Project 2 The archive – Exercise 1

Exercise 1

Question for Seller re-situates images in a different context and in so doing allows for a new dialogue to take place. Reflect on the following in your learning log:

Does their presence on a gallery wall give these images an elevated status?

This is an interesting question and one I found myself querying a number of months back when I attended a fascinating exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath ‘History Through a Lens’. The exhibition was of photographs from photojournalism and documentary photography from a wide variety of photographers placed side by side in an exhibition space rather than the broadsheets of a newspaper or magazine. By taking the photographs out of their original context they take on a fresh or different story, they also spoke of the history of the genre.

I am a little bit dubious about the intentions of someone using photography they have ‘found’, then re-branding it, sticking it on a wall and calling themselves an artist. Maybe its just me, maybe I’m wrong. The whole process and auction seems like a bit of a gimmick/PR stunt to me rather than a study of photography and its historical context. Maybe label yourself as a photography/art historian. Having said that, I have viewed some great photo-books using archives and found photography such as ‘Stonehenge: A History in Photography by Julian Richards’.

Yes, I do believe placing these on a gallery wall gives them some kind of ‘elevated status’, to what degree I guess depends on the advertising and PR behind the event. I could stick some old found photos on a wall and not tell anyone, the photographs haven’t changed at all nor has their significance to me but no one would know anything about them. Perhaps this is what Nicky Bird is asking us to question in regards to our feelings with photography in history. You could say all photography is history, the moment you take a photograph its history, how significant its role in the history of society as a whole is a different question altogether.

Where does their meaning derive from?

I’m not 100% sure I am clear what this question is asking me?! The meaning of what?

The photographs had their original meaning, whatever they were, taken for family photo albums to be shared with friends and loved ones.

The meaning of the photographs from their original intention has been stripped away and re-branded. I think this is a little bit risky with photography in general terms and leans towards the photograph as a lie. Is the photograph truth/reality or fiction? By taking photographs away from their original context you are indeed creating something new but you could also create an entirely fabricated story, using snippets of reality and create a whole new, false sense of history and reality.

For me history shouldn’t be distorted so carelessly. I think its ethically wrong, regardless of artistic intention. At the start of this section in the course-book it states “Photographic archives have allowed artists to create fictional histories based on photographs already in existence”. I don’t like the term fictional history, it opens up the floodgates for criticism. I just think it swings toward using photography as a means of propaganda and I don’t like it but maybe I’m taking it too far.

What if this was something of greater historical and social significance that had been re-contextualised? Images from WW2 concentration camps for example.

When they are sold (again on eBay, via auction direct from the gallery) is their
value increased by the fact that they’re now ‘art’?

Not to me but maybe to someone else? Perhaps a collector of old photographs may find them of value or a museum may find them of historical significance, maybe they are of value because they show a certain place or person in time. Maybe a relative of someone in the photographs may find them more valuable, they may hold sentimental value, which in many ways is priceless. Also, to be frank, some people will collect any old crap in the hope that one day it might be worth more than they paid for it.

Reference:

http://nickybird.com/projects/question-for-seller/

Question for Seller on YouTube

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Research point – Gregory Crewdson

Research point

Look up the work of Gregory Crewdson online.

Watch this YouTube video about Gregory Crewdson and his work and consider the
questions below.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7CvoTtus34&feature=youtu.be

I have looked at the work of Gregory Crewdson a couple of times already; whilst I studied EYV here and also for assignment 4 on C & N here, I also recently visited his exhibition ‘Cathedral of the Pines’ at the Photographers Gallery in London. During my previous research I had already viewed the video on the link above but I watched it again today.

Do you think there is more to this work than aesthetic beauty?

Yes, absolutely. As Crewdson explains at the start of the video clip the first element or part of his photography  is to ‘make a beautiful picture’ but as he goes on to explain just having a beautiful picture isn’t enough. I can relate to this as I have found it hard to connect with some photographic work I have seen which is good only on a technical and aesthetic basis. For example if I look at some commercial photography or advertising photography, I find it is often well constructed with beautiful lighting often in beautiful locations but the overall photographic experience has left me feeling emotionally cold and disconnected. Crewdson explains in the video he feels that’ beauty needs to be undercut with an undercurrent of something psychological or dangerous or desirous or fearful’.

On a side note, its interesting to read some of the YouTube comments below the video (I acknowledge it can be dangerous to delve into the opinions of on line commentators). It would appear Crewdson’s work is a bit like Vegemite. Some suggesting he isn’t even a photographer at all now, more of an artistic director with a large crew who do all of the work for him and that he doesn’t even take the photographs himself. All art is subjective.

Do you think Crewdson succeeds in making his work ‘psychological’? What does this mean?

I think Crewdson’s work is beautifully staged photography, using well constructed sets with considered lighting, props, locations, crews and actors. For me I find its often the actors (that add the human element) look of despair, the stare into the abyss that brings it all together. Otherwise these would just be well lit, constructed, empty spaces (both physically and emotionally). I often find when I’m sat thinking I have the same look, as if I’m staring into space, yet my brain is extremely active. To reference the wonderful Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher, I am lost within my ‘Memory Warehouse’. Maybe its just something we do as humans to concentrate/focus, either way for me I think it works really well as a mechanism for expressing tension within photography.

The actors within Crewdson’s photography are primarily looking away from the camera/viewer. They often look off to the side, down at the floor or stare into the nothingness. Its as if we are peering into their world as a spectator, almost an emotional voyeurism, we can see into their world but they can’t see us and don’t know we are there.  As I have said above I don’t think the photographs would have the same psychological feel to them without the human element. So I guess we as the observers are trying to figure out ‘what is this person thinking?’, ‘what just happened to them?’, ‘what’s going on in this scene?’. I think if the actors/subjects looked directly at the camera and laughed or pulled a funny face it would entirely change the whole feel of the photographs. The lighting and composition add to the beauty and atmosphere of the shots but its the human element and staging, for me anyway, that provides a lot of that psychological tension.

What is your main goal when making pictures? Do you think there’s anything wrong
with making beauty your main goal? Why or why not?

My main goal when taking a picture varies entirely based on what I am photographing and for what reason. I don’t want to tie myself down to one overall goal. Whilst taking a photograph of wildlife my goal maybe to capture it in good light to show of the animals distinct colours or I may be trying to capture a funny moment or a decisive moment, something that would make people stop to look at the photograph. If I were photographing a lion for example my goal may be to capture the majesty of the animal. If I were photographing an animal in the sea or just the oceans in general my goal maybe environmental; to highlight the pollution and rise of plastic in the oceans destroying their habitat.

I would like to the think my images do or will share the goal of being considered. By that I mean applying my learning, knowledge and experience to capture and create images that make people want to look for longer than a simple glance. I do want them to look good but I’m not sure beautiful is necessarily the word I would want to use as it implies good looking or attractive. I would much rather create photography that makes you feel something or gets a reaction from you. Beauty isn’t enough.

Its a hard question to answer, do I think there’s anything wrong with making beauty your main goal in photography? I think in certain circumstances it would work to make beauty your main goal, commercial photography, advertising, fashion/modelling, perhaps landscape photography as well. For me personally, I want more than just beauty so I would say it isn’t my main goal but I do acknowledge it is an important element.

I think it could be more important to capture a moment but its equally important to have the right tools and skills at your disposal to capture that moment.

I guess this is all a bit different when we are specifically considering staged/tableau photography. I would like to think the light, placement of actors, props and set have all been considered and are there for a reason because you have a lot of time to think it through.

Reference:

Gregory Crewdson’s Photography Capturing a Movie Frame | Art in Progress | Reserve Channel

Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher on Amazon

 

Exhibition Visit 21st July 2017 Cathedral of the Pines by Gregory Crewdson, The Photographers Gallery, London

Cathedral of the Pines by Gregory Crewdson

Cathedral of the Pines by Gregory Crewdson

Today I made another visit to The Photographers Gallery in London, this time to see the Gregory Crewdson exhibition ‘Cathedral of the Pines’. As ever its a long journey/day up to London from where I live, followed by a decent walk when I get there but its good to stretch the legs after the bus journey. Having enjoyed the other work I had seen by Crewdson in the ‘Twilight’ series and others I had viewed on-line I was excited to see more of his work.

By the time I got to the gallery I was knackered. It was good to get off the street and into the quiet of the exhibition space. Far too many people.

The exhibition is spread over 3 floors and the gallery are also doing a special edition of their magazine to accompany the exhibition, so I picked up a copy. I found the work to be of an exceptional standard, stunning, captivating, dramatic and tense.

I found ‘Cathedral of the Pines’ to be fascinating because you are not presented with definitive answers or solutions, just clues and hints at a narrative. I spent a lot of time at the exhibition trying to draw out a story from the images and trying to link them together into a theme. Some of the images feel like they could be grouped into sub stories or narratives with this overarching idea of nature linking them altogether.

IMG_3246

There is a definite stylistic approach to all of the images that links them, the colours, tones and lighting, along with the pairing of inside and outside spaces in a number of the images. I think the work is very subjective to your own interpretation. Having viewed a number of interviews (after my visit) with Crewdson about this particular piece of work I think that was his intention. I went to the exhibition not knowing a lot about it, I was drawn to it because a) I love the outdoors and nature, I feel a deep connection with it and b) I liked Crewdson’s other work.

IMG_3253

IMG_3248

Some of the images like the one below (sorry about the bad snapshot) seemed to suggest to me a murder mystery or a thriller, like frames from a movie – I have noticed this in other photography by Crewdson as well which is part of his whole style and the staged photography genre . I think this is all part of the psychological tension and atmosphere that Crewdson creates so well in his imagery. Love it.

IMG_3283

I noticed all of the images have a big depth of field with lots of detail, everything within the frame is considered; lighting, props, location, subject and composition. A story is suggested but not forced.  I like the idea of a suggested, rather than forced narrative.

Although the images suggest another time, like the older cars and props I can’t pinpoint the images in any exact period. They feel like they could be 1980’s or late 1970’s if I had to pin it down. Although it could also suggest a remote community. There is no sense of modern (current) technology within the images i.e. computers, smart-phones, etc.  Having watched interviews with Crewdson this would seem to be intentional to not pin the images down t any particular period, it feels familiar but off. I also noticed in the interview how Crewdson said how this work was more a reflection on painting than film and I can really see that in the final images.

After the exhibition visit I went and sat in a park in London, I had to take the time to process everything I had just viewed, get some head-space, I often find this with work that means something to me. This one was pretty special.

As I sit here a little over a week later typing up this exhibition visit I am still amazed and most importantly I am still thinking about it. I feel a connection (I actually feel something) with Crewdson’s photography and some of the ideas rattling around in my own brain artistically. I sometimes come away from exhibitions feeling disconnected and deflated but for once, its nice to have a connection and feel motivated.

I had noticed during some of my research on-line someone had said if you like Crewdson’s work to check out the photography of Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Phil Fisk. I did have a quick look, I can see the similarities, in particular the way they are lit. So, I am off to find out some more. 

Reference:

Interview with Gregory Crewdson on The Photographers Gallery website

Gregory Crewdson’s “Cathedral of the Pines” New Yorker

GREGORY CREWDSON, Cathedral of the Pines, Galerie Templon

Interview with Gregory Crewdson SCI-Arc Channel

The Gregory Crewdson Effect: #1 BBC Creative

Project 1 Setting the scene

Exercise

Watch this famous scene from Goodfellas directed by Martin Scorsese in 1990:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJEEVtqXdK8

Don’t read on until you’ve answered the following questions.

What does this scene tell you about the main character?

How does it do this? List the ‘clues’.

‘As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster’ – Goodfellas

I love this movie, it has to be one of Scorsese’s best films. I have watched it more times than I care to admit. I first saw it when I was a kid in the 90’s, probably too young to watch it but I didn’t care. I think by the time I watched it I had already seen every single horror movie of the 80’s anyway. It is one of the best gangster films. ‘The Untouchables’ directed by Brian De Palma is also incredible, might be my favourite but they both tackle the gangster scene from two very different perspectives.

The entrance:

The scene opens with the main character Henry Hill taking out his girlfriend on a date to the Copacabana. His girlfriend later becomes his wife.

The couple skip the front cue at the Copacabana and use the back entrance, they walk straight in through the kitchen and everyone knows who he is, this says he is well known, liked (feared), powerful, respected. When he gets inside the club, he is greeted straight away by the club manager and given a fresh table right at the front of the club next to the stage. The manager says “anything you need man, you just let me know”.  Everyone wants to say hello, everyone respects him and no one messes with him.

When they get to the table another member of the audience has already bought him a bottle of wine.

When asked by his date what he does for a living he says he “works in construction” but as she feels his hand, she knows he is lying, he says he is a “Union delegate” a half truth you could say.

Of course by this point in the movie the viewer already knows what and who Henry really is.

The music:

The scene opens with the song ‘And then he kissed me’ by the Crystals, a hit from the early 1960’s, this suggests a period in time and with them being an American Group you could say a place as well; America. The Crystals were a New York group and the large Copacabana sign we see in the far left of the first part of the clip suggests we are in New York, as does the characters accent.  The song is fitting as we see a young couple going out on a date. The song plays through the majority of the scene up until around the point the couple are seated at the table, so it plays a key part in the scene.

The costumes, make up, props:

The clothing, costumes, make up and hairstyles used in the scene provide evidence of the period, the 1960’s. The girlfriends haircut and clothing is very 1960’s fashion as are the men’s suits, hairstyles, glasses, ties and the décor.

Cash:

The lead character Henry played by the actor Ray Liotta is constantly handing out cash. He gives cash to the valet, the doormen, the bar manager, all of the waiters, etc, etc. This strongly implies that the character is rich and powerful; he doesn’t have a problem handing out cash or walking around with large amounts of cash, he doesn’t care that people can see him handing out cash, in many ways, he wants them to see it.

I love the way we walk through the scene, the ‘long shot’ makes you feel immersed in the characters world, its masterful.

Reference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJEEVtqXdK8

‘Goodfellas’ film by Martin Scorsese

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099685/

 

Assignment Four: Tutor Feedback and my thoughts

Tutor Report Assignment-4-cn-formative-feedback-craig-sinclair-515221

It was nice to get some positive feedback from my tutor for assignment four along with a couple of pointers for further reading and fine tuning.

I will go back and re-read the Harvard Referencing document again. I think I’m nearly there with my referencing I just need to make sure its on point and fix the direct quotes.

My tutor makes a good point about the header image on the blog! I was messing around with the header image recently and admit I want to change it, so agreed, a valid point. I will look to find something more suitable/relevant.

I am just making my way through the suggested reading from my tutor ‘ Aesthetics of Affect’ by Simon O’Sullivan. I am enjoying all of the reading on the course, seeing work from different artists/photographers and soaking up new information from multiple sources. I find it fascinating. There was a point when I started at the OCA where I was unsure about viewing lots of other photographers work, in my ignorance I couldn’t really see the point, just give me technical know how. I think now I’m starting to get it. Technique is very important but there is so much more to photography than that. You pick up the relevant technical abilities as you are going along, there is no point trying to learn it all at once. At times it can be a little overwhelming or confusing but that’s usually at the point where I need to go out and get some fresh air, then come back to my studies.

I have read ahead through section 5 and the final assignment for Context and Narrative. I have a couple of ideas bubbling away in my brain but not at the point where I want to share these just yet. I will do some brainstorming. I like the idea of something with psychological tension, just one image, staged using props. I will get the next assignment to my tutor in August, I have some time off here and there along with my Fridays and a clear diary! I am submitting for the next assessment for November, so I want to spend September wrapping everything up, making any adjustments and getting prints done.

I went up to London on Friday to visit the Photographers Gallery again as they have an exhibition on by Gregory Crewsdon. Having read ahead I can see this will be helpful and relevant but I will talk about the visit more in a separate blog post.

In other recent good news I finally got my flash trigger to work with the soft-box! It needed to have the flash in manual mode and I think I had the receiver and transmitter the wrong way around. Wo ho!  I also picked up a manual on using flash. As you can see I was a little excited, forgive the terrible highlights and the glowing halo… no cameras were harmed in the making of this photograph!

DSC_8368

Craig, 23/07/17

Assignment Four: Reflection

Looking back at the assignment in reflection I am pleased with the end result. I feel I applied myself to the essay and the research behind the photograph and the photographer. I am sure my tutor will come back with some good constructive feedback and suggestions to adjust the essay.

The part I found most difficult was keeping the word count down and I did go over the 1000 word essay. I’m not sure if this will be a major problem or not but I will see what feedback my tutor gives. I feel I could probably develop the essay further and go deeper if I had lots more time but I do have some constrictions on how much time I can apply to the one essay.

I pulled my research from multiple sources which I feel gives a good balanced and unbiased approach. Although I admit I was already intrigued by the image originally I feel I have been able to give an objective point of view due to my research. I have also been able to incorporate some of my own personal feelings about the image. Reading from multiple sources has given me a wider awareness of the work.

I think I have given a balanced essay analysis, giving context, some background about the photographer, posed some questions, some answers and de-constructed the image before pulling together my thoughts and conclusions.

One thing I did find hard was finding any well written constructive criticism of Crewdson’s work. Now, that could be because there is simply none out there or I just couldn’t find any. All the books and research I did praised the work, no one had anything bad to say about any of it. I would have been interesting to have read or discussed with someone who doesn’t like his work. I must admit subjectively I think his work is of the highest quality and from what I have seen he has really forged a new direction for contemporary photography along with the likes of Jeff Wall, they have opened up the physiological door for photographers to explore deeper. I think this has helped to given contemporary photography a strong basis as an art form rather than just a method of visual recording.

I am doing a lot of reading to accompany the course and I am also looking at a lot of different photographers work. I think this is helping me to be more open to different possibilities within photography. I really like the staged/tableau photography so I am looking forward to assignment 5, I hope I haven’t just jinxed myself!

Craig

09/07/17

Assignment Four: “A picture is worth a thousand words”

Write an essay of 1,000 words on an image of your choice.

The image can be anything you like, from a famous art photograph to a family snapshot, but please make sure that your chosen image has scope for you to make a rigorous and critical analysis.

If you choose a well-known photograph, take time to research its context – the intentions of the photographer, why it was taken, whether it’s part of a series, etc. Add all this information into your essay to enable you to draw a conclusion from your own interpretation of the facts.

It’s not enough to write an entirely descriptive or historical account of your chosen image. You must use the facts as a means to draw your own conclusions about what the picture means to you. You may wish to apply what you’ve learned in Part Four regarding translation, interpretation, connotation, signs, punctum, etc., but be sure you get the definitions correct.

Follow thought associations and other images that relate to the discussion, directly or indirectly. Look at the broader context of the image and its background and specific narrative as well as your personal interpretation of it and what thoughts it triggers for you. Follow these associations in a thoughtful and formal way. Allow yourself to enjoy the process!

There are many good examples of writing about single images (e.g. Sophie Howarth’s Singular Images), which you may find helpful to read before attempting your own. Take note of the level of critical analysis and aim for a similar approach in your own writing. You may write about personal connections but ensure you express yourself in a formally analytical and reflective manner.

Gregory Crewdson – ‘Ophelia’

untitled(Ophelia)2001

*Untitled (Ophelia) 2001 by Gregory Crewdson b. 1962

I was first introduced to the photographic work of Gregory Crewdson as a recommendation by my tutor, whilst studying ‘Expressing Your Vision’. I picked up a copy of the book ‘Twilight’. I put some of my thoughts on the Twilight series in a blog post here. I have decided to pick the photograph ‘Untitled 2001 (also known as Ophelia)’ from the Twilight series to critically analyse.

Gregory Crewdson (b. 1962) is an American photographer, best known for his tableau/staged photographic work, often portraying tense psychological scenes that wouldn’t go a miss as a still from a science fiction movie by Spielberg or an episode of Chris Carter’s X-files. Crewdson links a lot of his influence to over hearing the sessions his father would have in the family home as a Psychoanalyst, sowing the seed of interest in the unconscious mind. Other influences on Crewdson include the art of American realist painter Edward Hopper, Crewdson relating a ‘similar emptiness’ in Hoppers work to his own. The American Photographer Walter Evans is another influence, in ‘Capturing a Movie Frame ‘ Crewdson speaks of Walter Evans’  ‘interest in the American vernacular of ordinary life…of indigenous architecture…’ going on to say ‘I feel in my work I have a similar thing that’s kind of controlling aesthetic, to make a perfect façade and then then..sort of…the deep undercurrent of that, what exists beneath the surface.’

In 1998 Crewdson started his work on the Twilight series. This would be a shift from his earlier work, moving into more of a directorial role, working with a large team, akin to a film crew for a major movie. The series has a powerful psychological narrative throughout, often depicting dramatic paranormal scenarios, in many ways the photographs are left open to interpretation by the spectator. The series was shot on a large format Sinar F1 8 x10 Camera with a mix of 300mm and 210mm lenses.

The question I find myself asking with this work is, despite knowing it is staged, is it meant to portray a version of reality, the truth or is this some form of dreamlike, otherworldly interpretation on reality, is this a snapshot of the unconscious mind?

The image Untitled (Ophelia) 2001 from the series Twilight shows the scene of a flooded ground floor, it looks like a living room/lounge. Central within the image is a woman in a night gown, she is floating on her back on the surface of the dark, murky water. Her skins is pale blue, she looks dead, cold to the touch. Her eyes are open but she looks vacant in a transcendent state of mind.

The photograph is influenced by Ophelia from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, found dead in a brook “incapable of her own distress” following the death of her father Polonius and a love denied. In ‘Photography the whole story’ Juliet Hacking references the 1851-1852 painting Ophelia by John Everett Millais as an example of this reoccurrence in art of the woman in the water.

As I deconstruct the image I can see to the left of the woman a coffee table with a glass of water, a bottle of pills, a romantic novel by Nora Robert titled Inner Harbour (1999), there is an ashtray with cigarette butts and what looks like a glass ornament in the shape of a lotus flower. Could this be a suicide or an accidental overdose? Perhaps these pills are sedatives and this isn’t reality, she is dreaming, weightless, motionless upon the water. The sofa behind looks disrupted, a blanket and a couple of pillows lie on the sofa as if someone has been sleeping there or reading a romantic novel wrapped up under a nice warm blanket.

Moving through the scene my eye is then drawn to the clock on the bookcase behind, the time seems to indicate 5:05, my eyes are then immediately drawn over to the right to the windows, is this 5am or 5pm? Then I’m reminded of the title of the series, Twilight so my assumption is this is 5pm but it could just as easily be 5am. A catastrophic event has happened here. The room is flooded so how are the lights still on? Why have they not short circuited? Upon the book case are a selection of books but I can’t see the titles of the books from the print I have, there’s a record player with a selection of vinyl. Upon the top of the book case is a wedding photograph, could this be the love lost?

From the book case I move through the scene in a clockwise manor and I’m presented with the stair case, to which my eye leads me down the steps. It’s at this point I observe the mould and decay on the back wall below the stairs, has this water been here a while? How long has this lady been lying here? Why has no one found her yet? Does she have any friends or relatives that care for her?

Above the stair case is a series of 3 photographs; 2 of women and 1 of a man, placed centrally. The image of the man seems to bear stronger significance, it looks illuminated, is this a father or a husband perhaps? Could this be a reference to Polonius from Hamlet? Moving down the stairwell I see a pink dressing gown draped over the banister, a window above is bathed in golden light, a side cabinet lies on the landing of the stairs, a red torch sits on top of it. Why would the lady need a torch if the lights are on? On the step below is a slipper, followed by the second slipper on the step below that.

To the right of the stair case there appears to be a lampshade in the water. I wonder if this could this be the source of the ladies demise. Did the lampshade drop into the water, did she get electrocuted upon entering the water? There is an open window above, the wind may have knocked the lampshade over. Or is this just a red herring? There are a series of coats on the wall to the right and the windows of the front door again show golden light shining through.,

Coming full circle I am drawn to the old telephone and battered armchair, half submerged in water then back to the motionless woman on top of the water.

Reflection plays a primary role within the whole construction of the image. The water acts as a psychological mirror, its dark blackness gives a sinister emptiness to the entire shot. The water could have been clear or clean to signify purity but the darkness feels intentional, lucid, the blackness of the soul. For me, this is what stings me, this is what Roland Barthes calls the Punctum. The dark reflecting water acts as a means of self reflection, looking deeply inwards at the soul, it draws me back to the image to ponder my own existence.

With such an image as this it is hard to find a definitive conclusion to the storytelling within the image, there is an underlying mystery which I think asks the spectator to form their own conclusions rather than have the photographer (‘the operator’) provide all of the answers within the image. Having watched various interviews with Crewdson this seems a likely conclusion, he likes to put clues within the frame but leave the mystery of the solution to the viewer and to interpretation.  For me it poses more questions than it answers, partly this infuriates me but for the most part I absolutely love it for this very reason. I think it’s this emotional conflict or tension that makes this such a fascinating image.

This draws me back to my original query, dream or reality? I am split on how to interpret the image. On the one hand, like a detective I can see the clues/signs within the image to make me come to the conclusion this could be an accidental death or a suicide. However, I prefer the idea that she is dreaming. She walked down the stairs and kicked off her slippers, took some sleeping pills and started to read a book, huddled up under a blanket on the sofa she slowly drifted off. What we are seeing is a mix of reality and her subconscious mind, trapped between the spaces of reality and another dimension.

Word Count: 1396

Craig Sinclair

09/07/2017

Reference:

Twilight Photographs by Gregory Crewdson my thoughts whilst studying the OCA Unit ‘Expressing Your Vision’:

https://craigsinclairoca.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/twilight-photographs-by-gregory-crewdson/

Books:

  • Barthes, R, 1980. Camera Lucida.
  • Cotton, C, 2014. The Photograph as Contemporary Art (World of Art). 3. Thames & Hudson.
  • Hacking, J, 2012. Photography: The Whole Story. 0. Thames & Hudson Ltd.
  • Higgins, J, 2013. Why it Does Not Have to be in Focus: Modern Photography Explained. Thames & Hudson Ltd.
  • Howarth, S. 2005. Singular images: essays on remarkable photographs. 1st Ed. Tate Publishing.
  • Kirstein, L, 2012. Walker Evans: American Photographs: Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Edition. Anv. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
  • Moody, R, 2002. Twilight: Photographs by Gregory Crewdson. First. Harry N. Abrams.
  • Shakespeare, W, 1997. Hamlet (Wordsworth Classics). Annotated edition. Wordsworth Editions Ltd.

Web research:

*Image of Untitled (Ophelia) 2001 by Gregory Crewdson b. 1962 reproduced for academic purposes. Copyright belongs to the respective owner.