Friday, 29 January 2010

Isn't it funny ...

how sometimes things just seem to fall into place!

At my recent tutorial with L she talked to me about my approach to our current project - particularly about getting bogged down in how I was going to photograph it and my concerns about what my 'end product' was going to be. I didn't get it! I thought I did, but I was still very caught up in trying to do something 'arty and creative' for this project.

The same thing happened at my group crit with J this week. Again she tried to stress to me that it was not so much about the end product but the process. She also suggested putting up the photographs I've collected that represent my 'losses' so that I could see the work and take time to consider it. Although I was taking it in, I still didn't 'get' it.

Then came A's crit session. She started off with one idea and explained how it had taken her through a series of others to her current idea which is to have both photographs and an old cine film of her father and the feeling of dreaming (not the dreams themselves). She particularly liked the idea of REM and wanted to create the flicker that's associated with it. S suggested including the sound of the film going through the machine. I asked J if this was a common thing with 1st year students - do we over-complicate things? Do we over-think? Her answer was yes.

And suddenly it dawned on me! All A really needed to do was put a blank piece of film though a machine that flickered white light and made the sound and the viewer would immediately make the association of dreams (well, we did)! And I don't have to go through all the palaver of finding the right location to put my items in to; my final image can be so much simpler than that. It's the very act of researching and pulling together all my 'loss' items that forms the construction of my image.

I think what L and J were trying to tell me is that the 'constructed' image is not the same as the 'staged' image; I've been thinking all along about a staged image. But its not that at all, I've been constructing all along; researching, thinking through my ideas, dismissing some, following others etc. Pulling together all of this is constructing the image!

I don't know if I've got this right or not, but it was such an amazing realisation I was quite overwhelmed by it. I was almost in tears on my way to work at night!! It made me realise that perhaps this is the key to conceptual work? In the past, when I've looked at some works of art, I've thought "what the ...?" It made no sense to me; it seemed almost ridiculous, or even to ridicule the viewer, but perhaps it was that way because it was the sum of all that had gone before it - all the research, the ideas, the 'construction'?!

Wow, what a session!


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