PHO702: Week 9 Coursework Enter the Academy

Week 9 Resources Enter the Academy

I’d got on with my reading and kept switching the theme from advertising, to politics and propaganda to the interpretation of oil paintings. That was quite a breadth of material, and I’d love to be able to just sit and read and read and read. Well actually, yes I have been regularly dipping in and out of one reading or another.

Week 9 Webinar Contexts of Consumption

Here, if I talk from experience of my part in 2018 group exhibitions.

[A] Identify and research a real-life group exhibition that you feel your work would fit into.

I was part of a group project from the outset. Although I’d expected a book I hadn’t contemplated the exhibitions. In the charge of experienced hands it was a great group experience.

[B] What is the curatorial intent of the exhibition?

People and events on specific routes through London. It gained significance as the Grenfell tower disaster happened on our shift. So too did the terrorist action on London Bridge where the public were run over and hacked by weapons. The next event was much more of the every day, the project we shadowed delayed so substantially the contemporary nature of the work was dented. You could never plan for all these events. It was a good 6 months or more of effort but we worked at incredible pace. That was amazing, I still have to pinch myself.

[C] Why would your work be included in it?

As major contributor there was one reason. Being invited by the editor to spend the day shooting and lunching with him must have also helped. Being a willing partner in other accompanied shoots helped team building and helped gain recognition.

[D] How would the reviewers relate your practice to the other works shown?

Reviewers included Zelda Cheatle, Martin Parr foundation and others then Chloe Dewe Mathews. By proxy I was told about the power of recognising a situation and capturing it being a powerful thing. Some images, even though not my best worked because in a book you have page matching and the editorial intent could be recognised.

[E] What is the most appropriate means for the public consumption of your work?

Book, taster exhibition and full exhibition wth opening night were all appropriate. Other surprises included my written work being included in a journal as an individual amongst other group member entries. I think that happened twice.

I attended two tutorials. In the first I was able to gain something that allowed me to enter the second better prepared.

Week 9 Independent Reflection

[A] Who writes interpretation material for galleries / museums?

[B] What do you notice about this voice or voices?

[C] Does it speak to you?

[A] Curators (and others not stated here at the moment)

[B] It is all upside and why not. Given the power to curate, why pick bad work?

[C] The material may or may not speak to me. I’m broad minded enough to patiently listen and apply interpretation. I don’t seek out all of the material all of the time. I might opt for preserving original thought and bypass the material and read it afterwards having gained personal experience. If I was leading a group to an exhibition say I’d be honour bound to do the homework and read the materials to be able to handle queries or to garner interest. If I was securing funding to attend I’d have to do my due diligence and read the materials.

Week 9 Module Leader Office Hours

Another very valuable week of support to those who could make it. Contact opportunities are full time equivalent.

Week 9 Independent Reading Contemporary Cultures of Display

Week 9 Independent Reading Contemporary Cultures of Display

[A] How do photographs acquire value and meaning?

[B] Is ‘art’ separate from society?

[C] Is contemporary ‘art’ photography different from earlier forms of ‘art’ photography?

Sadly I cannot engage with this fully as the reading link leads to a library meta dataset of information about the book but certainly no download link – tried another browser still no luck.

Let me try without the resource.

[A] I covered most of this in the preceding section. Repetition of task is detected.

[B] Art exists within sections of society and at any point in time may not be displayed and copies as illustrations on books or catalogues could serve to remind. Art can’t be read without reference to society or culture. It can be looked at and looked though or be ignored especially if it is not noted for its popularity. It’s just that it may not always be accessible. Propaganda art is going to be out there in the faces of the public in some instances on the side of political campaign buses.

[C] Yes Contemporary art photography is different to earlier forms. It’s intent may be more defined in order to distinguish it in a sea of images. However, time may need to pass, I usually say a hundred years from now, for the latent meaning to become more fully apparent. Contemporary work may also now be digital something not invented in time for earlier forms. Earlier forms will have had a chance to be exposed to exhibition and commentary by curator or critic. Contemporary work may be waiting its day.

Week 9 Introduction Enter the Academy

[A] What is ‘art’ and who has the authority to decide what is ‘good art’?

[B] Do we place value upon these artefacts? How and Why?

[C] Is photography ‘art’ or the ‘plastic verification of a fact’ (De Zayas, 1913)?

[A] Marshall McLuhan is my go to source for the definition of Art and sometimes incorrect attribution goes to Andy Warhol. “Art is what you can get away with”.

For me going back to this week has given me a tough lecture to crack. 

I watched the recording several times over. I got almost to the point of parsing each sentence to follow what was said. Maybe I’m tired, maybe too many distractions from the current week forum based on the videos we created. I entered a fog. At at some point I’ll emerge from it.

An earlier piece by different author was also a challenge and in the end I read the last paragraph then progressed step by step to the first page and remarkably it engaged me. Perhaps that’s it. Not every lecture will have the same relevance to individual practice.

[B] In my independent reading and at another week of the course I did dive into art and value. I can relate to that as a parallel to the lecture. Works of art gain cultural value through ownership which makes then causes access to become scarce. With equal works of art say by two different authors one may gain acceptance in the gallery world, the other not. Politics of the art world can determine selection and hence value. Once a work makes it to the gallery walls and is in the company of other work or even just the space of the gallery then importance is assigned. Even provocative bad work can find it’s place and as in Damien Hirst’s work the public may be astonished at what gets displayed and so are by now used to good and bad in their perception. But, once there, the work gains something that makes it desirable to art buyers.

In Hirst’s case his cheeky chappy repartee allows him to survive onslaught and in such a disarming way. Every piece of art is going to have its detractors, so realising this the artsist can be easily forewarned or forearmed. In emerging generations where they have grown up through school much more as co-collaborators a group can easily form around a work and free discussion and a common creed can act to strengthen the work against opposition just by being ready with the argument and a healthy disrespect for formality or formal argument.

[C] As for art or plastic, the answer is straightforward. Photography is both. Let’s pin down a single piece or body of work and answer that. Even then, there is all the ambiguity of contexts and reader experiences. Photography as a subject is now such a wide thing it resists being pigeonholed.

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