Decryptage : Stephen Shore, South of Klamath Falls, 1973
L'Oeil de la Photographie
US97, South of Klamath Falls, Oregon, October 2013
Marseille St. Charles
APhF15 © Madalina (@Madutzasan on Twitter)
I am really ashamed to say I've done nothing else in terms of "getting out there". I've not contacted galleries, open calls or done anything really... No, I've submitted to one open call, but that's it - a single image from an unfinished series. I really do have to pick up the baton now and get back into things, otherwise I may as well give up - is there any point working towards an MA if all I will ever do is make work for my own gratification? I don't think so.
Time to focus...
Laws about shooting and publishing photos and videoBefore taking a photo of someone you are required by law to ask the individual’s permission. If you want to publish it in anyway you have to ask their permission for each specific usage. Any object that is created by or is the copyright of an artist, or designer must have permissions to be published in specific contexts. Any owner of property can assert rights of ownership of property, again the photographer needs permissions to publish, regardless of whether the image was shot from a public or private space.
This could be a beautiful shot of the Eiffel Tower at night, with it’s beautiful lighting. However, without consent from the lighting designer, we could not publish the picture.
It is advisable in France to always get a signed written permission by individuals, owners of property and creators of original works, whatever the situation whether in a public or private space.
Individuals can use two different French laws to defend their rights against publication of their image:
The right of your own image (Droit d’image)
In France each individual has the exclusive right to their image and of who uses their image. Not only publishing the image but even taking the photo of someone, the photographer has to have the individuals permission under French Law. The fact that the person accepts to be photographed doesn’t mean that they accept to have their image published. A minor aged between 12 to 14 years old can be considered responsible enough to decide whether he/she gives the right to use his image.
Circumstances where the public right of information might be stronger than the individual’s right of one’s image
When someone places himself or herself is in a public place then there is already a measure of tacit consent already presumed but this is reflected in each individual case. Normally the person only has a right of complaint if he/she is a principal subject in the photo.
If someone is in a photo but not an essential element – or when the person is not recognizable – or is an accessory by chance – say in an image of a public monument, or statue, then it is generally considered that consent is not necessary, even though people have taken photographers or publishers to court over this. The same goes when the person is part of a crowd. But again each case is taken on its own merits, as to what is considered a crowd or an accessory or not.
But in all circumstances the persons dignity must be respected.
That was something of an aside though, the main reason in attending was to see the show, the premise of which was 5 photography students from just over the river at Berkshire College of Art coming back together 30 years later. Five "products" from the same the institution, the same course, the same tutors. And oh, how they are now different. All showing some work they produced then, with some produced now.
Tanya at the Turbine House
Excepting the postcard work that meets you as you walk into the Turbine House, the first "proper" body of work was that of Peter Cole, what I suppose you might call a social documentary/travel/street photographer. All work in black and white, all of people or their surroundings and all fairly "classic" in style. Moving clockwise around the room it was then Tanya's Syncretize work that I saw some of during the course, old photographs married with Skype captures to represent the changing face of social interactions. Darran Gough's work was something of a surprise, but a pleasant one. I think I'll come back to that later. There was more from Tanya with Gone. Now? Displayed in the expanding folder that housed it for the MA assessment, it was good to see the physical prints - dark images are difficult to get right on paper, but these managed it (for my eyes at least). Dave Willis is a music and fashion photographer and his wall included images of Michael Jackson and the likes. An impressive selection of famous people have been captured here. Richard Pinches' work seemed to have evolved from being a teenage staple of cars and beer into, well, cars and beers! Granted, a more sophisticated take on them, but still the same subject. I guess there's something to be said with that...
Two of the group are no longer professionally involved in the photography scene; Darran is a fireman and Peter is involved with cycling. That said, you can tell there has been some form of training in the way they work, Darran has juxtapositions within his images, things the completely untrained eye would have missed, reflections seen in the visor to give context to what might otherwise be a "flat" composition. What's more, his images were printed on plain copy paper. Nothing pretentious, nothing precious, but for me it was perfect. It said it all. I actually hate it when people get overly precious about the images. Most of the time, they're just little prints, easy to reproduce, easy to replace. Granted, not always, in which case they do become more "special", but on the whole... I also dislike it when things are large for the sake of being large, even when it's not truly appropriate (not the case here, not at all and not with any of the exhibits). Peter's work has that well produced and considered feel to it - if he hadn't moved over to his love of cycling to earn his crust, it would be easy to see him working the travel scene.
Richard and Dave are both professional photographers - their work reflects this. Hard to pick fault, but not really the sort of thing that excites me, even if I have tried my own hand at music photography some years ago (a passing fad - too old to get into the game at the point I tried). No, to be fair, the concert photography side of things does interest me, but the music side of my brain, rather than the photography. Commercial (product) photography is something I admire when done well, but is it art? Clearly not - it's not the intention. That's not to say it's not visually attractive though - that's the very point of it, to instigate some level of desire for the subject within the viewer. There's plenty to be said on this in the world of visual culture, Althusser, Barthes, Peirce, Saussure and Levi-Strauss, etc.
Tanya is the only one to have gone down an "art" route, the only one to have added a context to the photographs, beyond the obvious "we need pictures from then and now" - she has created a set of images that explores "then" and "now", even adding something of a punctum with the missing image. These are the images that make you think, rather than just admire the technique or appreciate the subject matter. Yes, I'm sure some will have missed this fact, dismissing the "poor quality" of the Skype images without even wondering why they are like they are, what they represent. That the technology that brings us all together is simultaneously pushing us all apart. Are these real relationships or a simulacrum of a relationship? Of course, they're based on the real, but now they exist (most of the time at least) within the realm of the Matrix. So what does that mean? It depends on what you want it to mean, but does the "spoon" reflect the relationship; we think it's real, we want (need?) to believe it's real but...
That's one possible interpretation of the images, perhaps not what Tanya intended, but then, that's the nature of the beast. Anyway, on the whole I believe it all worked. I got something from it at least.
Reading: A Start and a Return
It was also good to see Keith there - one of the [( 6 )] who exhibited at Bank Street last year...
Cindy Bernard - http://www.sound2cb.com/atdtrilogy/
In Bernard's work, she has gone back to scenes from well known films, from Vertigo, Faster Pussycat... Kill Kill and Dirty Harry and rephotographed them as they were when she was there, rather than as they were 30, 40 years ago (or longer...). I have done this virtually with Ruscha's Gasoline Stations Revisited and it is what I have started to explore with After Stephen Shore. She is in the LA area so can more easily visit the locations first hand. I use GSV.
Something else that does come through that has resonated within me and my early thoughts of Stephen Shore is the familiarity of some of these scenes. Yes, many of them are iconic films such as the afore mentioned Vertigo, but the films and the views from them all seem somehow familiar. Visual culture, notably from Hollywood cinema, but also for me from photography, has shaped the way we experience things that we have no direct experience of. I have never been to San Francisco, but I recognise the scene from Vertigo of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is in my memory. Similarly, one of the things I mentioned in my introduction notes on After Stephen Shore was that I felt a familiarity with the subjects of his images that should be illogical, but I feel that it stems from watching TV years ago (Kojak, Starsky and Hutch or The Streets of San Francisco). Not so much now, although maybe... I do feel a certain affinity with the landscapes of Breaking Bad because of the images from Shore, Ruscha and others.
The more I consider these things, the more I feel that memory is a fragile thing and easily mislead.