You need to develop a series of five final images to present to the viewer as a themed body of work. Pay close attention to the look and feel of each image and think how they will work together as a series. The theme is up to you to choose; you could take a series of images of a single subject or a series of subjects in a themed environment there is no right answer, so experiment.
At the beginning of IAP, when I contemplated the five Assignments, I had the idea of running a theme, loosely based on the Training Humans exhibition, through the whole Unit (although my Tutor thought that wasn’t sensible). But when I entered a strict lockdown on 15 March 2020 to shield my mother that had to change. I would no longer be able to leave the house for a period of time and so photographing members of the public was impossible. I needed a new idea.
My first eureka moment was when I saw the work of Edward Hopper. The words that immediately came to me were boredom, isolation and emptiness. Words that would probably resonate with many people at this time. Not only was this aesthetic appropriate to the current new normal but it seemed a style that I could adapt to my limited surroundings.
While working through Part 2, the multiple exposure pictures of Harry Callahan and Hélène Amouzou appealed to me – they have a sort of nightmarish feel. Described by art historian, Andrew Graham-Dixon (1) as the modern-day equivalent of Edward Hopper, Philip Lorca diCorcia’s elliptical, psychological images seemed to strike a chord. Finally, having discovered the influence Hopper had on Alfred Hitchcock I watched his great 1950s film ‘Rear window’. The cinematic effects of the Hitchcock movie is a style that appeals to me and seems somehow relevant – it feels as though we are all now L. B. “Jeff” Jefferies (James Stewart) stuck in a wheelchair.
I, therefore, decided to produce a series reflecting the artists above, in other words, images that are psychological, elliptical and cinematic.
My one central story
The final sentence of my CAN submission back in January was, ‘As far as the future is concerned, I may try to leave my ‘central story’ behind for the IAP unit. That said, I’m not at all sure that it will leave me!’
And it obviously hasn’t.
Development of the idea
I live in a house with some large windows and great views so
and multiple images
would feature in the series.
I wanted to signify some of the problems associated with our new world, our new normal, by highlighting some issues we face – isolation, loneliness, boredom, repetition, dislocation, and social friction – juxtaposed with the outside world, the old normal, which is now purely a view rather than a place. Or as, when considering the notion of whether place is fixed or if it can change over time, Simon Sharma suggests:
Very often the power or the impotence of a place in the public and historical imagination is defined by access (2:184).
So one evening I tried some shots looking at Portsmouth with the inside of my home reflected in the window. I was surprised and pleased with the image. So drawing on my tutor’s words I spent the next couple of evenings ‘pushing the idea around’. The final images are here and my analysis of them here.
Use of a caption
I like the elliptical photography of Gregory Crewdson and the notion, expressed by diCorcia that you give as little information to intrigue the viewer without ‘finishing their experience’ (3). That said, in this instance, I feel the need to contextualise the series. Of course, if viewed right now, people might ‘get it’. But (hopefully) when this is over memories might fade. After all, I’m trying to depict emotions that are, I think, quite specific to this time. So I have decided to call the series ‘Lockdown’ and caption the images ‘Lockdown #1’, ‘Lockdown #2’ etc. This is not as subtle as I would like but its the best I can dream right now.
And on the basis that I have captioned the images so explicitly, I don’t feel any need to provide a viewing synopsis.
(1) Lorca diCarcio, E. and Graham-Dixon, A., 2014. Art Of America Episode 2. Available at: <https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x79otc2> [Accessed 4 April 2020].
(2) Dean, T. and Millar, J., 2005. Place. 1st ed. London: Thames & Hudson.
(3) Lorca diCorcia, P., 2020. Tuesday Evenings At The Modern – Philip Lorca Dicorcia. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs8z9DCVrYA> [Accessed 4 April 2020].