Sunday, January 27, 2008

Thoughts on Residency 3

This cold January in Boston proved to be a very productive residency for me. I had worked on a project all semester photographing Nannies and the children they care for. I had simultaneously worked on a few assemblage pieces based on a domestic theme of mothering. My critiques were very helpful this semester with most agreeing the Nanny work was not as successful as I would have liked it to be. The general consensus was it needed to tell much more of a story. I had to let go of “ the decisive moment” and take charge of the image outcome. I needed to “direct” each frame spend more time setting up the shot, allow for time to light properly and ask my subjects to turn, stand and participate more in an arranged moment I create. This hopefully will allow me to infuse my voice into the images more, something missing form many of the photographic pieces I brought with me. Throughout the residency my body of work constantly divided people’s attention. They were very eager to comment on my photos but many were drawn to the colors, and personal statement of my quilt piece I created out of my daughter’s clothes. Ultimately, Oscar Palacio clearly summarized where my art needs to go, by reinforcing the idea to bring my genuine “self” that is so apparent in the quilt into my photography. 

I had critiques with Kate Philbrick, Linc Cornell, Keith MacLelland, Judith Barry, Constanze Ruhm, Oliver Wasow, Stuart Steck, Rocky Haggard and Michael Finnegan.

Museum and gallery visits included Barbara Kracow gallery, with Laurel Sparks class, where we met artist Bill Thompson. The MFA as well as the Isabella Gardner. The Multi Media piece Empyrean, by artist Cliff Evans was in a word “mind blowing”. I was deeply moved and inspired by the use of imagery and multi media in an altar form. 

My focus for next semester will be to produce two photos of children / people dressed in costume. 
 The idea of the alter ego, and dressing up is one that intrigues me. I will be doing a great deal of sketching and preparation for each image. Lighting tests, test shots and location scouting will be an important part of the picture making process. I look forward to this semester with a clear focus and strong set of guidelines.

Books Recommended:

The Presentation of Self in Everyday life 

Masculine Masquerade

Decoding Advertising

Photographers to look at: 

Ralph Eugene Meatyard

Cindy Sherman

Larry Sultan

Sally Mann

Timothy Greenfield Sanders

Charlie White

Fruits / Japanese school kids

Barbara Norfleet

Judy Dater

Nan Goldin

Robins & Bescher

Robert Frank

Tina Barney

1 comment:

Katie Ring said...

Mary... I got very similar comments about needing to take a more active role in directing my photographs. I too need to have more of "me" in my pictures.

Please keep posting what you're reading & looking at. I think we might both benefit from a shared "source" list. Good luck & happy shooting!