photographers have used sequences of images in many different ways.

Eadweard Muybridge 1830 – 1904

Considered to be the father of motion pictures, due to his pioneering use of rapid motion photography.

The Horse in Motion 1882Fig. 1. The Horse in Motion 1882

Initial Thoughts – Film strip showing the progression of a horse in the process of galloping. This sequence is a time lapsed and is not conceptual. The sequence is presented in a grid format that reads from top left to bottom right.

Muybridge is considered to be the father of motion pictures, due to his pioneering use of rapid motion photography. For The Horse in Motion he set up a sequence of glass plate cameras that were triggered by string across the track which the horse would then touch during its gallop. Although this sequence is shown as a grid, Muybridge developed a technique called Zoöpraxography (WikiSource, 2018)which allowed the negatives to be viewed as a continuous sequence, which was the beginning of motion film. (Wildscreen, 2008, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 2018)

Leland Stanford had hired Muybridge to photograph on of his horses in motion in order to see if all four of the horses hooves left the ground at any one point whilst the horse was in motion. This groundwork was the foundation of Muybride’s Animal Locomotion series which contained 781 series of animals photographed in motion. (Johnson et al, 2016; 293-301)

Muybridge began his studies of motion using the single plate negative technique that was similar to that of Etienne-Jules Marey before developing his multiple camera technique. (Hacking, 2014; 142-145)

 

Illustrations

Figure 1; Mubridge, E; The Horse in Motion [wet collodion]; AT: http://www.wildfilmhistory.org/person/180/photo/498/Eadweard+Muybridges+time-lapse+photographs+of+a+man+riding+a+galloping+horse.html (accessed on 21/02/2018)

References

Hacking, J; 2014; Photography the Whole Story; London; Thames and Hudson

Johnson, WS, Rice M, Williams C; 2016; A History of Photography; Cologne; Taschen GmbH;

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc; 2018; Eadweard Muybridge; Online AT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eadweard_Muybridge (accessed on 21/02/2018)

Wikisource, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc; 2018; Descriptive Zoopraxography; Online AT: http://www.wildfilmhistory.org/person/180/Eadweard+Muybridge.html (accessed on 21/02/2018)

Wildscreen; 2008; Eadweard Muybridge; Online AT: http://www.wildfilmhistory.org/person/180/Eadweard+Muybridge.html (accessed on 21/02/2018)

Review – Keith Arnatt – Self Burial

Brief:- Images in Sequence. What defines a sequence, as opposed to a series, is the connectivity of the images in time or concept. Make sure that you are clear about the difference between a series and sequence. Photographers have used sequences of images in many different ways.

Keith Arnatt 1930 – 2008 Photographer or Artist?

Although I would like to explore Arnatt further I will save that for a later date, and keep my focus on the brief. Arnatt is truly fascinating in his approach to art, and used photographer to develop conceptual pieces of art (O’Hagan; 2015).

Self-Burial (Television Interference Project) 1969 by Keith Arnatt 1930-2008Fig. 1. Self-burial (television interference project) (1969)

Initial thoughts – The title is helpful and reflects the self burial, although I don’t as yet understand the “television interference project”.

The sequence of photos show the differing and sequential stages of “self burial” The lighting is consistent, so its highly likely that the photos were all shot on the same day, although this was not done alone. Although the camera could be set on a timer, to dig himself into and out of a hole would have taken support. The patch of dirt grows in size, which also emphasis the sequence. Although the work is conceptual in nature, the sequence is time bound and time progressive. It appears that Self-burial builds upon his previous works Liverpool Beach Burial and Invisible Hole Revealed, which explore death, burial and deceit. Further works of Arnatt’s explore photography and its incongruity in relation to the camera as a means of showing truth.

“Arnatt was fascinated with works of art that are created in the natural landscape but leave no trace of their presence behind. ‘The continual reference to the disappearance of the art object suggested to me the eventual disappearance of the artist himself’, he wrote. This sequence of photographs was broadcast on German television in October 1969. One photo was shown each day, for about two seconds, sometimes interrupting whatever programme was being shown at peak viewing time. They were neither announced nor explained – viewers had to make what sense of them they could.” Tate.org (2009)

 

Illustrations

Figure 1; Arnatt, K; 1969; Self-burial (television interference project) [Gelatin silver prints on paper on board]. (1969); AT: http://www.keitharnatt.com/works/w21.html (accessed on 21/02/2018)

References

O’Hagan, S; 2015; Keith Arnatt is proof that the art world doesn’t consider photography ‘real’ art; Online AT: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/aug/27/keith-arnatt-photography-exhibition-spruth-magers-absence-of-the-artist (accessed on 21/02/2018)

Pocock, P; 2015; Arnatt, Keith – Liverpool Beach Burial 1968; Online AT: http://withreferencetodeath.philippocock.net/blog/arnatt-keith-liverpool-beach-burial-1968/ (accessed on 21/02/2018)

Tate.org; 2009; Gallery Label, Self-burial (television interference project) (1969); Online AT: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/arnatt-self-burial-television-interference-project-t01747 (accessed on 21/02/2018)

Review – Michael Wolf – My Favourite Things

Hong-Kong-Break-1--5-pieces-2015Fig. 1. Hong Kong Break #1 (5 pieces) (2015)

Initial thoughts – Similar verticles create ease on the eye and link the photographs together. Similar tones. I like the fact that the workers taking their breaks are only partially visible. The apparent poses follow the theme of suggesting a person taking a break. The lines, tone and glimpses of the subjects create a series that has consistency and flow.

Hong-Kong-Flora-1-2014Fig. 2. Hong Kong Flora #1 (2014)

Initial thoughts – Although the photos have different colour schemes they also have a similar tone. The grid format of presentation works well here and emphasis the shapes of the windows and pipes. I believe that this works well because it highlights that the flora is not the main subject per say. These are not biological photos of flowers and plants, but they represent the hardiness and gentleness of nature in over coming the harshness of man made structures. However, I also find there is a beauty in the combination of structure and nature, and I think its the balance that is provided between the hard lines and gentle flora.

The emphasis on part three of the courseowrk is communication and narrative. A story is told in both of these examples of Wolf’s photography, and an individual photo would not have the strength that his series convey. Presentation as a series reinforces the visual alliterative, and the lateral and logical processes required to deconstruct photography and discover a personal interpretation.

 

Illustrations

Figure 1; Wolf, M; 2015; Hong Kong Break #1 (5 pieces); Online AT: http://photomichaelwolf.com/#my-favourite-thing-groups-2/6 (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Figure 2; Wolf, M; Hong Kong Flora #1; Online AT: http://photomichaelwolf.com/#my-favourite-thing-groups-2/10 (accessed on 20/02/2018)

References

Gallery Fifty One; 2018; Michael Wolf : Blind walls and night trees – My favourite things: Online AT: http://www.gallery51.com/?navigatieid=237&exhibitionid=110 (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc; 2018; Michael Wolf (photographer); Online AT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Wolf_(photographer) (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Review – Gerhard Richter – Atlas

Brief:- Take a look at Gerhard Richter’s Atlas. You’ll see that Richter has placed together multiple images of a similar subject – a particular colour in the sky, similar types of buildings, trees and types of portrait. Its called a typology.

Gerhard Richter, 1932, Dresden. Studied fine art, influenced by Lucio Fontana, Jackson Pollock (McCarthy, T; 2011)

Volker Bradke 1966 Atlas sheet 26Fig. 1. Volker Bradke (1966)

Initial thoughts – Two photos of the same person. Possibly a young armed forces recruit, national service, the hair cut and the shirt suggest this to me. The blurred image is symbolic of the person left behind. The personality change from the boy and innocence that was, becoming the man that is, the clear head shot of the new recruit. A very simple typology of two photos that create a narrative. My analysis may be in-correct but this typology does create a story for the viewer to interpret.

Fur 48 portraits 1971 Atlas sheet 30Fig. 2. Für 48 Portraits (1971)

Initial Thoughts – Mahatma Gandhi and Moa Tse Tung are immediately obvious. The other men look like they are men of importance, their dress and the formality of many of the portraits suggest this. Most have a serious and studious expression. These men are considered to be great thinkers, philosophers, scientists and leaders of their time. The photos are displayed in grid format, and there are a further 10 sheets, one of which contains a biography and two are representations for an installation. This typography appears to be documentary and representative in style.

Further reading highlights that Richter found these images in books, and are of prominent people whose portraits were taken in between 1824 and 1904. The men are all white, no women at all. Richter then painted 48 of these people for the German pavilion of the 1972 Venice Biennale. I find it interesting that although the photos in the 8 sheets include politicians and artists, Richter chose not to include these in his final 48. (2018a; Casella, A) Casella quotes Richter’s reflections upon this series “I am interested in the speechless language of these pictures. Heads, even if they are full of literature and philosophy, become quite unliterary. Literature is invalidated; the personalities become anonymous. That’s what is important to me here.” (2018b; Casella, A)

Mountain Ranges 1968 Atlas sheet 129Fig. 3. Mountain Ranges (1968)

Initial Thoughts:- Rather dull monochrome images of mountain ranges. Banal, sterile and the only obvious context is they are a representation of mountains. Does exactly what it says on the tin, with no meaning beyond the representation. However, these photos, as with many of the typologies from Richter’s Atlas, are props for his drawing and painting. The Mountain Range series becomes a tool so that Richter can create both literal and abstract works of art. Richter seems uncertain of what his art represents. He has stated that painting is about discovering the known, a literal representation, and then in the same interview he states that painting is about the unknown and incomprehensible (abstract) (McCarthy, T; 2011). My impression is that different aspects of Richter’s work have different meanings, and ask different questions of the viewer.

Gebirge 1968Fig. 4. Gebirge (1968)

Richter is both an artist and photographer, and he uses these skills in their own right, and also combines them together and overpaints photography (see Overpainted Photographs here).

Illustrations

Figure 1; Richter, G; 1966; Volker Bradke Atlas sheet 26; AT: https://www.gerhard-richter.com/en/art/atlas/volker-bradke-11606/?&p=1&sp=32 (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Figure 2; Richter, G; 1971; Für 48 Portraits Atlas sheet 30; AT: https://www.gerhard-richter.com/en/art/atlas/for-48-portraits-11610/?&p=1&sp=32 (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Figure 3; Richter, G; 1968; Mountain Ranges Atlas sheet 129; AT: https://www.gerhard-richter.com/en/art/atlas/mountain-ranges-11709/?&p=5&sp=32 (accessed on 20/02/2018)

Figure 4; Richter, G; 1968; Gebirge (amphibolin on canvas); AT: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2016/contemporary-art-evening-auction-l16020/lot.27.html (accessed on 20/02/2018)

References

Casella, A; 2018a; Notes; Online AT: https://www.gerhard-richter.com/en/art/paintings/photo-paintings/portraits-people-20/48-portraits-alfredo-casella-10692 (accessed on 20/12/2018)

Casella, A; 2018b; Notes; Online AT: https://www.gerhard-richter.com/en/art/paintings/photo-paintings/portraits-people-20/48-portraits-alfredo-casella-10692 (accessed on 20/12/2018)

Richter, G; 2018; Overpainted Photographs; Online AT: https://www.gerhard-richter.com/en/art/overpainted-photographs (accessed on 20/12/2018)

McCarthy, T; 2011; Blurred visionary: Gerhard Richter’s photo-paintings; Online AT: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/sep/22/gerhard-richter-tate-retrospective-panorama (accessed on 20/02/2018)