Who? How?…Where Now?
Now what do I do?Juno Calypso mentions the pressures of creating new work when your previous project gets a good reception…she likens it to a band being expected to equal or exceed their previous album.
I was rather proud of the project I submitted for Module 3; it is some of the best work I have produced to date. But…it has reached its logical conclusion and is now resolved as a body of work. I shall continue to add to it, but I cannot think of how to take it in another direction so I am left in the position of having to build a new idea.
This creates another problem for me in trying to be efficient in doing my research. I can find artists that tackle similar subject matter to my area of interest, but then you run the risk of either aping their work or worse still getting disheartened as I feel I could never compete with the quality of their imagination or photographic skills.
I need to find aspects of other photographers (or artists) projects that I can adapt to the message I am wishing to convey. Much in the way I took traits from Rinko Kawauchi, Nan Goldin, Tom Hunter & Catherine Opie (amongst others) to bring together my <body></hate> project. So in the meantime I am drowning in a sea of images in the desperate hope of finding a few attributes that I can bring together to build a raft from.
Should I set myself the task of summarising my interests in the space of 5 or 6 words in the hope of distilling my intent to a manageable sentence?
Queer – Empowerment – Self Image – Censorship –Mask – Naked/Nude
Can I explore the use of masks? Whether this be their traditional cultural and mythological use as physical objects or in a more abstract or modern way.
I found this image by Nigel Grimmer (Fig.1) where he created physical ‘masks’ from plywood in the shape of the scribbles men use to hide themselves when they post their image online…a clever a witty way to comment on these absurdities.
I was trying out some shots based on these mirror nudes by Erwin Blumenfeld (Fig.2 & 3) as a comment upon our fractured identity which may be worth pursuing
Toxic masculinities & abstract activism. The balaclavaQ artist collective has created a shout-out for contributors to react in an abstract activistic way to reveal Queerness – I have contributed to this collective before so it could be an area for exploration.
Super-Heroes – We have traditionally looked to classical art and sculpture to define what we should look like as men & this has led to poor self-image. The thought of re-creating references to this image style using more realistic body types in a form of positive subversion is an idea that appeals. Possibly in a form of digital collage either in a paper-cutout form or a more polished way using Photoshop in the manner of Pierre et Giles (Fig.4) or David LaChapelle (Fig. 5).
Phallophobia – I have already attempted a mini project that questions the fear of the penis (Dorota Sadovska inspired) but am not sure if I have the bravery to continue with this line of questioning or even if the penis as a subject for art is a worthy topic
The Family Album – taking inspiration from Trish Morrissey; could there be a project in re-appropriating vernacular family snapshots & inserting the headless, black sheep of the family gay uncle in order to bring notice to the fact that many gay men are still shunned & disowned by families when they decide to open-up about their sexuality.
If I consider why people approach me for a photoshoot; the best expression I can apply is “Draw me like one of your French girls.” (Cameron, 1997) so I really should be incorporating my subjects requests and expectations into the project.
I also should be challenging myself and my skills again. I shouldn’t return or rely upon what I already know, but as with the previous project I should take myself out of my comfort zone and experiment in order to learn. A suggestion was also made about moving image, but would that be a step too far from what I feel I am capable of?
So here I am…no further forward in any direction…just praying for some kind of divine inspiration.
Smith, B (2017). A Small Voice Podcast – Juno Calypso. [online] bensmithphoto.com, Available at: https://bensmithphoto.com/asmallvoice/juno-calypso Accessed [29th Sept 2017]
Titanic. (1997). [DVD] USA: James Cameron.