Week 2: Independent Reflection
This week we have looked at the authenticity of imagery. Throughout the photographs history it has been used to “document”. Photography replaced painted postcards, oil paintings of family members and so on. This was because we saw the image as a direct reflection of what we and the photographer was viewing allowing the photograph to have an almost moral description. But when we look further into what a photograph actually is, do when the discover its subjective nature. When taking a photograph the photographer will take an picture showing what he or she sees. But as we all know we view everything very differently. I may be looking at a seaside image and be more drawn to the water, so there is likely to be more water in the photograph that I have taken. But another photographer could come and stand in the same place, with the same camera and be more interested in the sand, so there will more sand in that image. We have both created a documentation of the environment. But we have created it in our own image using our own personal interest. I see photography more of a diluted version of the truth. No matter how informative you are whilst taking the images, they will ultimately be shaped by your own personality, interest and prejudice. When using the word photograph we are excluded as artists, as the word photograph(a picture made using a camera, in which an image is focused on to light-sensitive material and then made visible and permanent by chemical treatment, or stored digitally.) was a word that was created to encapsulate and label our outcome but what is we labeled our work as imagery ? does this then allow us to explore the authenticity in our work, without loosing touch with the “truth” that people are expecting. When looking at the definition of the word (a representation of the external form of a person or thing in art.) we can immediately see the authentic nature has been removed. Instead we are met by words like “representation”. Have we aloud photography to be pigeon hold for so long that we are unable to define our practice as art ? merely a photocopy of the truth ? . We lived our lives through a glamorized performance, we take images and upload them everyday on social media) but are we showing our real selves ? Behind the pose, the makeup, the perfect selfie. As humans we portray our lives as what we want them to be, or how we want them to be seen. So when using this in the context of a photograph, if we a living a life that isn’t show authentically, how can we expect an image to do that?
Looking at the work by Trish Morrissey we are led to believe this is a simple family photograph taken on a beach. The images lack any real substance or character but when used in he context of a photograph ( being the truth) the depict a family scene rather well. Its only when we view the image as an image and read its title, are we invited to explore the ambiguity of the image. The title “the front”, is a pathway into exploring the three dimensional aspect of imagery that is lost. We are then very aware that we are looking at the image from the photographers point of view. Allowing ourselves to view this image as art releases it from the pressures of a photograph and lets the viewer follow a guided tour ( guided by the photographer and the images properties) of the image rather than a dictated emotive path.