THE LOST, FOUND & MISSING TOP-UP PROJECT
ARTIST ANALYSIS JOHNNY MOBASHER Captioned under this photograph on the artists website, quotes the bible verse 'The desire of the righteous ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked in wrath’ (Proverbs 11:23). It is the blind, street instrumentalist that at first makes us as the audience have sympathy for the blind man. However, with the caption underneath this photograph which Mobasher had taken, then makes us question the message the photographer maybe trying to communicate to the audience. Perhaps Mobasher believes that the blind man is deserving of his situation? That perhaps he had done something which occurred him to lose his sight in the first place. Or perhaps the photographer maybe trying to say that he’s the righteous man who will soon get what he deserves, a good life? His sight? I think what influenced the photographer to take the photograph was his belief in the way the world works. The woman who assumingly is ‘putting money in the basket’, barely even looks at the blind man in the eyes. With a straight face, she also doesn’t seem to show the sympathy many people ‘should’ do. It can be assumed that she is giving money for the sake of it. So I think the photographer is trying to highlight what the ‘righteous’ will soon gain, and what the ‘wicked’ will soon lose. Personally, this photograph has inspired me to take my own photograph under the theme of the lost, found and missing, is to express my own ‘lost’. I think this photograph strongly represents the distinction between what is lost and what someone currently has, which may soon go missing. So I hope to illustrate to the audience something that is also personally lost or missing which maybe someone else's gain.
ARTIST ANALYSIS RICHARD AVEDON This photograph is titled ‘Marilyn at rest’ where at first was a typical photo shoot where she would laugh, play about and pose flirtatiously. Avedon mentioned in an interview, ‘then there was an inevitable drop... she sat in the corner like a child with everything gone’. Though Avedon continued to take pictures, Marilyn Monroe didn’t refuse and just remained in the still like pose. I think the main issue which the artist was trying to highlight was that, there was something more to than just her playful and flirtatious life. “The evidence that, within the image, there is always something else” says Roland Barthes. So behind Monroe’s famous persona, was a lost character. Or perhaps a character that was always there but was missing in her life. Presumably, an identity which she suppresses due to her current lifestyle. Marilyn Monroe’s facial expression as well as Avedon's back story of what happened during the shoot raises the issue of missing pieces of identity. And simply by her ‘taking a small break’ from her persona at that point realises this issue from a perspective which can be related by all. Furthermore, the blue tone of the photograph sets a very ‘different’ atmosphere to other photographs which Monroe typically features in, which are usually bright and bubbly. I think what influenced the artist to take this photograph was to draw attention to this matter and to try and uncover more of Monroe’s identity than the persona known to the world. Personally, I like the way the artist was able to capture this moment of something different and quite profound. I think it embeds to the audience, that there is always something more. This photograph has inspired me to develop my initial photographs by uncovering the ‘missing’ pieces of my own identity, thoughts or memories which I wish to dwell on through this next set.
PHOTOGRAPHS EVALUATION In taking these photographs, my original intentions were to show a contrast of something that is missing in my personal life, and then to develop the photographs by showing something that was found or thought to be found, but truly isn’t. In the initial set of photographs I physically pieced out parts of my own body to express something ‘missing’ in my life which I cannot, at that moment, decipher. By using a hoola-hoop to symbolise the ‘hole’ within me; I hoped to highlight this issue to the audience both visually and metaphorically. Before developing the photographs I knew that the issue in the initial set of photographs were real, I was truly missing something which dwelt in my thoughts but I wasn’t sure that exploring the importance of these thoughts were enough to remove ‘hole’ which I was experiencing. Thus in developing my set of photographs, I decided to experiment with this idea to see if it was the ‘missing’ part of me. My memories. Not in the literal sense of losing my memories, but in the sense of missing my memories. In the initial set, I chose to shoot with a very simple background. I thought the way the built-in lighting in the room which created a warm tone, brought up an aesthetic quality to the photographs. Moreover, I thought the composition of the photograph of showing the triangular shape of the room and its compact and tight space surrounding me as the model, stressed the issue I was trying to raise. In this case it would be how having missing pieces of a person can make a person feel trapped within their own thoughts, not being free. In the developmental set, by filtering the memory in the hoola-hoop in black and white, I hoped to express that memory of being in the past. It is the ‘leather’ type texture in the developmental set which illustrates this situation being permanent. Just like when pen is written or drawn on a leather sofa, it is relatively hard to get out. A memory which is so longed for is also hard to get out of ones mind. I think the visual impact that my photographs would have on the viewer is to raise up any thoughts on whether or not there is anything lost or missing in their own identity. Perhaps it may also be memories, or also a lost or missing character such as the way the artist, Richard Avedon tried to show through Marilyn Monroe. The level of symbolism is transparent within the visual context of the photographs, therefore I think the audience will be able to understand the symbolic message I am trying to illustrate.
ARTIST ANALYSIS ADAM BROOMBERG & OLIVER CHANARIN The artists had chosen to use this form of technique which resulted in a ‘dot’ structure of each photograph within the series. They wanted to reveal a truth rather than to illustrate an event. “Photojournalism has contributed practically nothing to the revelation of the truth about conditions in this world” Bertolt Brecht claimed . So what Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin did different was that they exposed truth. Originally, the photographs were normal journalistic photographs with the usual rectangular structures. Then, there was a placing of stickers on top of the photographs by archivists on the prints. As a result, the artists decided to just expose the part hidden underneath the stickers. This was done because they believed the true emotion of the photographs were the parts that were hidden by the stickers as some of these images included ones that were purposely ‘vandalized 'by the subjects themselves – this was said to be a symbol of their obvious fear of repercussions. What I find interesting about this technique is the way the artists highlighted not only a close up of events, but to me they highlighted real emotions. By revealing the ‘missing’ parts of the photographs which were hidden by the stickers, they were able to find something more than just the visual close ups of the initial pieces; but they revealed the fear of the actual subjects. This photograph, titled ‘Untitled, young dancer’, is an example of something that was ‘hidden’ or ‘lost’. But whoever defaced the photograph, in the process of trying to hide this part of the image, instead exposed much more to the audience. The body language of the girl in the photograph expresses an emotion of distress which establishes somewhat, the fear of the defacer. So this photograph inspired me to develop my final pieces to highlight pieces of my body which were hidden or made lost, by the hoop. I now intend to exaggerate the loss by magnifying the missing pieces and show that in the process of trying to hide certain parts, the final result is that they will be even more exposed to the viewer.
PHOTOGRAPHS EVALUATION The initial idea I had for this project was to explore a personal journey in terms of lost or missing pieces of my identity. I came up with this idea because of the constantly changing environment we all live in and I wanted to explore how the changing environment changed me and what kind of change had caused me to feel that I was missing pieces of my identity. Though at this point I still didn’t know what the ‘missing pieces were’ Thus, leaving the hole in the hoop empty, portraying the missing pieces through a literally missing part of me in my body. I thought the quality of these photographs were up to the standard I am pleased with in terms of lighting and capturing a simple but eye capturing concept within the photographs. This allowed me to push my creative boundaries but to still keep a theme of minimalism within them. In developing my initial set, I was able to figure out what I thought was missing or lost which I wanted to dwell on through the developmental set of photographs – it was my memories. As explained in the previous evaluation, it wasn’t the forgetting of the memories that was meant by “missing” or “lost”, but it was missing those times of where those memories had occurred. So, using the technique of appropriation, I had filled in the literal hole I had in my body with home pictures of my past. Not only was I able to achieve a certain level of symbolism, but I was able to push my creative boundaries through a self exploration of my own identity which was also a sentimental journey to me as the artist. The range of artists which I had chosen were mostly inspiring to me in terms of their use of symbolism. Relating to the theme of ‘The lost, found and missing’, they all had a sense of ‘missing’ or ‘lost’ factors within their photographs, however the artists were also able to reveal to the viewer what was found or perhaps what could be found/ gained as a result of losing something; as implied by the artist Johnny Mobasher. During this project I was able to produce a series of photographs which enabled me to go on a self exploring journey. Moreover, this journey allowed me to push further my creative boundaries in using different techniques whilst still being able to keep the photographs under a minimalistic theme. I thought that the simplicity of the photographs allowed the message of the photographs to be more highlighted than the visual content, though, I did think that the minimalism in the photographs had a soft aesthetic touch. My final outcomes were inspired by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s series of photos titled ‘Dots’. My photographs present the same concept that the artists had portrayed; that in their work, they revealed and exaggerated the features of the original photographs that were hidden. So, I too wanted to exaggerate the physically missing pieces of my photographs by magnifying those parts. In terms of my self exploring journey, it was to reveal all of me as self portraiture was never explored before. I wanted to reveal my physical being more physically to symbolize the end of the journey and that I had discovered what I thought I lost and was missing. If given the chance to repeat this project again, I would most likely go deeper into this so-called journey. I would do this perhaps by exploring different parts of my identity through certain places these actual memories had taken place in. So, instead of changing the content within the holes or missing areas of me, I would change the environment of which I was in. I think not only would the level of symbolism change, but I think the visual content will also be more interesting.