13 Oct 2016

an infinite mix

I love to discover other creative forms of expressing city life.

Currently showing at a former office block on the Strand is Martin Creed's short film Work No. 1701. Describing it as a sequence of individuals crossing a street in New York with a garage punk soundtrack doesn't do it justice. The individuals all have idiosyncratic behaviours, food and drink from a street photography point of view, evoking Bruce Gilden.  
However these aren't snatched shots in a crowd but composed portraits in a relatively isolated back street. In a way nonjudgmental, as much as any posed image can be, the subjects are given time to be themselves, the viewer to contemplate.
link to Work No. 1701 
It made me consider my image making process. It also lets the viewer make up their own interpretation about the image - good - but gives no control to the subject - bad?. 
This form of candidness is a hallmark of my form of photography. The artist/subject relationship is well debated across the history of art, let alone photography, but perhaps street is one area where it's unequivocal. Perhaps candour photography is a good description. Fancy running with that?

Anyway the film's available online so I recommend finding a big screen and turning up the volume.  

Coincidentally it reminded me of Shadow Walker by Mark Wallinger, a film I saw earlier this year. This takes the form of a self portrait made by the artist recording his shadow walking along Shaftesbury Avenue. Interesting how such work can be described - adequately but so poorly - in a single sentence.  

It's similarly beguiling.  

in this film provided by the point of view, from and towards a place one seldom if ever takes, and the related choreography, performed subconsciously by any individual on the street navigating their way without incident. There's no explicit explanation for this piece i.e. What's the purpose of the walk, what symbolism should we look for.  I think it's richer for it.  

Very street.

6 Oct 2016

bodies, rest and motion

Well I've spent the first weeks of Autumn doing something else I've not done before on the streets. Gosh, twice in a year. I feel almost giddy.
Following my adventures in eye-level photography I've now being learning how to stand and shoot. I know it all seems very basic but, after 30 years of taking pictures on the hoof, for me an unnerving experience. Why torment myself so? What if I missed that perfect picture waiting around the next corner? Well I really wanted to follow through on my musings about digital and see where they took me.
I decided to use a particular feature of my mobile camera called video collage. It appealed to me as it felt I was actually using a function that wasn't simply a replication of a stills camera. The concept was interesting. 6 seconds x 4 "scenes". Easy to shoot. Easy to share.
link to new London street photographs
Interestingly enough despite its modernity the format reminded me of stereoscopes. The intent then was the illusion of depth of vision. My intent was the illusion of depth of thought!
link to new London street photographs
Again taking advantage of another attribute of using a mobile device, the immediacy of results, gave me the opportunity to experiment. Fixed camera position, fixed subject area, movements of both by degrees left and right. The possibilities were endless. There was still the sense of the unexpected so, you'll be glad to hear, I wasn't totally in an unfamiliar world.
link to new London street photographs
So what have I learned? Well it's still a work in progress but I do like the mini narratives that build up even in such a short space. In a way they remind me of The Present by Paul Graham. They layer further ambiguity and possibility on an already uncertain scene. Just my cup of tea.