HUGO GLENDINNING AND TIM ETCHELLS
EMPTY STAGES (2003 – ONGOING)
THE KUNSTENCENTRUM VOORUIT, GENT
A MOBILE STAGE AT PEEKSKILL, NEW YORK
Empty Spaces, is a project based on a scene many people take for granted, looking at capturing different stages associated with events in a range of places. Focusing on the expectation and inviting the viewer to imagine different kinds of events that take place in them. While showing the location of the event that usually brings hundreds or thousands of people together for a day or a weekend for a gathering as a chance of socialising and entertainment. However, where as the stage is usually seen as being crowded, empty spaces looks at the venues while they’re empty where everyone has gone and there is not a living soul about.
With looking into the images being drawn towards the empty stage, the main focus of any event that happens there. Even though the scene is empty you can envisage a change of lighting, a performance going on and the crowd stood looking towards the stage enjoying themselves, captivated in the moment. Making the viewer think and relate the scenes to music events they have seen and placing the viewer’s own memories on to the image. While seeing the image in front of the person, creating an image that is real but also forming an illusion.
While holding a beauty and sadness in the images, capturing how a beautiful place used by a vast amount of people is only seen when it is busy and mainly dark but throughout a large amount of time, usually the day the place is closed, so empty, a lot of the time hidden away and in turn not appreciated.
To me this imagery is beautiful, where I am drawn in by the rich use of colour that creates an emotional power to the imagery but held by the meaning that enforces the emotional impact. As it makes me think of how these locations are important to myself and many others where the places have been built with a set idea in mind focusing so much on the appearance’s beauty and yet it’s is not really seen within it’s glory or appreciated and when it is seen it is mainly littered with rubbish from the event that has just finished. Making you consider how important these places are.
A METOPHYSICAL SURVEY OF BRITISH DWELLINGS (2010)
HIGH STREET, DE LA SERIE (2010)
NATIONAL BANK (2010)
Here Edgar Martins has photographed a mock-up town built in 2003 that is used to train firearms and public order units in the metropolitan police. Here he focuses on an urban scene that looks like any typical place, that people walk past but don’t pay much attention to in turn capturing an isolated scene in places that look like they are being used. Creating the impression that the scene is just documenting a location, a typical everyday place making the images believable. However, looking in deeper you see that the images created to make them believable through photography are not what they seem. Instead you realize that the shop for example although it has a coke canopy you look over it you see a door but after a few looks you notice there is no door. Noticing the unusual, you then realize each image is captured being documented from the exact same angle with no surroundings. Where the light in the second image is first looked at as being the lighting that creates the scene and adds a warm atmosphere. However, in comparison with a scene with no lights able to be on you realize the lighting is set up in the same way and the shadows suggests the lighting that is used is out of shot and off angle for being a regular documentary. As the portrayal suggests more of a product shoot set up and creating the impression of nothing is moving in or out and portraying that the scene is not as it seems even though they are familiar to every day.
This work I find interesting, as it is not something that you see often although at the same time it is for the place photographed. However, reading into the images I start to think about my every day behavior of how I take my surroundings for granted. I don’t consider the beauty in what is around me in the areas I frequent most as much as I should and I miss things that could be interesting to capture and see due to it. While also looking at the idea that a location no matter where, is beautiful if looked at in a different light, if you look at the place rather than the effect people have on the place which is enforced by the removal of people.
PIERDOM (2008 – 2011)
BOSCOMBE PIER, DORSET, 2011
WESTON-SUPER-MARE BRINBECK PIER, SOMERSET, 2011
In this project Simon Roberts looks at a survey of British pleasure piers that were constructed in the 19th century when expanding Victorian seaside resorts and railways. These were mainly erected as landing docks for sea craft and day-trippers escaping from the city. In turn this has given the stereotype and idea that each time you visit the area they are always noisy with sounds of people, the arcade music and games lapping waves, sea gulls screaming and just a regular bustling place especially when the most prominent time to visit is the summer holidays when the places are most popular. However, Robert’s project looks at capturing these scenes focusing on the locations and showing what they look like when it is quiet and nobody is about, capturing more of the character of the area compared to the life that the area creates from visitors. This creates the context that as people look to go on holiday abroad more easily with package holiday options people other than the locals are surfers don’t make use or visit the U.K.’s holiday resorts so much. From this creating the impression that when you see the images you think of the memories for visiting your own holidays. Creating an emotional impact as with these images resonating with me where when envisioning them I recognize the locations from my yearly holidays as a child to Dorset when visiting family or visiting Western Super Mare. Recalling walking down the roads, through the city center, along the pier or sleeping in a room that over looks the pier, so hearing the voices of people socializing and cars going past at any hour, each night combined with the smell of the sea. Enforcing my memories and recalling it as a busy and vibrant place but instead as people don’t visit them as much the area dwindles and becomes a memory of what it is turning it to be silent as the images creating a sense of sadness.
Here Sunil Gupta looks at a project from a personal point of view. Looking at what in the areas that he classed as home remains that is associated with his life before having HIV, creating a sort of photo album of his life. In this the colour changes from black and white as an old photo taken as a child compared to the older version of Gupter stood in the shadows of the trees. To recent versions of digital colour images, where the idea of life is shown through what is seen in the area like graffiti on the walls being related to a scene in the hospital from an operation, enforcing the idea of being shown love from visiting.
The first reaction from seeing the work is that it is a warm approach due to the look of being like a family album so it captures personal moments. Looking further in though you get the sense of strength due to the fight with health and what in the area remains associated with the memories. Creating even more sentiment from the context with the reason for the images, making this work heart felt and interesting as it questions what makes you love the area that you call home?
ASYLUM – 1998
BIRMINGHAM BOROUGH LUNATIC ASYLUM
HIGHCROFT HOSPITAL – CLOSED IN 2000
In this project Mark Powers was asked to create a project documenting a closed down asylum called Birmingham Borough Lunatic Asylum, a Victorian place that was uncovered when looking to refurbish the All Saints Hospital, that it was in the basement of with old records and journals from the time. This was then compared to Highcroft Hospital an asylum that was most prominent within Birmingham at the time. Till some parts were closed down, so to create a comparison of the two, capturing both sets in black and white so to draw more on this. In turn enforcing the strength of the light as you are drawn towards it before moving around the scenes to take in the surroundings. This makes you realize how open Highcroft is, with no door attached and a window in a room that looks like a bedroom, giving more of an understanding, trust and showing that the patients have some control compared to what is suggested with the terming of an asylum’s stigma. Where as the Birmingham Borough Lunatic Asylum shows the complete opposite, portraying a room as more of a prison cell portraying no connection with the outside world and society due to the lack of windows. Enforcing the opinion that an asylum ‘inmate’ in the Victorian times was seen as a criminal and was hidden away from the world. Drawing on the feeling of relief for society today having a more understanding about peoples battles compared to what they used to.
This work I find interesting as it draws on my memories in general from recalling the story of Birmingham Borough Lunatic Asylum being in the news. While Highcroft holds a more personal response from hearing stories from the place being local to where my family used to live so would be mentioned in reminiscent stories of the area.
INNOCENT LANDSCAPES (2001)
In this project David Farrell looks at areas that have been part of famous events. In the case of these two the scenes don’t seem to say much as a large basis, just a ground with snow on it melting or a road with writing on it like slow. However, with context you are able to look in deeper to see that the snow is in fact in the form of footprints while the writing on the road at closer inspection reads bodies. Giving the idea of the footprints walking a ground in history like with the wars, holding death within the image, with both images pointing towards the graves and giving to the idea of Locard’s exchange principle ‘every contact leaves a trace’. Where the direction is pointed out or the impressions once made in the ground still stand within the lands chosen for the locations that hold no choice but have been tarnished from being innocent to now holding a story of death.
Here the rich colour is kept basic so to enforce the scenes however is left as being dark due to keeping the scenes as a sort of dark history, being hidden away. This adds an emotional impact as it creates sadness for the idea of the last place where people were alive or that took away the hope of any life being left for the ones whose death it was. Reminding me of how the war is seen to be places like no man’s land and Flanders’s field as well as where a crime or accident has happened resulting in death that has an impact on people’s lives saying this is the place the lives where ended or changed for good. This place, land will never be or mean the same as it did before.
THE INNOCENTS (2003)
Like with David Farrell’s work, Taryn Simon also looks at the idea of a location that has changed the meaning for good that had a long-term affect. Focusing on the idea of this is the place where my life changed. To tell the story of a range of people who in these cases were in an area on a night or sat drinking in a club when they were arrested for serious crimes and given life long sentences that later they were acquitted of. Having their lives, taken from them for something they hadn’t done. Creating a dark side to the scenes that once used to be a regular haunt for the people, emphasizing the reason of the darkness in the images where as the colour brings warmth and light showing the innocent and comfort of having the truth being out. Saying how the law at times can fail and yet it is so important to get it right so the right person is sentenced for the crime and the victim sees justice.
Even with being a recent project, this body of work is more prominent to society as the media is full of stories of people being failed at some point in history or recent by law or other authorities yet nothing is said about the impact it has on the innocents and victims. As shown with the idea of the Birmingham five or giving another field, the film Shawshank Redemption focusing on a banker Andy Dufresne, who is sentenced to life for murdering his wife and her lover. Even though claiming his innocence throughout and having a witness to back him up he is still failed by the law until he gets his own back and escapes. Showing the fight for life being taken away and then getting it back through determination and even though Shawshank show’s both sides of getting away and living the dream it also included a more brutal side of Brooks Halen, an elderly man who has become ‘institutionalized’ from being in prison for so long that when he is freed he can’t conform to life and commits suicide. Portraying the darker side of the law going wrong and between the film and the project, emphasizing the impact from the wrong decision can have on people like ‘the innocents’. In turn this creates a sense of sadness as it means that not only does the victims and their families not get the closure they want and have extra heart ache to go through but also the wrongly accused have their lives changed and taken away from them also.
NEW TOPOGRAPHICS (1970’S)
Being a member of the movement, New Topographics focusing on man-made buildings. Lewis Baltz captured the idea of spatial and artistic forms in everyday surroundings, portraying the side effects of industrial civilization on the natural landscape. Portraying a familiarity in the images and how a beautiful natural landscape was becoming rundown and dirty from the industrial work. While also capturing a beauty in what he sees from his use of colours and tones. As he emphasizes the black and white to form a sharp contrast while using grey’s to create an emotive effect. In doing this, the colours emphasize the shapes involved, creating a simplistic approach based on a use of angular squares and rectangles to add a more descriptive approach and portraying the same scene of windows and doors on a angle at different scales depending on the look of the building.
I find this work to be contradictory, as I do like the images due to the fact they hold a beauty through the colours and the dark blacks hold a sense of mystery about the place. While the angles used hold an interesting feature as you focus more on the lines. However, at the same time the images seem to be saying from the industrial time, these places are dirty and abandoned and are having a bad effect on their environment. Giving a bad connotation to the images.
BERNHARD BECHER & HILLA BECHER
INDUSTRIAL FACADES (2012)
Also being members of New Topographics, Bernhard and Hilla Becher looked to capture locations such as industrial facades to document their appearance. Keeping the same simple set-up in each to show the similarities in the scenes and giving conformity to man-made places through appearances. In this conformity each image is looked on straight ahead focusing on the front of the building. Where even with some difference each scene is made to be the same size, if they are smaller then the roads are given more space at the bottom of the image but the building is kept the same length and height throughout. Pointing out how even with different locations, different layouts and sometimes-different buildings each place within a set industry etc. is built to be alike to give a sense of identity. So even though you see different buildings there is still a familiarity dependent on the jobs. This work I find to be interesting as it represents a scenes appearance through similarity and difference in a simple layout. Something I want to consider within my work.
UNTITLED (STREET SCENE, DOUBLE EXPOSURE, HALLE) (1929-1930)
Working with analogue photography, Lyonel Feininger created images in an artistic way through double exposure. Here he put two negatives together in a viewfinder on a enlarger. So that the one image was on top of the other before allowing the light to expose the image onto the paper for different amount of times through dodging and burning so that some parts of the image (top half) came out darker than the rest (bottom half) creating a sense of long depth of field. Through doing this, two images have been combined so that you get the idea of a busy street with people going about their business at a speed that no one really pays attention as they are too busy trying to get to where they have to go. Also leaving a trace on the street as a sort of, on this day this behavior happened as a routine like what would be captured on cctv nowadays. Documenting what life and society was like at the times during the 1920’s and 1930’s so you can envision the scenes with sight, sound, smell and touch through just looking at the image. Which enforces the old look to the image from then, which enforces a nostalgic approach with the use of sepia toning. However, looking into the image you see the cart being pulled, the clothing and style that represents the time but the behavior of a person noticing a camera as walking past, showing they aren’t in a rush as much as they are noticing what is going on around them as compared to the other passers by in lighter tones shows faster movement and them not looking at the camera like they haven’t noticed it suggesting they are too busy trying to get to their destination to see someone taking images. Which I find interesting as it is portraying what society today has become known as with the hustle and bustle of the city from people at the regular times around 9am and 5pm rushing to get to where they need to be, who have no time to pay attention to what is going on around them. While on the flip side saying this is not today this is in fact 86 years ago when there weren’t as many vehicles on the road and when the population wasn’t so high as to what it is now and yet society was still the same.
TEATRO LA FENICE DI VENEZIA V (2011)
CAMPO SAMBA PISA (1985)
With looking at wanting to capture the way people behave within places with a grand look, Candida Hofer created a project to document the behavior. However, in doing so she found she could she could do the same but with a lack of presence so turned to documenting just the locations without the people. That way telling the story of what goes on in these locations from what the building is showing as a way of the building telling the story. Where the buildings are able to show what society sees their value as like with the TEATRO LA FENICE DI VENEZIA V a location that is still available to be used, with rich tones, a strong sense of lighting from the light source for each cove and a rich design to portray it’s power and class within society. Giving a sense of still being used so it has an appreciation to the place. Where as the second image, CAMPO SAMBA PISA, looks at a place with soft washed-out colours, creating a passive effect, with plastic seating and deteriorating walls. Saying the people who use/used this place are using the place that is available. Other than that the place is not really of prominence to society so is not appreciated as much so is not looked after and is left to crumble and fade away.
When first looking at the images they are seen as being beautiful as they hold a history but at the same time either sadness or an interest to them either being appreciated or ignored. This is enforced with how with the images next to each the viewer is drawn to the ones that stand out; the ones cared for the most. In turn making you think about how all these places when ever they were built and used have a history, have a use but unless they are some rich heritage site they are not really bothered with otherwise meaning buildings that could hold a history to someone, hold memories are left to die unless they are seen to be appreciated by a vast quantity of people, a community. Reminding me of areas local to me that have been left empty or building sites for years, my lifetime some even longer hat are just falling as no one pays they any attention. Yet the ones at the center that are made to look beautiful are built to distract from the ones that mean little. Portraying the way in which society behaves in general.
MUHAMMAD ALI VS CLEVELAND WILLIAMS, HOUSTON, TEXAS 1966
With events being a main point, Harold Leifer here looked at documenting sports events such as this, one of sports most famous wrestling matches that made Muhammad Ali a household name. However, Leifer not only capturing the moment also looked at what was going on around the action, capturing the audience behavior also. To show how the audience responded to the fight and when Muhammad Ali was crowned champion. Capturing the scene from above, as a aerial view. That way drawing the viewer towards the white ring towards Cleveland Williams lying on the floor, before looking to Muhammed Ali celebrating capturing the key moments after the event. For when the spectators move towards Ali, and carry on sitting on Willams side. Portraying the two responses as the realization sets in.
The part I find most interesting about this image as well as the angle it is taken from. Is how due to the angle you can see the people are real, that the image is a documentation of the event. However, due to the distance from the camera and photographer to the action, the image creates a sense of being in small scale from the long focal length. Making the scene familiar to a wrestling toy, where the two boxers are two figures being played with and the view is taken from a child looking down on the game as though it is coming from their imagination, associated with many boy’s child hoods or a girl with her Barbie dolls. Giving the impression that Leifer is capturing his childhood game.
KARL HUGO SCHMOLTZ
APOLLO-THEATER BEI NACHT (1950)
With looking at capturing a history over a length of time, I came across this project by Karl Hugo Schmoltz. Here he looks at the life within cinemas. This is due to him being given a camera at a young age, so he decided to capture buildings for his imagery. In turn documenting life in Germany for over 30 years and the changes it made that were shown through the buildings portraying the atmosphere and behavior at the time. In these cases the Apollo Theater is shown as being open for business due to the entrance and sign all being lit up. However, the streets are empty of presence and cinema listings. While inside the curtains are closed and the seats lie empty only also being lit by the lighting that usually suggests the end of a film. This in context shows a country that was in recession and part of a war now rebuilding itself from it. Suggesting that now the recession was at an end people did not want to venture out and spend money on entertainment compared to before. Making a cinema once popular through Hitler’s reign as shown in Quentin Tarrintino’s, Inglorious Bastards, stand empty.
OLD CROWN COTTAGE IN WILLERSLEY, HEREFORDSHIRE (2014)
In addition, with looking at the history of a place, Dan Circa looked to capture what was left behind after the last owner of the house passed away leaving the house unvisited for years. A house in Herefordshire has lay empty as to how the owner has left it. Holding memories of the past owners suggested haunting the place due to the collection of items and memories. Through newspapers from decades previous, ornaments and photos. Telling the viewers what the people’s lives was like for each resident who lived there.
In these images Dan Circa captures them with the idea of a place being advertised of what stands out for the way a place was left. Capturing the rooms, as they were left and zooming in on key features. As the composition shows how the rooms are full of items as if owned by a hoarder so the idea is this is the room, these are the hidden gems within it all. While the colour expresses the age of the place adding a natural feel to an ancient home. Making me consider what to look out for if I capture any images on the inside.
100 ABANDONED HOUSES (1990’S – 2012)
With a recession in America, there was a vast quantity of houses along routes that were empty. Forming the idea of this project! Showing what the homes looked like all in a set format of the outside from the side of the road lining up the differences of each place left empty creating roads of abandoned homes. All of which focus on centering the houses in the image and capturing the surroundings around the scene. Therefore, the colours of the house merge with surroundings through the seasons.
YVES MERCHAND & ROMAIN HEFFRE
THE RUINS OF DETROIT (2005-2010)
Also focusing on the derelict Detroit homes, is this work by Yves Merchand and Romain Heffre. However, instead they look at the aspect of both the inside and the outside capturing a place that is falling to pieces but showing the beauty that remains and the state in which it was left in. Creating the images in a cinematic style through the use of light available, adding an extra look of beauty to the scene while the lines work with smooth shapes to help form the tones that emphasize the colour and creates an atmosphere.
This imagery reminds me of many places that I see around that have just been left to deteriorate but hold a captivation of what is it like inside. Giving a feeling of a mysterious place that allows the imagination run wild, as you don’t know what to expect and the stories form.
DANIEL BARTER & DANIEL MARBAIX
UNITED STATE OF DECAY: URBEX NEW YORK & AMERICAS FORGOTTEN NORTH EAST (2013)
The third option for looking at the places left behind within America, was this project. Where two urban explorers have gone to locations within America capturing the scenes inside the building and detailing what is left. Looking mainly at the places left in disrepair with all the items in, making the viewer question… why… why didn’t the owner take the stuff with them when they left? Creating the impression of leaving suddenly while the items sit waiting for life to come back as its colour fades from it. The colour of which is light, like the light blue and green in this image so to give a warm inviting feeling with natural brown items. Giving a sense of warmth and being welcomed but as time goes in the scene is drawing more white till no colour remains turning the scene to feel haunting.
ABANDONED AMERICA (2014)
Another option for looking into the derelict of America was this work by Matthew Christopher. Here he looked at the inside of derelict buildings so to capture the state of popular used buildings like schools and cinema’s that had been left to decay. Capturing the inside of how it stands and the feel of memories that remain within its walls. Showing the way in which America turned through recession and buildings being left unattended. Capturing the lightness within the buildings from the places falling and the amount of windows, the use of white is dominant; this is also enforced in the colour of blue and red as the colours in the room fade to white. Focusing more on the composition the light is drawn into the center as the main focus from one side of the room to the other captures the whole scene from a wide angle to portray the whole scene. Showing all the space within the scene and other than the seating the main amount of space used is based on seating that is left, giving an empty feel.
USA. DETROIT. MICHIGAN. HOUSE (2009)
Another option for looking at the outside was this work by Bruce Gilden, capturing the destruction in Detroit. Focusing on homes that were falling into disrepair and becoming rubble. Capturing them from the outside focusing on the rubble or the empty hole left from the building falling down creating a sense of sorrow of a range of homes once loved and lived in become nothing. This is enforced by the image being in black and white as when you see the image you see the Americanized look, imagine colour associated with America’s homes but with this being removed you see are not what they once were.
ECVB PANORAMA COLLECTION (2014)
Looking at different ways I could photograph a scene, in particular inside I looked for the option of 360. Moving across this image by Mark Blundell, here he spoken of a place he had photographed before stitching the image together through Photoshop, so that it created the illusion neatly. I found this way of creating the image interesting as it looks at first site like it is two routes within one room and you decide which way to go but then realize it’s one straight walk with just two angles captured, creating a sense of symmetry. However, after being drawn towards the center you move to the light coming through the darkness as the lighting and use of colour create more of a magical feeling compared to the open area with a large window.
TOKYO, SAO PAULO, TBILISSI, MARSEILLE, LAS PALMAS (2003-2009)
Turning to the option of Magnum photographers, I came across this work that reminded me of a contact sheet both for digital and analogue photography. Capturing the scenes of urban spaces and collaging them together, D’Agata looked to photograph a relationship with the world. Looking at capturing the way in which the buildings are shown to be, in this cases looking at a flourishing area with bold, dominant colours and a range of angles creating energy and being welcoming compared to Bosnia showing small places within a large mass of land. Informing of how the area is mainly hidden and not so popular due to being a third world country. Put the scenes into the darkness like with the black and white. Telling the viewer the place isn’t as inviting.
MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER BROWN
USA. NEBRASKA STREET SCENE (2013)
EGYPT. CAIRO (2013)
During looking at ranges of work I came across these images which I felt were interesting as not only just looking at the scene of abandoned places but also what lies around it. Capturing the scenes connected to it and within the society helping to inform the connection with it. Looking at these images I felt they were interesting due to the idea of what is happening outside the building along with advertising such as posters helping the context to the place. As with here where the scenes capture the surroundings and in the second image depicting political posters that have been left up so long they have become to ware away showing the dominance of the politics at the time in that the posters still stay showing the party are still in charge but also that people aren’t that bothered so they the posters have been left to fall away on their own. Emphasized with the idea of the whole scene shown to be neat and tidy has a large amount of colour to help it stand out and makes it have a beauty to the scene compared to the posters that zoom in on just the posters removing the surroundings but at the same time the lack of colour makes the scene passive. So even with it being the main focus the image isn’t dominant. Making me also want to look at what the small details suggest.
SYRIA. ALEPPO (2013)
GERMANY. PRORA. RUGEN ISLAND (2013)
Looking at the aspect of capturing surroundings also made me look into this work as it captured the outside from the inside. Showing what the place is like and in terms to its surroundings. Like here you see the scene through a window with no glass in it but trees growing around what remains. While the other image documents an abandoned park in the middle of conflict and war during that was popular by Nazi soldiers. Showing a sense of irony in a place popular during the war now being in a sense of disrepair due to war and conflict. Holding a sense of joyous times through the colour centered portraying life and energy while the surroundings that border the image show destruction.
USA.HOUSTON.TEXAS. SANTA ROSA THEATER (2006)
USA. ARCHER CITY. TEXAS. ROYAL THEATER (2006)
Looking at the idea of entertainment, Alec Soth focused on capturing the outside of empty theatre’s during the recession, looking at their dynamic appearance through bright joyful colours and use of different shapes, showing how they draw you in by the quirky feel to them. However, to put a dampener, these places are closed so showing a disinterest in their quirky appeal. Here he centers the place so to focus on the building, capturing some of the area so to give context but not focusing on the surroundings compared to the building being the main focus. Therefore, you get the impression of the building first. This I find interesting as it portrays the life within the building while documenting the destruction and disconnection associated with it.
EUROPE. ENGLAND. GREATER MANCHESTER. SALFORD. GRAFFITI ON ABANDONED SHOPS IN CENTRAL SALFORD (1998)
GB. ENGLAND. LONDON. DALSTON. AN ENGLISH HERITAGE BLUE PLAGUE TO SHOW WHERE THE CLOWN JOSEPH GRIMALDI LIVED IN THE 19TH CENTUARY (2003)
Another option for looking at the outside like with Moises Samen is this work by Ian Berry. Here he captures the graffiti that is left on an abandoned shop, showing how the entertainment scene is using abandoned places so to advertise the events. Giving an idea of how popular the entertainment is but how after the “graffiti” is left to just rot away because it’s not needed after it’s done it’s job. While the second image is more interesting within the same area as it focuses on a blue plague, a sense of appreciation within the area as someone who has become established and made the area popular has got a plaque to show his or her appreciation to music. Creating juxtaposition between the ideas of posters that detail the events are unwanted but a plaque that commemorates the fame for the same sort of thing is welcome. This is also shown through the colour that for the unwanted being in black and white portraying a gloomy, run down feel. Where as the blue plaque other than the name suggesting a colour, it is also a colour image that holds a sense of being inviting. This made me think of how many areas there are in the West Midlands associated with music and how they represent it.
SPIRIT OF DECAY (2011)
Sebastian looks to photograph all the grand buildings in Europe that have been left to succumb to time before they fall away or get ruined by graffiti etc. Looking to capture the beauty that they hold and the mysteries within them. Informing of the life they used to be associated with and how the last owner’s have left them and the history they hold. Through looking at places like palaces to prisons and university lab’s. Documenting the scenes so to capture the whole room through the colours they hold with usually fall alongside nature showing how the disrepair is turning out over time. This in turn gives a sense of sadness to beauty and history as it’s left to die but also creates another beauty in the process.
ON THIS SITE
AISLE 2, ROW 3, SEAT 5, TEXAS THEATRE, 231 WEST JEFFERSON BOULEVARD, DALLAS, TEXAS, NOVEMBER 1993
MOUNT RUSHMORE, SOUTH DAKOTA, 1994
Sternfeld looks at what a place is known for when being associated with death, in these cases a chair where Lee Harvey Oswald was sat in the cinema watching the film “Cry of Battle and War is Hell” when he was arrested at 1:50pm, November 22nd, 1963. After he had assassinated the president, John F. Kennedy in front of a large crowd turning the death into one of America’s most famous stories. Yet the image shows how the seat is nothing more than a seat in a cinema but with it’s seating arrangement being different to the one’s surrounding gives the impression of this seat has a sense of history. Enforcing what the place and the seat in particular is now known for. While the second image represents a shrine that has been made in remembrance to the Sioux Indian, Sitting Bull the medicine man, which is placed in front of the Black Hills of Dakota aka Mount Rushmore. The hills of which are famous for two reasons. The hills themselves being a place where until the 1800s they were home to the Sioux Indians and the land belonged to them. However, the hills were found to have gold within them and worries from the American Military created by General George Custer who already saw Sitting Bull as a threat (as he believed Sitting Bull’s fame from touring with Wild Bill Hancock, circus show would encourage his fans to join the ghost dance). Meaning that the Native Indians were already seen as a threat to Custer leading to the wanting of land and the conflict of the two sides lead to many fights. Ending in the battle of Little Big Horn where Custer, Sitting Bull and many men of both sides were killed. Leading to the Indian’s moving from their land while over time Sitting Bull has become known as a renegade. Creating an irony in the image as the shrine is being looked over by four iconic members of the American government who signed the statute of independence, giving the land freedom. Both images of which show colours that emphasize the main focus in the image but also capture them in mundane scenes. Showing how the scenes are no different but emphasize it’s meaning making this work interesting.
With these images I was drawn to them more as they both held a sense of how media has influenced the representation, which I feel, will also be key within my imagery through the option of advertising as it has become to be today. Along with the two times being bought together and making me think how scenes have become known for a set time so to even make the scene famous, no matter how long it lasted for. Making the images feel respectful in terms of this place holding an important event but also adding sadness in the destruction and death that has come about for it to become famous. Yet relieved that the event has turned out in terms of freedom.
HILLSONG CHURCH LONDON, SUNDAYS AT THE DOMINION THETRE, BLOOMSBURY, 2005
TRUTH OF GOD CHURCH, BERMONDSEY, 2004
With seeing religious places, they always tend to be a building standing alone or in an area where they have prominence. However David Spero looks at places associated with religion in unusual places for the basis of his work. By focusing on ones that have been reverted like a shop, warehouse, or that is situated in unexpected places like as a rock monument within busy streets. Showing how the places can be anywhere but are not expected to be seen where they are. This is done by capturing a religious location so that it is centered in the image, showing the surroundings in contrasted tones. In turn the building does not stand out but making you look into the image to notice the subject. In return pointing out this is a religious place but you wouldn’t expect it. This work is interesting due to how it makes you look into the image more and makes you think about the areas that you see the monuments within. It is also insightful, as with the images like with these two examples, you don’t have the theme of religion standing out so you wouldn’t expect the place to be a church. However, this project shows any building can be anywhere. Even informing me that a building I always love seeing when in London, with a statue of Freddie Mercury isn’t just some monument to music but also a place of religion. Something until now I did not realise.
THE CHRONICLEMAY 2014
J’S AMUSEMENT PARK AND HAUNTED HOUSE 2008 – 2009
With talking with Vikki Simkiss she suggested this artist to me, here Paiva focuses on capturing images within an abandoned places in this case a theme park and a newspaper building. Trying to capture the scene that once was and how it remains now. This at points is done with a state on movement and colour in the imagery so to make the place look like it is still working even though the rest of the image(s) inform the viewer that the place is not in use any more. This is done through the documentation of the imagery showing a run down abandoned feature with lively colours that encourage the viewer to want to enjoy and the saturation of yellows suggesting light bulbs being switched on so that the rundown machines just look like they are old and battered. Representing a lot of how the country had become from recessions or places not being as popular as they once were due to lack of money or the encouragement of media. Meaning small places like family run ones didn’t stand the time or print based companies closing as the newspaper turns into being online. Giving a sense of enjoyment when viewing the imagery but bringing in a sense of sadness of what was. As I recall feeling from my youth of enjoying the holidays and going across to my main park, getting the excitement of the funfair being there, then feeling sad as I saw the funfair being closed and packed away or seeing the elderly man that would sit opposite the park selling newspapers in a little newspaper stand throughout my youth to then disappear from his spot one morning and not return.
Suburban Garages (2001)
In these images Shafran showed the mundane life of people and gave a portrait to people through the property they owned. This is through looking at the state people leave their garages in, giving an impression in what the people are like. Showing how people come and go and the importance they have for their own property in particular the garage. Leaving out any idea of life so that all you see is the property without the people in it giving a life without a life. Making the work a portrait of the owner with the impression on the landscape.
The work was made for the interest of the artist capturing the local surrounding. Showing the run down area and lack of consideration compared to the other resident who has their garage hidden away. Giving the idea of the lack of use as compared to ones that want it hidden away in their garden, showing a sense of society.
Through looking at these photographs the viewer gets a sense of rundown with majority of the image being in white with natural tones of green from the trees and gardens. As the dirtiness is emphasised from where the garages are left unconsidered. With this though the garages are centred and even though you are drawn to them you they don’t stand out from the scene. Instead creates a sense of space in what is a busy image around it.
This reminds me of the way society is as with walking around on council estates, there is a repetition of garages all left in a state of disrepair or crumbling. When going to an area of wealth they are freshly painted and attached to the houses mainly with a washed look. Walking around some also have features such as graffiti on them, mainly in the sense of a smile. This gives an impression of the owner’s attitude or self-preservation. Giving an identity to someone who you may not know. In turn being an interesting way to identify someone.
Teenage Precinct Shoppers (1990)
While in this project Shafran shows his original work as a fashion photographer. Looking at the youth’s style of the time while having innocence about them there is also a sense of rebellion. Here there is a lack of insight in the black and white image you are only given a sense of a portrait about the person while the coloured images are shown of the people within their regular surroundings as they are out shopping. Giving an idea of these people have something to say but only show it passively due to their innocence. Showing the subcultures at the time and their representation of society and fashion. Yet the set up of the people being centered or their surroundings being in the distance adds a sense of space and disconnection with society. Reminding me of how society portrays itself through what they are interested in such as music, favorite colours, decades they are influenced by and when they were born. Giving an insight into people even more so without knowing them.
This Is Then
The Cure, Birmingham Odeon, supporting Souxie and the Banshee’s, 19th September 1979
Wild Boys, Zodiac, November 1979
Last Bus, Wild Boys, Zodiac, November 1979
With speaking to Oliver Wood, I was suggested the project that Jason Scott – Tilley had worked on. With speaking to Jason I found it was this project called “This Is Then” focusing on images that Mark Osbourn had taken around the 1970’s on his film camera of music events and the actions surrounding it. However, these images had not made the final cut the first time. Therefore, Mark Osbourn looked to revisit the images to see what missed gems there were.
With looking through the collection of images you got the impression of a reoccurring narrative associated with a gig happening, capturing the artist, the fans, other people such as regulars at the event and travelling to or from the gig. In turn showing a scene that large amounts of people are familiar with. All of which though being captured in black and white giving the feel of photojournalism. While the lighting emphasizes where to look and captures the expression to the image, creating a sense of sound or lack of in terms of the bus. While allowing the image to single people out who are not joining the majority in their behavior, such as the one walking away. In turn giving the impression of rebellion and being different rather than fitting in with everyone as was popular in the music at the time. Suggesting the Midlands music has a high influence on its audience. Something I am familiar with through interacting with the same music scene but nowadays however the same occurrences also happening every weekend as people follow the same behavior when going clubbing. Playing on my memories of what I’ve seen and what I’ve been a part of, allowing me to enforce my memories on to the scene.
After speaking to Anthony it was suggested for me to look at Gillian Wearing’s video “Dancing in Peckham”. This is based on the notion that Wearing had seen a woman at a festival dancing out of control to music however in doing so she was going at a different tempo to what the music was. This then led to Wearing’s idea to put the scene in a shopping centre a place it is not usually seen so to capture the responses of people as they went past while in a way creating a self-portrait. Making it that this work was created for the interest of the artist., of which is captured in the 1990’s so portraying the fashion and style at the time while being focused on moves that resemble being out of control as the time was suggested to be encouraging the misuse of drugs. Hence why the audience sees it as a sense of amusement for the odd behaviour or shock. Especially with the location being somewhere unexpected suggesting the behaviour in a typical location of a festival cause no alarm but in other areas such as a shopping centre it is not right for the actions to be happening there. Yet the washed out coloured tones give an impression of what is expected to represent drugs and also of what the tones to go with the 1990’s suggested. Especially with the main focus being on Wearing who is dressed in festival attire but the ones passing by become more of the focus even though the video is not based on them.
This reminds me of Wearing’s other project created not long after, where she uses a range of videos focused on the audience, the bar and outside a night club on Broad Street, Birmingham. Where she captures the descent of people drinking so that they become less aware of their actions throughout the night. In turn using the videos created as more of a way of a shock to the audience as they are able to relate with what they’ve seen from doing it themselves but becoming to be more aware of their own actions.