The brief asks that I produce eight images that have a narrative and convey a specific idea. Rather than focussing on a theme or activity, work on a concept. The more abstract the concept the better. Abstract concepts name ideas, feelings, qualities or characteristics that are not directly perceived by the sense, e.g. hope, love, exploitation, sadness, freedom and greed.
A short (200 word) commentary on my ethos for the assignment.
The aim being to help me develop my ability to conceptualise my thoughts and communicate my ideas visually. The emphasis is on effectively translating concepts into visual products.
Using my experience with the ‘Echoes Group’ about how it has been difficult to present a user of the group in a clear way, that patient confidentiality is paramount and that transgressing that would both be a breach of trust as well as breach of contract. Neither of which I want to do.
There is of course the slight imponderable, how to depict someone’s identity without showing them as whom they are.
Examining identity: The most obvious identity marker is the face, it is what most people use to recognize one person from another – unless of course the viewer is blind (may come back to that later). Other markers of identity are Mother/Father – parent, sibling, friend, enemy, class, school, university, profession, job, gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, skin colour, country of birth, their past, health, religion, I suppose there may be many more; I’ll think about this as I consider how to approach the assignment.
The short piece of work I have done on identity, whereby I greatly enlarge an area of someone to a collection of pixels 42 X 24 wide and then enlarge that to fit on an A4 sheet of paper – which I termed digital DNA – has extracted a real codified, elemental part of the subject; abstracted so that no visual reference to the original subject can be discerned in such a way as to contain a unique reference to that subject. I wanted to create an image that also had an elemental beauty about it, the first one I did was from a monochrome negative and the range of pixels, ordered in the format that the crop provided, presented – to my mind in any case – was a beautiful rendering of greys with both a true black and a true white in the image. I thought about that at the time, my work as a monochrome photographer – sitting on the shoulders of the ‘Modernist’ giants had me ensuring that there would be a true black and a true white (actually an absence of tone) to anchor the picture. I am now aware that I don’t think that way anymore and haven’t for maybe a decade. But it gives a clue as to my identity that I should consider that as part of how I ‘best represent’ that subject – that the range of tones need to be from black to white – from having an absence of tone to having a the densest of tone (this is bringing other thoughts about why it should need that full tonal range – I don’t think that all people have that range, certainly I think that I would misrepresent myself with an eleven zone palette).