Now I have five days to get my project together and to be honest I am more or less confused about how I'm going to present my work in a understandable and organised fashion. Fortunately I have chosen my eight final pictures which I've printed just today. I even have a vague idea of how to arrange them.
|Don't ask why these two are a pair.|
|Why are you strangely blue, my love?|
|Too dark. And BLUE. wtf?|
|Don't mind the weird light stripe there. The curse of glossy paper.|
Obviously you can't really grasp what's in these photographs because the pictures above are merely crappy iPhone photos of my workprints but that's all I've got at this point. I will try to get the final pieces scanned and uploaded on my Flickr account when I have time and will to do it. For now, we'll have to live with these pieces of lousiness.
What I'd like to do is to attempt to clarify, for you dear lovelies - and myself - what this project of doom is all about.
So, first of all I'm going to claim that most of humans think that primarily what they see is real. Very simply when someone squeaks how they've met Johnny Depp in person, you demand a visual evidence of such an event. 'Pics or didn't happen', is the spirit. This leads us to consider photography's special status in our lives - its role ever since the early 1800's: a truthful representation of reality. Photographs' visual accuracy incomparable to any other form of recording kept its reputation strictly scientific and apart from art for decades.
Even today when photography serves everyone in some way in communication, art, science, criminal investigation, personal fun or just about anything else you can think of, and it is publicly known that anything is possible with photo-manipulation and how nothing gets published without retouching, certain amount of reliance and credibility is still associated with photographic images.
But you and I know that what we see in photos is not always true.
Let's consider photographs from the aspect of how they are actually born.
Now somewhere in distance there is an elephant. Light comes from the sun, certain wavelengths reflect back from the elephant's skin creating a sensation of seeing colours and shapes. When rays of light go through your camera's lens the information they contain turns upside down and creates a negative of the subject in a light-sensitive material: film. How cool is that.
As you cleverly noticed, a camera works much in the same manner as your pretty little eyes do.
Although there is a one crucial difference.
Whilst us humans have been equipped with a pair of magnificent eyes the combined visual information of which makes us capable of perceiving things like distance, space and speed - three-dimensionality that is, a camera has but a lens and a flat surface onto which to project the image therefore flattening the target two-dimensional. Obviously we can still deduct the missing third dimension - depth, from images based on lights and shades, our knowledge of proportion of things and a number of other qualities which I'm not going to begin analysing at this point. Mostly no one even thinks about this stuff: that in pictures there are only two dimensions, because our brain being the clever machine it is makes things seem normal to us. Sometimes though, it happens that a photograph comes out looking very unreal and bizarre when, for instance, people have street lamps growing on top of their heads or a such.
|"Under my umbrellah, -ellah, -ellah..."|
Here is an example of my own, form the garden of Palace of Versailles in Paris.
These kind of surrealistic scenes caused by distorted proportions started to fascinated me because of the equal presence of real and unreal in them.
My primary idea was to start photographing whatever I found to be interesting when seen through a transparent surface. In practice this means that I wandered around the city looking for dirty, broken, wet, embossed and in other ways not clean and clear glass windows and taking pictures through them. At an early point I noticed reflections that I hadn't taken in account at first. Luck was on my side for once and instead of rainy and grey autumn weather we had plenty of sunny days throughout the project.
Sunshine = loads of very distinct reflections = good for me
And here we go back to my first argument: that of people tend to take for granted that what they can see is real. I aimed at creating photographs so abstract and fantastic that the spectator is forced to stop and think what in fact is on front of him or her. I wanted to question first of all that everything we see is real (if you look out the window in the dark you'll see your own reflection outside but still you know that there's no clone of yours there, right?) and second of all photography's truthfulness in representing reality (if you see a reflection in a window you'll know it's a reflection but when it's in a photograph it becomes more obscure, thus confusing what is real and what is not).
I looked at Plato's Cave Allegory for reference but to be honest I don't really have much to say about it as it kind of touches on my topic here but it's not exactly where I want to go.
Anyhow, here's an awarded video presentation of it if you're interested or have no clue of what I'm talking about.
Another point that I want to draw your attention to is how subjective the notion of reality is. Our perception of everything that surrounds us in this world is based on five traditional senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, five additional senses: balance, pain, temperature, acceleration, sense of time and possibly some other stuff as well. As living organisms we are similar to each other: DNA, genes, genome - you know the story. We have certain kind of structure as a species. Despite that the teeny tiny variations in each and everyone's genome affect our abilities and appearances in a way that gives everyone a unique viewpoint on the world. I'm talking about physical differences between individuals: height, eyesight, possible disabilities.
In addition we all have developed/are developing a worldview of our own. Everybody has values, hopes, fears, expectations, beliefs etc. that bias our experiences and conclusions of our environment.
I rambled on about these in one of my previous posts already so I'll spare you a bit.
If it was possible to determine a numerical value for each factor that has a subjective and personally dependent impact on how we understand reality no one would end up in an identical result with anyone else. Or like in Photoshop you can add layer after layer on top an image and each layer changes something and sometimes you can't even tell which layer is doing what and how did you create this and this effect in the first place - assuming that your Photoshop skills are as basic as mine.
I don't know if any of my clumsy metaphors work but I trust that you bright little geniuses get what I'm trying to mumble here.
Layer is one of our key-words in terms of this project of awesomeness.
In my lousy Photoshop metaphor I was trying to sort of visualise how I see the construction of each individual's subjective experience of reality. Our mental capacity combined with our physical abilities forms a chunk of layers through which we observe the world. In my pictures there are also distracting elements modifying what we see. Sometimes we can't even tell if we are looking through a surface or merely a reflection - or both at the same time. The reality in these images is abstracted and distorted, and the variety of shapes and the slight juxtaposition between the pairs empathises the fragmentation and diversity of truths in our time of post-modernity.
Seeing may be believing but what if you're not sure of what you see?
p.s. Couldn't be bothered to read through this and check for any kinds of mistakes so yeah.