Where the realms of public and private become intertwined.
Gillian Wearing – an artist known for her controversial and provocative art. Her work is the epitome of contemporary art, as it attempts to unearth issues in new and intriguing ways. I am not a particularly big fan of her work but do rather like this piece and used it to illustrate a point in a previous essay. Although it appears as a still image here and in most places on the internet, it is in actual fact a video installation, a mighty long one at that, racking up a total of sixty consecutive minutes. The officers, who are in actual fact volunteers, are made to sit or stand as still as they possibly can for the whole duration! For the minutes I have watched of it, they all seem to do the task justice but of course cracks begin to show. The initial stillness that is seen at the start, develops into slight motion as each officer allows their individuality to be shown through fidgets, twitches and facial expressions. It is interesting how it proves individuality breaks through the facade of uniform. One male participant lets out a significant scream at the end, reiterating the effect control has on the individual body.
Subcultures are always a fun topic to look at and with the Exactitudes project by Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek, this idea of uniform is explored further through photos of different subcultures from all over in their matching -yet slightly altered clothing. Group identity does not always have to be limiting, it can be a positive form of unity and clothing helps to establish it. Dress codes of specific groups is a way for individuals to belong while simultaneously expressing uniqueness from others. It is a type of catch 22 situation, as individuals attempt to be different but end up looking the same as those who are into the same sort of style or scene. The project began it 1994 with the pair photographing the gabba movement in Rotterdam. The photos are taken in a studio and when the people are approached they are asked to bring the outfit they are in, along with a few others, the outfit most suited to the look of the group is the one that makes the cut. In order to choose the pose of each group, they ask the individual who they believe best embodies the look to strike a few poses and pick the best one from the lot. Then all the rest of the participants of this subculture must follow suit and imitate the chosen stance. Look at the wonderful pattern made on their homepage, produced with the repetition of ‘personal’ identity.
All in all, a very cool project. The website lets you have a peek at them all in close detail so it is possible to see the individual through all the monotony. Go HERE to explore more.
Not much to say about Audrey Hepburn that you probably don’t already know…she was amazing!!! So I will leave you with some of my favourite snaps of her instead.
She adored gardening and has a rose named after her.
A poem by Sam Levenson, that was a favourite of Audrey’s. Brilliant words of advice to live life by.
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run your fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; Never throw out anybody. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!
Both photographers have their own printed collections of the amazing Hepburn, I badly want the Mark Shaw one.
Two great shoots and another great combination. Linda Evangelista and Steven Meisel.
Chantal Regnault left France after the ’68 uprisings in Paris to move to New York. Though, it wasn’t until the late 80s that it was possible for these photos to materialise. She managed to gain entry into the Afro-American and Latino homosexual and transgender crowds of New York, where a new craze called Voguing was taking shape at the close of the 80s.
This book documents this scene and allows the readers into a time and place that will never happen in the same underground way as before. The book is published by Soul Jazz Records.
‘Voguing came out of the extraordinary house ballroom scene that emerged in Harlem, New York in the 1980s where men competed against one another for their dancing skills, the realness of their drag and their ability to walk on a catwalk runway like a model.’ Soul Jazz Records
Doug Rickard – ‘A New American Picture’.
Edited photos through changing the framing of the image found (angles/cropping/changed to panoramic) and by changing the lighting. He composed the images on his computer and then took a photo of them using a digital camera. AMERICA.
Rickard lets us in on how Google street view managed to capture his imagination and why it served as a the right medium to convey his message.
Go HERE for more…
‘Reclining Nude’ by Weegee.
By John Swannell. 1976.
‘Memphis’ by William Eggleston from ‘Los Alamos’.
August Sander provides an extensive encyclopedia into a Germany of the past through his seven categories of occupations: The farmer, the skilled tradesman, the woman, classes and professions, the artist, the city and the last people (the social misfits or disabled). Apparently beginning in 1909, photographing farmers, Sander shows us the people that represented German society at the time and inevitably what these distinctions meant to him.