Oral Presentation Initial Feedback

Das Unheimliche

  • Find poses that ‘describe’ Das Unheimlich…uncanny & unnatural poses of shop dummies
  • What medium? Preference is for Medium Format (Hasselblad) in order to create careful considered results
  • Create the images in Shop Windows? (how the hell do you get permission let alone find models willing to undress and display themselves in a shop window?)

  • Asked if I was going to shoot women too? Is there less of a problem for women? Brings up some very interesting questions about whether it is more acceptable to be a gay man or a gay woman & under what situations? Is it more fashionable / acceptable / less confrontational to be a lesbian than a gay man?
  • Brings up the issue of the Patriarch not used to being viewed in such a way – they were purchaser / commissioner of any artwork so inevitably the subject matter was women.
  • Modern life has extended the objectification of women to men, which only compounds the problem rather than helping any solution
  • Asked if I was going to have interviews to go along with the images? Chatting during a shoot is the easiest way to get the model to relax, but it may also give the opportunity for other ideas to be explored as you find out about someone else’s tales and experience
  • Asked how different countries view these issues? Chance to broaden the project to show range of perceived acceptability from Western Societies general acceptance through to Russia recent version of Section 28 then through to South African / Middle Eastern countries where you could be executed
  • Questioned whether I could collaborate with the models in their creation of the masks to allow them their own conversations & input into the body of work. Also to allow them to introduce a ‘tell’ rather like poker & rather like real life as what we think may be secret may have already been guessed at by others
  • Explore masks / masking in it’s widest possible senses…not just physical masks, but shadowing / mirrors / smoke / frames etc
  • Possible use of paper bags to allow the models to draw their own versions of faces (or anything else…research the project where the photographer asked models to write a secret on paper bags before photographing them)
  • Asked what was the chance to revisit past models to see if life for them had changed & whether they still felt the need to mask
  • Why did I have ‘Parental Guidance’ notice before my work when Simon had shown naked women the week before with no fore-warning. Brings up society’s normalisation of seeing the naked female form while naked men are still seen as taboo? Why is so threatening about a naked man?
  • What are my aims?
    show how we mask ourselves in social situations
    reveal our most intimate areas to a stranger yet hide the face the world usually sees
    BBC quote that 74% of gay / trans people feel uncomfortable revealing their sexuality
  • Exhibition is as much a part of the project proposal – hope is to make the viewer slightly uncomfortable as a mirror to the feelings many gay people experience in common social situations.
  • Use Polaroid as a medium? 8×10 sheets would immediately add gravitas to the ‘idea’; have the cable release in shot to emphasise the model has control.
  • Give the Polaroid to the model to mask in any way they see fit which may subconsciously bring out their feelings about masking (Paint,Pencil,Scribbling,Chemical (acetone – nail polish remover), Burning, ink (fingerprint?), blood? scalpel, glue, glitter
  • ‘The Homosexual’ mentioned in the same tones as ‘The Blacks’ brings in connotations of difference and the different being the ‘other’ which automatically brings up an assumption that one is superior to ‘the other’
  • Chose Polaroid as it gives the chance to subvert the connotation of Polaroid as being frivolous and primarily used to capture happy family moments & parties etc.
  • Also the uniqueness of the Polaroid – there can only ever be one & the model is safe in the knowledge that it’s existence is under their control; whereas digital can be replicated ad infinitum & with the internet control is rarely guaranteed
  • Research possibilities of other forms of unique image daguerreotype / wet plate collodion
  • Is the project about the negotiated contract between the photographer and model and the trust relationship which brings about this silent agreement which enables them to be secure.

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