The exercise requires a 200 word reflective commentary. I went to this exhibition, one of the first study days with the OCA and wrote about it here and here. I thought, for the exercise I would reflect again on one of the bodies of work at the exhibition and see what, if anything had changed in my perspective of that piece of work.
This has become a difficult task! Firstly it is hard to find any of the work displayed in Hereford at the time and secondly when it is found it is either so small – Georgiou’s work as to resemble small thumbnails or reconfigured such as Winship’s work. So the experience I will have will be markedly different because of the viewing experience being so different, as much by the fact I am looking at a screen as opposed to prints on the wall in an exhibition space.
I then decided to look at Vanessa Winship’s work, the images on her website were at least at a size that were ‘readable’, though I couldn’t see the collection from the Hereford show only a number of the images in collections alongside images that weren’t at Hereford… I remember having a short email communication with her about her process, but this doesn’t inform the exercise I am trying to attempt. The images under the “untitled” gallery show young people and I seem to remember the photographer had taken some images from a children’s home or orphanage. What I remember about the prints were how beautiful they were, glorious monochrome images that elevated the subject by their presentation, however on the screen this doesn’t appear to happen as well as I remember on that stairway toward the library in Hereford. Most of the images are taken from one or two places, either full length or three quarter length studies. We are invited to inspect these children, to perhaps judge them and pass judgement on them. None of the subjects look particularly pleased to be photographed, they depict – to this reader in any case an awareness of the power of the camera to record whatever difficulties they might be experiencing. These children don’t exhibit the kind of assurance that Dijkstra might elicit from her portraits, though they don’t all have the same vulnerability. They do though question my/the viewers preconceptions and prejudices of the ‘other’ as these children are not from here, they are over there.
I’ve now re-read my blog post from 2011 and am still happy with what I wrote: