Re-View

Following on from Dis-Integration and Re-Integration I have revisited Re-View, one of the original working titles for the Re-Integration collection. Discussion of one of my original layouts for the work in progress portfolio submission with my tutor, coupled with my recent foray into processing some images into what might be considered an ‘abstract’ presentation, has given birth to a third collection in which the two Integration collections can be ‘mixed up’ in the order in which they are presented providing that they they meet my criteria of not being  clearly and immediately identifiable. Here is an example of two found and one incinerated items, presented as a tryptic in my work in progress portfolio  as they appear to relate in form and colour.

Re-View Collection Sarah Newton 2018

Re-View, as the title suggests, encourages having another look at something. In reference to this collection it means not only that I have had another look at my images but also people who view them will take a second prolonged or closer look to uncover and ‘see’ what I have displayed. Thus from the original subject (my taking the image) to the prepared image (my re-view) to the presented image (viewers first glance) to the understood image (what it is and what it is saying in its presented format) (viewers second glance). A circular process; back to the beginning.

Desconstruction of my images, in a theoretical and not a physical sense, has been helpful in my moving onto further development in their processing and presentation. My signs and signifiers (Barthes, 1973) in the Re-View collection are not immediately identifiable. Indeed signifiers, which stimulate the contextual identification process which accords with our knowledge of how things go together in the world around us, are limited in my images. So rather than an overt connection to raise awareness, which may ‘anaesthetise’ the viewer from rising to the challenge (Williams, 2009), it appears that both my ‘ abstract’ images as well as the straightforward ones of debris and recycling and incineration plants are somewhat covert in their modus operandi. An alternative opinion may simultaneously hold true in that the message could be too ‘distant’ from the messenger (i.e. the subject in the image) requiring several cognitive analytic processes before ‘the penny drops’. Whether this approach is effective in achieving my project aims remains to be ‘seen’. Beautiful images can be received and accepted by the viewer with the emotional response initiated by the initial impact thus there is less recognition or appreciation of the need to act on the message conveyed (Sischy, 1991; Kimmelman, 2001).

Re-View 5 Sarah Newton 2018

I need to be looking at my images at several levels as one might an advertisement. After all I am wanting to promote a message just as one might market a product. These levels include the surface meaning (i.e. items of beach debris or recycling and incineration facilities), my intended meaning (i.e. the take home message to improve our waste disposal and management as individuals and corporate groups) and the cultural and ideological meaning (i.e. believing in doing all that is individually and collectively possible to safeguard and improve the way we live for the benefit of all living creatures and the long term future of the planet) (Frith, 1997, p5; Frith and Cheng, 2006). Images that link well to their title achieve greater impact than the image or title alone. Having already chosen three collections with the titles Dis-Integration, Re-Integration and Re-View, I can see that there are possibilities for exhibiting all in one location together or each in separate locations (beach, industry, gallery).

Brandt (2016) in displaying his images of animals (and parts of and petrified animals in their former landscapes), may have had similar circular intentions to mine in order to raise awareness of what the human race is doing to other living creatures on the planet. His images are clear and interpreting them just needs the viewer to note the sign (animal photographs) and make the connection with the signifiers (the context/surroundings in which the photographs are displayed). I am keen to explore how his approach would work with my project intentions. For example, displaying beach debris images on beach images actually on beaches and displaying beach debris and recycling images together on images of recycling and incineration at the sites.

Factory with Elephant, 2014 Nick Brandt
Fishing Lure with Incinerator Tower Sarah Newton 2018

Other examples could be to display beach debris on beach images actually on beaches and to display beach debris and recycling together on images of recycling and incineration at the sites.

Forgotten Shoe at Sunset Sarah Newton 2018
Beach Debris Incinerated Sarah Newton 2018

Reviewing the work of Danny Treacy (2018) who gathers disused fabrics and clothing from skips and creates new outfits I can see what he is conveying about reuse. His images in ‘Them’ (exhibited in the Photographer’s Gallery London in 2008) do need a explanation (which is given in detail on his website) as I would not otherwise know where the clothing had come from as some of the outfits resemble clothing I have seen at festivals, on the streets of some cities and when visiting some other countries. I particularly like the way the subjects of the images are set against plain backgrounds. Following the titling of my own work his strap line for a collection could be Re-Semble (to seem) or re-Semblance (outward for or appearance) (Collins Dictionary, 2018). If this has not already been used then perhaps I will purloin it for the next stage of my photographic development.

Them Danny Treacy 2008

I have collected items I have found on beaches and waterside locations and intend develop a mini project to combine aspects of the photographic approaches of both Brandt and Treacy,

References

Barthes, Roland. 1973. Mythologies. St Albans, Uk: Paladin.

Brandt, Nick. Inherit the Dust. Available at: http://www.nickbrandt.com. [accessed 17-03-2018].

Brandt, Nick. 2016. Dust to dust: Animals lost in an African apocalypse – in pictures. The Guardian (5th April 2016). Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2016/apr/05/nick-brandt-inherit-the-dust-africa. [accessed 17-03-2018].

Collins Dictionary, 2018. Available at: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/semblance. [accessed 22-04-2018].

Frith, Katherine T. & Cheng, Hong. 2006. Symbolic Meanings of Advertisements in China. In Hong Chen and Kara Chan (Eds.), Advertising and Chinese Society: Impacts and Issues. Copenhagen Business School Press: Copenhagen.

Frith, Katherine, T. 1997. Undressing the Ad: Reading Culture in Advertising. In Katherine T Frith (Ed.), Undressing the Ad: Reading Culture in Advertising. New York: Peter Lang.

Kimmelman, Michael. July 13 2001. Photography Review; Can Suffering Be Too Beautiful? Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/13/arts/photography-review-can-suffering-be-too-beautiful.html. [accessed 17-03-2018].

Sischy, Ingrid. 1991. Good Intentions. The New Yorker (9th September 1991).

Treacy, Danny. Available at: http://www.dannytreacy.com. [accessed 19-04-2018].

Williams, Matt. April 24 2009. Close-up: Does shock advertising still work? Campaign. Available at: https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/close-up-does-shock-advertising-work/900778. [accessed 17-03-2018].

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