Alternative Field Piece – Tom Phillips Artist research

Because for Alternative Field Piece I had to concentrate on a different medium than photography and the piece had to in some way be inspired by the Field Group Work I started experimenting with layering text and images. At first it was all spontaneous and didn’t seem to work with me at all. I came across the book ‘The Humument’ by Tom Phillips who made his own story out of words from a book called ‘The Human Document’. I found that book to be an inspiration towards a potential final piece. At this early stage I am unsure what’s going to happen but I want to include images of Cardiff that I have taken and painting them on top of a page from a book then finding words that connect to the image – perhaps create my own interpretation of what I see/feel. Here are some examples of my starting point and Tom Phillips’ work:

 

Victor Burgin

Victor Burgin is a British artist and a writer. What is striking in his work is that he uses text within his images.

We are used to seeing photographs that only contain text in a form of a ‘caption’ or ‘description’ and that is usually outside the image. But in Burgin case he tells a story within a story of his photographs.

I happen to come across his writing about ‘Looking at Photographs’, Chapter 6 and this paragraph was quite interesting to read from his point of view about the ‘codes’ included in his photographs;

‘Very crudely characterised, it assumed a coded message and authors/readers who knew how to encode and decode such messages while remaining, so to speak, ‘outside’ the codes- using them , or not, much as they might pick up and put down a convenient tool..’

I myself find placing text within an art piece very conventional but it’s usually in a form of already existing text and creating another meaning to it. But Burgin shows us how he creates his own narrative.

 

‘TODAY IS TOMORROW YOU WERE PROMISED YESTERDAY’

VICTOR BURGIN

VICTOR BURGIN - 'GRAFFITICATION' 1977

Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth is a German photographer whose work includes detailed cityscapes.

Struth studies of cities, largerly taken in the 90s and in black and white, are ghostly-like studies, each with a beautiful depth of field. They seem to act more as documentation of the city, a frozen moment that would then be lost. And with that, they’re absorbing. They seem to have a nostalgic impact on me especially his images of the apartment blocks which bring back my childhood memories, mostly because I grew up in one.

I think the composition of the buildings is very important in his photographs, personally I think that’s the main thing that creates the atmosphere within the photos.

 

THOMAS STRUTH Ferdinand-von-Schill-Strasse, Dessau 1991 1991 by Thomas Struth born 1954

Sophie Calle

Sophie Calle is a French artist who works with photographs and performances, placing herself in situations almost as if she and the people she encounters were fictional. She also imposes elements of her own life onto public places creating a personal narrative where she is both author and character. She has been called a detective and a voyeur and her pieces involve serious investigations as well as natural curiousity.

In 1980 Calle made a piece called ‘Suite Vénitienne’ in which she followed a man she had met at a party to Venice and continued to follow and photograph him there for two weeks.

The Hotel
A year later she returned to Venice where she got a temporary job as a chambermaid. She made a piece of work about her imagined ideas of who the hotel guests were, based on their personal belongings.

“For each room there was a photograph of the bed undone, of other objects in the room, and a description day by day of what I found there.” Sophie Calle  

*Taken from http://www.iniva.org/dare/themes/space/calle.html *

SOPHIE CALLE - 'THE SHADOW'

 

‘The Shadow’ 1981

SOPHIE CALLE - 'THE SHADOW' 1

 

‘The Shadow’ 1981

SOPHIE CALLE - 'SUITE VENITIENNE'

‘Suite Venitienne’

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson

French street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson who was also working in black and white film. Bresson produced photographs that really captured THIS world (or at least the world surrounding him at the time).

‘Form’, ‘geometry’ and ‘design’ were evident in his photographs ;

Here is an interesting blog I came across about his photography, but what’s most striking are the interesting discussions left in the form of comments :

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2011/08/22/10-things-henri-cartier-bresson-can-teach-you-about-street-photography/

 

 

HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON - 'BICYCLE'HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON - 'BEHIND SAINT LAZORE STATION'