A quick reminder because I love getting myself distracted by photo challenges: The 2/3 series features a simple formula: composition by the so called rule of thirds. The idea is to focus on structures and colours rather than composition while giving the pictures a uniform look. Based on this unifying ‘grammar’ it should be possible to arrange and re-arrange picture series according to different criteria – and tell different ‘stories’ – without losing a certain coherence. Here, the story told might be of rocks, or the remnants enclosed inside them.
As I moved around the art, the art moved me..
Kunst im Tunnel (KIT) is one of Düsseldorf’s most original museum spaces. It is literally part of a tunnel, a little odd-shaped piece of concrete left over above the actual tube and beyond a beautiful riverside walk along the Rhine river. It is very low at one end and very narrow at the other, and between the two ends, it is shaped like banana, or rather a banana box. The place is worth a visit in itself.
Tau, on he other hand, is the German word for both dew and a rope. It was chosen as a title for the collective exhibition of a class of Düsseldorf’s academy of the fine arts. The leaflet explains that no single work is ascribed to a single artist, thus drawing a parallel to both dew and a rope which are both constituted by smaller elements (the droplets, the single threads).
As a way of exhibiting art, this seems to be halfway between the art school exhibition I showed before and the museum I plan to take you to in some upcoming posts.
Let me just add that being there with a permit to photograph, I felt like a kid in a candy store.
Sometimes even the most dubious characters in a mystery novel have a lot to say. In Ben Aaronovitch’s Whispers Underground, an artist speaks his mind: “There’s no point asking what a piece of work means, you know? If we could express it in words, do you think we would have spent all that time bisecting a cow or pickling a shark? Do you think bisecting a cow is somebody’s idea of a fun fucking afternoon? And then to have stupid people come up to you and say, ‘It’s very interesting, but is it art?’ – yes, it’s fucking art. Do you think I’m planning to eat the fecking thing?” (p. 285)
I kind of like the reasoning here: Art can be defined by the use we make of it. And it is hard to talk about. So why not try to understand it non-verbally? That’s what my March/April project is about. You can participate! Details can be found here and on the ‘2015 Projects’ pages.
Making pictures helps me understand history and memory as well as architecture or nature or the aesthetics of a movie. In contrast to scientific understanding, I would like to call the insight I find using photographs aesthetic understanding. The goal may well be beyond language.
Now this idea seems to be supported by a rather new book about visiting museums. Among other things, the author suggests we make photos of the works we see: “Taking pictures is also a way of connecting to and participating in the art, as it unleashes our excitement and involvement. Taking a clever picture can lead to more meaningful interaction with art. […] Challenge yourself, not by attempting to capture the artwork itself, but your experience of it.” (Johan Idema, How To Visit a Museum. Tips for a Truly Awarding Visit. Amsterdam: BIS, 2014)
The pictures in this post were taken at an art school where I happened to visit a students’ exhibition a couple of weeks ago. The works were on display in the studios, giving the exhibition an atmosphere of authenticity and immediacy, making the visitors part of it all.
Despite appearance, these are straight photographs. They show a distorting mirror reflecting an interior. The blue part in the first picture for example is my photo backpack. These mirror images are my own contribution to this month’s photo challenge: I chose glass as the ‘element’ I want to tackle. (In case you’d like to participate, you can also leave your comment here.)
Long term projects and assignments (to myself) are part of my photographic practice. There are often two or three topics or themes I want to tackle when I go out to photograph; some take the form of picture series. I would like to share a couple of “assignments”, partly because I think you could enjoy them too, partly because I am curious about the solutions you might come up with. Every month will be dedicated to a little project, an idea, or an assignment (call it what you like), giving you ample time to “work” on it.
Once you feel you are done, post your results and leave a link to your post here – and do not forget to link to my original post so that other visitors might participate (it works just the same way as the Daily Post’s weekly photo challenges, only on a monthly basis). So here we go with this month’s idea:
Water, Wood, Stone – I find myself drawn to those few “elements”, and I often try to show these things in themselves. For this month’s project, I decided to do a series of pictures showing a particular “element.” (Note: The pictures in this post are re-posts – there shall be new material, of course!)
Part three of this month’s project in which you can participate: Details can be found on the “2015 Projects” page and here, along with a complete presentation of the series – a series inspired by the movie Fallen Angels.
I am also entering this for this week’s photo challenge as the idea was to “find the shadows. You can choose a literal interpretation and shoot an actual shadow, or you can play with the light and dark, and create a moody scene, or capture your subject in a rich and interesting way.”
Ah … and sorry for the belated Santas. I found them so funny I did not have the heart to discard them.
Part two of this month’s project in which you can participate. Details can be found on the “2015 Projects” page. My series was inspired by the movie Fallen Angels.
I was watching Fallen Angels, admiring the photography when I had the idea to make a series of photographs to capture the aesthetics and the atmosphere of the movie: It should be fun to hint at narrative when I usually avoid it, and it might be a possibility to make good use of colour while I usually work in black and white. Going through these ideas I also thought that if these assignments are fun for me, they might be fun for you, too. So I decided to give it a try: While I usually just post pictures, let me now also share the ideas that lead to making the pictures – and see if you would like to work on the same project and come up with your own solution:
To participate, come up with an idea that corresponds with the given topic, make your pictures, choose those you’d like to ‘exhibit’, post them and link to that post in the comments section here (ideally, you also weave a link to this challenge into your post).
I will post sequels to this post during January – reminding you the challenge is still on – and in the end link to your responses on the “2015 Projects” page.
Aiming your camera at that object, what is your aim? Why do you want (to make) that picture? These questions can be tough. They have often led me to not making the picture. And though some pictures are best left unmade, questions like that can grind you to a halt photographically. However, I found that inventing projects helps me avoid those dead ends: I often come up with a picture series (see example) to have something to work on. Which is what I would like to share with you: If I came up with several small project ideas during the next year, would you join me? You’re invited!