Sunday, September 23, 2018

Reading Assignment Blogpost - Chapter 1 - If Is this is Art (due 10/2)

In the comment section below write a 150 word minimum response to Chapter 1 that  includes the following topics in some order.  

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.

Nicole will be leading the classroom discussion on Tuesday 10/2


  1. This is where you leave your 150 word response...

  2. All of the Artist in this chapter capture images that most would not considered to be traditional photography. The book even states that “all of the photographs here evolve from a strategy or happening orchestrated by the photographers for the sole purpose of creating an image” (Thames, Hudson). This is basically stating that all of these images are staged. These images were created from an idea rather than a chance encounter on the street.
    The photographer that stood out to me the most, was probably the Ukraine artist Oleg Kulik. He stood out to me in particularly because he is a crazy person. He runs around on all fours and acts like an animal, whether it be horses or dogs, he also likes to appear naked in most of his work.
    The artist that I did relate to the most was probably Gillian Wearing. Her series Signs that say what you want them to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say lets the documente have some control over what there are presenting to the world. This series can also be deeply emotional at times. For instance, there is a police officer holding a sign that just states “help”, in another photo there is what appears to be a smiling man with a sign stating “I’m Desperate”. I think I relate to this series in particular because it somewhat relates to a project that I am starting.
    The project that I am working on is photographing graphic designs that I created, that pictures words on them. These words are my own sporadic thoughts, some read “help me I think I’ve peaked”, “designated family fuck up” and my personal favorite “I don’t know what’s going on”.
    I do not think this reshaped my idea of photography. Photography is a form of art (well it can be) and ultimately art can be anything anyone wants it to be.

    1. This is Sarah Buschlen, I dont know what happened to my name

  3. Julie Steen:
    If I had to pick one essay that spoke to me the most it would have to be “The Blob.” As a woman our bodies are a constant battle. Everyone, including ourselves, judge us by our shape and fitness. After having my children, I felt as though I would never be the same. I have learned, however, that as I get older the way I feel about my body has changed. I no longer let others judge how I feel about me. A lot of these essays and pictures confuse me. I have never looked at photography this way before. I like taking pictures because I see something beautiful and want to capture it. In these photos people are naked for strange reasons and I do not see the concept of what the photographer was going for when they took the picture. If I just saw the picture I would not understand it. This chapter has made me rethink why some people take pictures and use it as a way to say something.

  4. I really liked how this chapter discussed how photography is a form of art. I think that sometimes people don’t really know all of the little things and factors that go into taking a good picture, which is why I truly believe that photography is a form of art. After reading this chapter, the photographer that I am most interested in is Gillian Wearing. Wearing’s work in ‘Signs that say what you want them to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say’ (1992-93) was so simply yet so meaningful. Wearing walked up to complete strangers on the streets of London and asked them to write something about themselves on a card and then she photographed them holding what they wrote. I like how Wearing took a picture of a man who held up a sign that said, “have been certified as mildly insane!”. The background of the picture shocked me, because it looks like the picture was taken at a shopping center. I like how she did this, because I think it takes the focus off of the picture, itself, and focuses more on the words that are written. After reading this chapter, I believe that art can be anything you want it to be.

  5. The artists from this chapter are photographers making images from what would not be considered traditional artwork practices but creating art with ideas in mind that this is there creation. Pictures were created with a fixed image or objective in mind, often conveying ideas or actions in their images. The images being presented could be staged entirely or partly, or the resulting themed photo series coming from a setup camera with specific qualifications (place and/or time).
    A photography series which made me think differently was made by Jeanne Dunning with her photo series of the body, The Blob. The image set displays a woman with an extra flesh blob shell covering her torso. The blob seems to symbolize the vulnerable human’s view and shows the relationship between their body and mind. I would have never thought of body image in this point of view of having an extra appendage without Jeanne’s photos. But even after one image from the series I understood the general idea wanting to be conveyed with the blob.
    One of the photographers who appealed to me this chapter, is Nina Katchadourin by her renovations of the environment with manmade influences and seeing the results of her meddling. In Nina’s series, Mended Spiderweb, she repaired holes in spiderwebs with red threadwork and reinforced it with glue. She discovered that her patchwork was always rejected by the spider and discarded on the ground underneath the web. I found it fascinating how the supposedly damaged nature would reject humans repairs to mend it.

  6. The photographers in this chapter had their photographs staged so they could create their image. So this makes the artistic creation begin with planning instead of when they picked up their cameras. The photographer that stood out to me the most was Gillian Wearing with Signs that say what you want them to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say. I like this because it made me curious on what everyone wrote down on the boards and it gave the people who were being photographed more freedom in what they wrote. I think it just gives more insight into the people that were being photographed. The work that confused me the most was Jeanne Dunning’s The blob. It just really unpleasant to look at for me. Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s Heads, I liked because it was staged but at the same time the people didn’t know they were being photographed.

  7. The work that stood out to me the most was called Signs that say what you want them to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say by British artist Gillian Waring. This piece spoke to me because I think this is a cool way to really get to know someone and their internal issues without being forceful. Commercials these days start with “Are you overweight? Are you depressed? Are you poor?” By asking these questions, you automatically assume something about a person based off their appearance. Instead this photographer allows the subject to choose what he or she wants the world to know.

    Coming out of the news photography class last year, we were taught to never alter or stage photographs for reporting. However, in art photography, it is important to have staged and intentional photographs. The photographer must arrange the scene and give directions to the subjects with confidence so that he or she can find the perfect image.

  8. I’ve always been a fan of art, but I am new to the art of photography. Erwin Wurms spoke to me the most considering my next project is based on staging people in different places. The article explained how people in his photos didn’t have to have any physical capabilities. Also not using any specialized props either, he could make due with a bucket. Wurm explained that the work of art was in the idea itself. I can relate to his photo #21, it shows a man that looks like he stuck his head in the wall in a not so nice of a place. It reminds me of my childhood because we didn’t have the most money growing up and I always seemed to have my head against the wall not when I was bored and had nothing to do. I visually enjoy his photograph because its honestly weird, but in my opinion you are only cool if you are weird.

  9. Gillian Wearing did something that actually seems pretty simple to do. He had people hold up signs that said what they wanted them to say, not something they were told to put. That to me opens my mind some about art, reminding me that it doesn't have to be complicated, as I make it a lot of times. I can relate to the works of Erwin wurm in this chapter from how silly the images look, #20 specifically, as it reminds me of hanging out with friends and family being fully comfortable where there is always that one person doing something silly, like in image #20. The artist who interests me, as well as semi worries me is Sophie Calle, based on the fact that she stalked a stranger who she barley met, and also went through people belongings while working at the hotel. That is a little wrong in my book, but different morals I guess, and whatever it took to get the shots.