352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Lecture 7 (Formative Feedback Review)

On Wednesday 4th March 2015, after a two-week break due to the completion of our 350MC Symposium module, we returned to our usual routine where we dedicate our Wednesday’s to the development of our 352MC Final Major Project Module. On this day we all took part in a Formative Feedback Review session, which involved us displaying all of our work from the FMP module so far (including a revised proposal that we had to write especially for the session). Once we had set-up our projects in the appropriate manner, we then spent an hour individually looking at our peers work and providing them with written feedback. Once this session was completed, we then returned to the second part of the day that involved us presenting our work to the group before receiving extended verbal feedback. Below you will be able to find a photo of all of the information that I provided during the Formative Feedback Review, a copy of the written feedback I received (from the first session) as well as a video of the audio recording from the extended feedback session (session two), accompanying notes, and the key points that I need to take away from today’s session:

Project Information:

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My project information included my revised proposal, the research I had currently undertaken, the process and development of my project so far, contact sheets of my equipment test shoot (including the Mamiya RB67, Mamiya 7, and Canon 5D Mk ii), a contact sheet of Grandpa’s found photographs, both the Canon 5D and Mamiya 7 contact sheets from the first three trips up to the Lake District, examples regarding the “middle-of-the-road” composition I wish to use, and a to-do list of things that I still need to complete for the project.

 

 

Peer Review (Written Feedback):

 

Individual Presentation and Extended Verbal Feedback:

Formative Feedback Review – Feedback on my Final Major Project from Holly Constantine on Vimeo.

(Please note, all of the text provided in a regular format (unless otherwise stated) is feedback I gained from Anthony Luvera, and the text that has been displayed in italics represents my answer to a question/suggestion).

  • I think you’ve undertaken an extensive amount of organized research – but I think you should loosen up a little bit
    • I just feel like you’ve sewn up the narrative of what you’re doing right now (and that’s great because you can develop on making it a more coherent, critical rational for the work you’re making)
    • However, a big part of making work, particularly when it involves responding to a personal situation (such as the death of a loved one) is that we really need to disassociate that with the work itself
      • For my Symposium, I looked into landscape photographs as memory triggers and therefore have a lot of research regarding the psychology behind the process of memory and recollection
      • So, at the moment, I feel that I have entered the project through the idea of reconnecting to my Grandpa
      • However, to make it more accessible to the viewer (through the use of different text and the output I present), I’m now actually planning on representing the process of memory recollection – in other words, I want to be able to provide the viewer with a gained understanding that, by visiting different places, their fading memories (of particular individuals) can begin to be recollected, and they can then apply this knowledge to their own, personal situation
      • I’m just a bit worried that, in being so didactic at how you’re expecting the viewer to respond to the work, you will essentially “close the project down” and won’t allow the viewer any space in which to enjoy the work
    • We all have particular personal intentions for making the work that we do and the challenge for an artist is to work out how much of that narrative to bring into the critical rational of the work
  •  In terms of the work itself, you’ve done significant research into artists looking into the landscape genre, but I’d like to see more technical experimentation
    • I’d like to see you working with large format and medium format – which I am doing as I’m actually using a medium format Mamiya 7
  •  I think you need to look into place and representation and to do this, you should consider looking into:
    • Simon Roberts’ “Motherland”
    • Alec Soth’s “From Here to There”
    • William Eggleston
    • Your list is already extensive so I’m not to worried about giving you more artists to look at
  •  You’ve identified a sort of compositional structure (which you’re calling a “middle-of-the-road aesthetic”) – don’t get too caught up on what its called (at the moment I think its more relating to the rule of third)
    • Emma Shea – the “middle-of-the-road” stuff looks really nice, but what is with the middle photograph? It’s really different from the others, is there a specific connection?
      • These aren’t actually photographs I’ve taken from the Lake District, they’re photographs that I took a couple of years back in New Zealand, but I just wanted to provide an example of what I meant by the “middle-of-the-road” aesthetic
      • So, you’re interested in making photographs of landscapes that have a diminishing perspective in its compositional structure – okay, get out there and make the pictures
      • It’s a great idea to make photographs now when you cant get to the ideal locations, because you can test out and experiment with equipment and strategies (for example, time of day)
      • But you ideally need to get to the places
  •  I worry that you might attempt to go too far down a path that is so sewn up in the personal so you should consider how you could make this project accessible to an audience? – That’s the real challenge here and is a question that you should take away with you
    • Imogen Wall – I’ve spoken to Holly about this before, but as it is to do with her trying to reconnect with her Grandpa, when I look at her pictures, I think about the emotion that I feel if I lost my Grandparents and how I’d try to reconnect with them
    • I’m not disputing that, but I think that’s because you’re in such close proximity to the creation of the work
    • When it gets to the final degree show, when her work is on the wall, in that moment, the work needs to sit by itself
  • There’s no prescription or recipe for doing what I’m suggesting, but these are just questions designed to provoke you to think about the work in a different way
  • I would love to see how you might record audio
    • I’m considering creating soundscapes of ambient noises of the places to make the project more immersive for the viewer
    • And I’m also planning on doing an interview with my Dad discussing the places and the memories we recall
  •  I’m also looking at text as a way of accompanying the images to try and make it more accessible
    • I think you need to get to the stage of writing as soon as you can – so you can experiment with text in the same way that you can experiment with images
    • This applies to everyone – there can be a danger when we think that we’ll focus on the photography and just add the text at the end, which is a really dangerous thing to do, because it takes as much experimentation with text then it does with images (in terms of what the text says, the aesthetics of the text, and the meaning as well)
    • The book Art and Text was mentioned as well – I’ve already read through this as a part of my research
  •  Charli-Nicole Collins – Also, when looking at audio, have you thought about experimenting with cinemagraphs?
    • I’ve got it as a question mark on my experimentation because I know that it is relatively time consuming (and I know that’s not a good enough reason not to try something), but I’m considering it, and if I’ve got time then I’ll look into it
    • Natalia also, kindly offered to help me with the creation of cinemagraphs, if required
  • Rosa Lacavalla – I was imagining the final work with an installation of other photographs and materials (something from every place) that also represent that place that you have revisited
    • That was my original idea, which was to have my photographs alongside lots of archival aspects (including my Grandpa’s photos and materials I’ve collected on the trips)
    • I’m trying to collate as much data as possible that I can then use in the future if need be
    • Or you could use them now? – Perhaps create still life images in the studio that might sit alongside the landscape images in some sort of narrative sequence in a self-published publication
      • You should look into Bobby Mills’ “The Road Not Taken”
      • You should also look at David Rule – who I already have on my list of people I need to research into

 

After my extended verbal feedback session, as Anthony was providing feedback to some of my course peers, he also suggested that I should research into:

  • Elina Brotherus
  • Duncan Campbell’s “It for Others” – looks into seeing history through objects which could relate to the suggestion of photographing still lives of the archival aspects

 

Key Points to Take Away from Today:

  • As it is such a personal project, I need to consider (in the development of my project and the design of my final exhibition installation) how I can make this project more accessible to the viewer
    • Maybe through the incorporation of text for example?
  • I need to research into:
    • Simon Roberts’ “Motherland”
    • Alec Soth’s “From Here to There”
    • William Eggleston
    • Bobby Mills’ “The Road Not Taken”
    • Elina Brotherus
    • Duncan Campbell’s “It for Others”
  • I need to get out and experiment more with the equipment – including the compositional structure I’m interested in (or “middle-of-the-road” photography (which I was planning on doing the following day anyway)
  • I also definitely need to experiment with audio (which I was already considering doing)
    • I should also try and experiment with cinemagraphs if I have the time
  • I need to try and progress onto the development of the accompanying text as soon as possible and should start to consider aspects like what it says, the aesthetics of the text, and what it means
  • I should continue collecting archival aspects such as found photographs and collected items/materials
    • With these materials, I should also experiment with still life photography
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