Tag Archives: photo challenges

The Long Escape. A Six Times Six Image Narrative

On The News

In August 2016, Austrian police discovered 71 corpses of refugees in the refrigerated container of a truck abandoned in a lay-by of a highway. This gruesome news story came to mind when I wrote a post about art and politics and tried to imagine what a ‘political’ yet ‘open’ toy photograph might look like. I am convinced humans should not be transported in containers, so there I went.

Experimenting with this setup, one thing lead to another: What if the police were there, canvassing the container terminal? What if they even apprehended a suspect? And what if questioning the suspect ended with a lawyer showing up, a lawyer who might himself be part of a trafficking ring?

Six Image Narratives

A six image narrative evolved. The idea of this format (or narrative structure) goes back to the Toy Photographers blog which invites toy photographers from around the world to contribute posts and join the discussion. In this case, Shelly Corbett had opened a six image narrative challenge:

“The idea behind this new series is to create a six image narrative that somehow tells a greater, more complete story than one image can. Your story can be a linear story, it can be a thematic story, it can be a story held together by technique. Whatever method you use, by combining six images, you’re able to tell a new story.  The hope is that you create a story that has a greater impact than only one single photo can have.”

More, more!

Once I had set my mind on the conspiracy, I knew the story would not end after six pictures. So I decided on doing a six times six image narrative: The larger sequence was first called crime series, and the idea  was that each picture could be the equivalent of a single episode (on a very small scale) while each six image narrative might be seen as something like a season – and the total of pictures reminding us of the capacity of a traditional roll of 36 mm film. So much for the math.

Now I am squeezing this post in after I have come half way and realize many of you might wonder what it is they are looking at. Now you know the project … and I hope you’ll join me for the next round which will start in two weeks. It might be interspersed with other pictures, depending on the time the production of the last two ‘episodes’ will consume.

Should you be interested in seeing the whole story in one piece, please follow this link to my homepage.

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Surpassing Himself

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This week, Krista at The Daily Post presents us with a “New Horizon” challenge: “Think ahead and show your work in a representative photo. If you set New Year’s resolutions, give them some thought a few weeks early. If resolutions aren’t your style, show us something that you want to achieve — it could be setting a new goal, making plans, or even tackling that pile of laundry waiting by the washer. The goal is to get out of the busy ‘now,’ and imagine your new horizon. Go!”

Dot City

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Paleica at episoden.film gives photographers a month to come up with responses to her challenges, which is nice to begin with. In January and February I used the time to photograph and select, and came up with a retrospective by the end of the month. Today I see it differently. I photographed Formen & Figuren (shapes and figures), trying things out. I intend to share them over the month so we can see what develops (if anything develops at all).

“Organized Noise” – an Afterthought

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Paula at Lost in Translation kindly asked me to host a guest challenge which I gladly did because those challenges often entail great discussions. That’s what’s happening… Jo wondered if organizing noise was something like finding beauty in ugliness. I remarked that the phrase might also be understood as “ordering chaos” and then realized that this answer might make sense in more ways than I would have thought.

1. I was reminded of Michel Foucault’s L’ordre du discours, “The Order of Discourse.” Order/ordre seems to signify  system here, or disposal, also connoting terms like regulation or even directive.

According to Foucault, there is no knowledge to be had outside of Discourse. Discourse decides what can be said within reason and what cannot, and what form a proposition must have. By exerting this power, Discourse forces knowledge into existing: The ways in which we can think or speak about anything determine what we can know about these things.

2. I was also reminded of Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, one of the masterworks of Modernity. Writing this novel, Döblin saw himself confronted with the problem of representing all the things happening simultaneously in a metropolis. As a solution, it seems, he chose the form of collage. And in one of the many essays that may be read as commentaries of his work, Döblin asks: “Was steigt in das Becken des Jetzt?” – “What will climb into the Pool of Now?”

Climbing into the Pool of Now: I love this metaphor! Today I get the impression that it is also a photographer’s (and an artist’s) question: What will be allowed to ‘climb’ into the picture – now?

Answering this question by releasing the shutter, we force pictures into being, pictures of a world that often presents itself to us as an incomprehensible chaos. Pictures then can help us sort it out, no matter if we choose the counter-discourse of art or the discourse of reportage.

Pictures from Litfaß session no. 11