I have just come across this photographer on YouTube Alexey Titarenko.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3IgZUJTlOo All I can say is WOW! Long exposure with a tripod and my guess using an ND filter. The black and white film has turned the Russian commuters into smoke as Titarenko puts it like something out of Greek mythology.
I mention it in my blog as Adams’ work, Serra Nevada the John Muir Trail was pivotal in persuading Congress and President Roosevelt to in act a law to protect the wilderness of the Serra Nevada which became known as Kings Canyon National Park. It struck me that documentary photography can take on many unexpected forms and can sometimes make a difference.
This image by Duane Michals cleverly uses hand written text to suggest a personal relationship between the author of the caption and man in the image. The black and white print eliminates any distracting colours to concentrate the emotional feeling of love. However, is the picture a genuine snap shot of the artist and his ex? or is it a composed image? Who took the photograph? Why was he of she in the bedroom with them?
I would suggest that this is a posed photograph and the hand written text intentionally alters the context to suggest a personal memory a reflection on a past relationship; but fiction all the same. Below is another image which we can see is posed and the hand written message adds humour to the context.
An interesting project by Karen Knorr with privileged access to London’s Gentlemen clubs of St. James’ in London. Knorr photographs in black and white appear to be taken of a medium format camera and are very sharp and well composed. She has cleverly added texts constructed out of Parliamentary speeches and news she has added new contexts and meanings to these images to put across her ideas of British politics and democracy and the status of women in an entertaining way.
To me, this is a little like the idea of Sophie Calle’s, ‘Take Care of Yourself’. Knorr has taken other peoples text and linked it with carefully composed pictures with a feminist point of view. However, the similarities stop there as Knorr is clearly an outsider and has little in common with her subject; so she has had to use speeches that members of clubs like this have said in Parliament or have been quoted on the news to create a narrative that puts across her documentary message in an entertaining way. Calle on the other hand was an insider as she shared a common experience with fellow women.
The project, The Day-to-Day Life of Alfred Hastings by Kaylynn Deveney is a good example of Postmodernist art. Deveney has taken the idea of making the ordinary, banal moments in her neighbour’s life as the subject of her project. Deveney is looking at her neighbours habits and routines in a fresh respective and by asking Mr Hastings to add his own captions to her photographs of him and his home new meanings are added to the pictures that give it a more intimate / personal, insider, style than if she had simply added her own. This I think was a cleaver way to add more layers to this work. This project is similar to ‘Objects in the Field’ in so much as the author (Deveney) writes about her experience working with Hastings and her personal observations. However, in this instance I believe the artist was more successful in building a good relationship with her subject and was able to share a mutual vision. The reason for this I believe was that they had more in common with each other and the photographer did not have to make as much of an effort to find common ground. Mr Hastings wrote poetry and his love of flora and fauna suggests a man more open to artistic and visual ideas and arts that proved both useful and helpful as Mr. Hastings helped Deveney develop her ideas with his helpful comments and clearly a good partnership developed that appears to have been missing from Rickett’s relationship.
One in 8 Million is an interesting online photo project in which a diverse range of people living in New York city talk about themselves with a slide show of still and black and white photographs that play-out in time with the audio narration. The pictures have been photographed to compliment the transcript and are a good example of how the theory of relay and on occasion anchoring is used with the audio. A very interesting social documentary on the diversity of New Yorkers. The interviews reflect what the individuals personality and identity from a woman into sexual bondage to a reformed drugs dealer, An immigrant from Nepal who is a baggage handler at JFK to a Blue Chip Broker and everyone in between a total of 54 different subjects all with there own story and collection of photos, that runs for two and a half minutes each. Very interesting and entertaining. Martin Parr, comments that in order to make interesting social documentaries he makes the entertaining to disguise the intended social message.