Sunday, October 29, 2017

Reading Assignment Blogpost - Chapter 5, Intimate Life (due Thu 11/2)

In the comment section below write a 200 word minimum response to Chapter 5 "Intimate Life" Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

Which essay from the assigned chapter spoke to your own experience the most?  Summarize the main points of the essay and give a personal anecdote that elaborates on why this article spoke to you. Which essay made you think about photography in a new way, or spoke to experiences you may not have been as familiar with?  Did any of the work completely confuse you?  Which photographer(s) highlighted are you the most interested in?  Again, summarize the article and explain why this essay has reshaped your ideas about photography.

Katie and Rachel will be leading the classroom discussion on Tuesday 11/2


  1. Chapter 5

    This chapter did not do anything for me. I really could not relate to what most of these artists were saying or trying to say. I take family photos, photos on trips, events, etc., but my subject(s) are not so stark. After years of working in a trauma unit, I felt anguish and despair in many of these photos.

    Wolfgang Tillmans (138) 2003. I liked how he displayed his imagery. The graphic has a nice color scheme, almost tranquil, the installation of the small photos was interesting.

    Ruth Erdt (148) 2001. This photo was one I could relate with. Catching the boy at the beach, playing in the sand. The background being blurred to allow the image of the boy in the foreground to be sharp (shallow depth of field) was thought out. Peaceful, playful, the intense look on the boys face as looks past the camera's view at what? A sibling, a sea creature crawling out of the surf. Nice.

    Larry Sultan (151). I have seen his book, "Pictures from Home." Interesting photographic series of family life. Not a big fan, although I do understand his work better than others in this chapter.

  2. In this chapter, I enjoyed the work of Larry Sultan. His picture titled “Argument at the Kitchen Table” caught my attention. At first, it is hard to see all exactly what is going on and what the objects are in the photo. There is a stark shadow that covered about half of the picture and makes you really have to adjust your eyes to see what is in the background. Another reason I like this work is because it gives the viewer a glimpse behind the scenes of what really goes on at this house. Sultan is not saying that arguments happen all of the time, but that it is a reality of family life. It’s real, and I can relate to a certain level. I think every family is different at home than they are in public, even if it’s a minor difference.
    Ruth Erdt’s “Pablo” was another piece I appreciated. The boy is contemplating something off to the side, he was dirty in a playful way, and the water behind him indicated a gentle breeze. The colors Erdt coordinated for the picture brings a sense of serene as a whole to the work. I thought it was laid out in a pleasing way, there are places for my eyes to rest and admire.

  3. In this chapter I like the work by Annelies Strba, Corinne Day, and Ruth Erdt. I really like the photo by Annelies Strba titled "In the Mirror". I enjoy the fact that It blurry and the she probably wasn't planning on taking this picture but she saw an opportunity and ran with it. I also like that no in the photo is posed or seems to know that it's being taken. I enjoy candid types pictures like that. The photo by Corinne Day titled "Tara sitting on the loo" is really enjoyable to me as well. Once I saw it I immediately stopped reading and looked at the photo for like a minute because I found it funny and familiar. My friends and I always seem to take the same kind of pictures of each other and it's fun to see this one in the book. Lastly the photo by Ruth Erdt titled "Pablo" is really aesthetically pleasing. I like that the water and sky are blurry in the background so we focus on the boy who is clearly focused on something else. I like that along with this he has dirt on him and in his hand, like he might have been playing when something else caught his eye and now that's all that matters.

  4. I was not too fond of most of the work in this chapter. I know everyone’s concept of art is different and that these are out there for those who appreciate it. Most of these pieces is just something I would not like to do or be very comfortable doing. These photographs for sure show the subjects habits and vulnerabilities and you can feel the emotions radiating from the work. Alessandra Sanguinetti is a good example of this. It hits close to home with a lot of people especially in America. I looked at a lot of her work that was the same series that is represented in the book. They either have a bigger girl and her relationship with food or a bigger girl next to or with a smaller girl. It is not my favorite work but it makes you realize the emotions that are packed into these pieces. I related most to Mitch Epstein and Colin Gray’s work and I believe these two artists are why I got chosen to present over this chapter. Their work is based either on their father and his life or their parent’s lives in general. Looking through their series reminded my work that I am doing relating directly with my father and his illness. They hit pretty close to home and gave me some ideas for my work as well.

  5. I personally really enjoyed this chapter. I related more to the beginning of the chapter, with artists such as Nan Goldin and Ryan McGinley, because I have always taken photos of my adventures with friends. Ever since I moved to Stephenville, every time I go back home I make a point to ‘document’ my time with fly family and friends. I have hundreds of snapshots of from these experiences. Goldin’s circle of friends always changed, which was evident in her pictures. She documented events, and situations which she and her chosen friends and family would be a part of. McGinley documented he and his friend’s lifestyles, being aware that his images could one day receive public attention, just like Goldin’s. Their works are very similar to each other. I enjoy how photos from both artists show their changing experiences and that these memories in photo form are valued by the public.
    I did not relate quite as well to the last few artists of the chapter, since they seemed much more sad and intense than those in the beginning. I did enjoy Colin Gray, even though his documentation of his parents getting older really seemed upsetting. Cotton states that his photos are Gray’s way of “engaging the viewer his own quiet agony”, (165) and I thought it was heart wrenching to see his earlier works, some of which his parents reenacted old memories, evolved into showing how his mother was now dependent on being taken care of by someone else.

  6. The essay that spoke to me the most was the by Annelies Strba, and her narrative, In the Mirror. I have such a strong connection with my own mother and I would love to be able to take pictures of my family in their most intimate ways and capture every emotion I could have of them. Just to be able to relive that moment. The work that made me think of art in a new way is the photograph by Nan Goldin, Siobhan and the A house #1. Mainly because looking at the photograph one would just think it’s a picture of a girl sitting on a bed, and not the behind scenes of knowing that she had an addiction problem, sexual abuse or something traumatic happen in her life. The series makes me think more of what the picture is not capturing and what it is hiding instead. Juergen Teller, Selbstportat; Sauna, is a photo that makes me uncomfortable and rather confused me no matter what the intention on it was. The photograph by Wolfgang Tillmans, Lutz & Alex holding each other, I find most interesting because the photo lighting makes it look like a dream or a fantasy and you can feel the intimacy and love radiating from it.

  7. For myself I really enjoyed the work of Nan Goldin because she was able to use her photography as a way to cope with her past. The work for the still life I actually used objects that have a certain meaning to me. For example, the pomegranate wasn’t just a pomegranate to me. When I was younger around this season my mom and I would get pomegranates, because we were the only people in the house that liked them, and we would eat them together. Our relationship is nowhere near as close as it was then, it’s actually more toxic so that’s why that was the only picture that was black and white. Again I would say Nan Goldin’s work made me think in a new way and as well as my time during the still life project. My mind hasn’t been in the right place and using photography as a way to get all these things or people together will make you think and help get you to the right solution which I appreciated most about reading the article about Nan Goldin. Some of the work in the chapter to me can almost be like voyeurism to me which feels a little weird but I do enjoy having the feeling of being the person on the outside looking in like in Argument at the Kitchen Table by Larry Sultan. I’ll probably look more into Nan Goldin to see how she recorded her life and see how exactly she was able to cope with the certain events that happened in her life.

  8. My favorite photographer out of this chapter is Richard Billingham because he takes photos of a daily life of a family, and how their lifestyle is. My mom expresses a lot of concern of taking photos of the family due to time passing by so fast, and life always changing. I think it is important to capture those moments of happiness or quality time with people who you care most about.

    The one that confused me the most was Wolfgang Tillmans because I don’t understand how his pictures have to deal with intimate life; however, I think maybe Tillman expresses intimate life differently. Maybe photography is his intimate life therefore he uses it as such through different elements perhaps. Sometimes I believe being intimate about not being directly intimate is creative and intriguing and sometimes confusing.

    The photographer who inspired me the most was Alessandra Sanguinetti who let girls dress up how they want then capture them out of character. I feel like I relate a lot to this one because at school I try to be a composed individual as much as possible, but I can be very emotional behind the scenes. Nobody would see the same girl had I were to break character.

  9. This chapter felt like a sort of emotional ride of what life could hold for others in the future. Wealth, or poverty. Love, or loss. Life, or death. It was something that would leave me somewhat in thought while I read.

    The first of which that I could possibly speak of the most had to of been Colin Gray, and their collection of pictures of their parents' daily life. Today in class, a presentation left me feeling somewhat anxious towards this collection, and what it represented. It showed me a good and bad of what inevitability that I will have to face one day. The eventual loss of a loved one seems to be plastered all over the pictures shown to me, and it left me thoughtful towards the future as the concept of death comes with heavy and fearful meaning to me. These pictures seemed like a reminder of what will come one day, and how I will need to be ready to accept and move on from loss though the fear still grips me.

    The next had to of been something that left me feeling the exact opposite as the previous photographer. Mitch Epstien was the one that left me feeling a little better about the possibilities of mortality. It was sore of like the 'good' to the 'bad' in the situation. Though the inevitability that death is, cherishing the time you have with loved ones is the most valuable thing that one can have to a person like me, and seeing these pieces instantly made Mitch my favorite in the chapter due to how comforting the pictures made me feel. They were soothing, I guess that you could say.
    As for inspirational, I would have to say that Anna Fox left me feeling somewhat uplifted in this category when going through this chapter. In a chapter filled with heavy emotions, it felt nice to see something as light-hearted as a child's Santa model. It made me feel that there could be something a little more done with such a matter besides the bluntness of the other dreary, and foreboding works.

  10. Ok let’s be honest sometimes I’m not feeling another photographers work. Here is why, if the images does not have some abstract to it seems to not really catch my attention.
    Yes, everyone like portraits taken of them or of their family’s friends and so on but we all have our own opinions when it comes to them. I like to mix things up and take photos of people in a way that is abstract and tells a story within a story.
    This chapter also gave me the feel of still life mixed with it. For example, Larry Sultan “Argument at the Kitchen Table” you really have to look at the image to see what is going on.
    I like how it’s somewhat dark lighting. I also like how you have to try to see what is going on this image I would say has abstract. That is what really catches my attention over other photos themselves.