6 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2017
    1. He also invited participants to learn how to use medium-format digital camera equipment, over repeated sessions, in order to create a self-portrait for the ongoing series Assisted Self-Portraits

      There is something interesting here about the facilitation of the use of professional equipment, rather than, say, a phone camera; this could be empowering (but the access is temporary – a gift then taken away?), or it could be alienating – a self-portrait produced with strange machinery. The technological dimension is not addressed explicitly, despite the power that inheres within 'pro kit', despite the language of democracy and facilitation that the project uses ("invite", "assist"). I wonder what the rationale was for the use of the medium format camera.

    2. I think there is something very interesting about which elements of that process, along with which of the parties it involves, are experienced by viewers as a legitimate part of the work

      As Ben says here, the process is opened up to scrutiny, becomes 'part of the work', which means that we have to read these images differently – we're not going to fall into the trap of what Gregory Currie calls 'aesthetic empiricism' and judge the photos as art works in a vacuum. But perhaps there's the danger, lurking, of aestheticising the abject? And (although it's probably the seaside setting that prompts this association) the beach photos taken by the participants just occasionally reminded me of some of Martin Parr's New Brighton photographs. So what kinds of photographic language have the participants internalised? Are they conscious or unconscious rhetoricians of the image?

    3. It seems to me that the core of your query here is an apparent tension between the process and products of the practice

      It strikes me that the soundtrack that accompanies the montage presented here (which is much more limited than the gallery exhibition described in the conversation between Anthony and Ben) is as important as the images; it allows us access to the negotiations behind the camera, the handing over of the cable release so that the subject becomes their own object, the pedagogic conversation, the gratitude. But there is always the awareness of a power differential between artist and participant, and of the editing of the sound, the selection of what to include and what to exclude, despite its vérité quality.

    4. Jo Spence

      Jo Spence is a great reference point, given how she forged such a powerful voice through images of her vulnerable body. Photography was an autoethnographic tool for her – is there an explicit connection to be made here I wonder?

    5. participatory photography—what some people, generally those outside the arts, sometimes call ‘photo voice’

      This apparently oxymoronic term that Ben Burbridge uses, 'photo voice' encapsulates a key issue for this project - how a picture 'enunciates'. Anthony, the artist, understands this debate well, and both he and his interlocutor Ben, are aware of the play of meaning here.

    6. Luvera volunteered at the Brighton Housing Trust homeless support service, First Base Day Centre, working in the kitchens and in the activity rooms over the course of a year.

      Echoes here of the sociological participant observer with, perhaps, the attendant ethical concerns about appropriation. The artist's roles as facilitator, 'voice', 'lens' begin to emerge here.