Artefact – Under-Represented Groups – Homelessness

When I saw this task I knew exactly what I was going to do. As I always was interested in this subject, I decided to focus on homelessness and how homeless people are neglected by society. For most people, when they hear about this topic or walk by a homeless person, their first reaction is to judge them, as they do with everything else. They look at them thinking – “brilliant, another person asking for money”, but they never ask themselves, let alone ask the homeless person that they walk by, what happened with them that they ended up that way, what’s their story ? Everyone is asking why don’t they get a job, when everyone knows it is hard to get one when a diploma, let alone without one and everyone is looking down at them, like they are a different species, when the fact is that they are people just like us, but whose story didn’t had a happy beginning and in most cases won’t have a happy ending.  I myself did the same thing when photographing John, a guy that sleeps on the stairs of a building near the place I live. The first thing that I did when I took the photograph of him, was to take it standing up and looking down at him and after seeing that photo I realized that this is the way everybody sees him.

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The biggest problem is that if you go online and type the word ‘homeless’ you’ll find thousands of images of homeless people and articles about the number of homeless people growing, about them being a problem to society and even a few pages created to help them and all of this is virtual, no one is doing anything in reality, to help them. At first everybody was just looking down at them, then they became a problem to the society and everyday they become more and more neglected, because people don’t do anything to help them, but they are wondering why are there so many.

Inspired by the work of Corinne Vionnet, Photo Opportunities, where she put together images of well-known monuments  taken by tourists, to create one image, I decided to create a series in which to show how we are neglecting these homeless people and how we ignore them day by day until we will end up forgetting about their existence. I was inspired more by the technique used by Corinne Vionnet, so I looked up on the internet at the photos of homeless people and how they are represented and on the same page of images with homeless people there were a few images with business people and then I imagined how I would do the final images and how they would look.

So I created a series of three photographs by taking images from the internet and putting them together, that show how homeless people are neglected by the society more and more everyday, ending up one day, with the society forgetting about their existence. 1

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Artefact Informed by Extra Curricular Activity

In my spare time I would rather work on my personal projects, read a book or just listen to music and the ideas will come up. I have always loved the natural light, each minute of the day the light is different, it changes, even though we can’t see it with our own eyes, but that change that we can see it is, from my point of view, the best. So I thought about creating a photographic series with images taken at sunset, that being the moment of the day with my favorite light. While I was just staying in bed and listening to music and then one song came up, from Arctic Monkeys, called When The Sun Goes Down. The song itself has nothing to do with my idea and the message of the photos, but the name of the song actually inspired me. I want people to see and feel what I do, because when the sun goes down and I look at that amazing light, it makes me smile, it gives me an indescribable feeling . So far I have only a few photos, because I am not planning when I’m taking the photos and where; I am taking the photo only when I’m in the right place and I feel like that is the place.

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Critical Reflection – Jacques Henri Lartigue – Exhibition – The Photographers Gallery

When we went to London to see a few exhibitions the one I was the most fascinated about was the Jacques-Henri Lartigue’s one, Bibi,  in terms of everything – his work, what it represents, the photographs – composition, framing, message and especially the way his work has been exhibited.

The exhibition focuses on photographs from 1920s that represent the story of Lartigue’s marriage to Madeleine Message, known as Bibi, his first wife and the mother of his only child.

The photographs are shown in a chronological order and divided into three sections, tracing his relationship with Bibi from very first beginning of it, showing them as a happy, lovely and very in love couple, living a glamorous life that eventually turns upside down because of the “dark side” that we all know there is behind everything that looks or seems beautiful, leading to their separation.

The first section is about the photographer in his young years meeting the one that will going become his wife, about them enjoying their lives as a married couple, traveling, about his work at that moment, as a painter and eventually about them having their first and only child.

The photographs in the second section are about them leaving their family’s town house and about two life changing events, each one of them devastating one more than another. The family home is sold which is creating a huge hole in Jacques heart and their second child dies just a few month after its birth, which bring his wife into despair.  In the meantime, he spends some time with a French writer and eventually falls in love.

In the final section the photographs are representing the end of their relationship, the end of their marriage, showing his wife, now in the company of other women. The death of his wife’s father is another thing that affects their relationship, making her to want to get away from her marriage.

Their whole life is shown within twenty albums of photographs.

I really enjoyed the photographs, as the framing is incredible, they’re aesthetically pleasing the eye and they’re telling a story with up and downs, a story that doesn’t have a happy ending, shown in artistic manner.

Another thing that contributed on making this exhibition really good is the way the photos were exhibited. The story begins from the very first step that you take in that room. It starts with a short introduction to his life and who he is and then the photos are becoming the narrator. The photographs are exhibited in there columns of three and two rows and after every three columns there is only one photo that I think is representing a certain moment that is changing something in their lives. Also, some of the photographs are shown together with quotes and some are not which makes it really interesting because of the certain mystery either to the photographs accompanied by quotes or the one that are not, it all depends on the quotes.

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Critical Reflection – Artist Talk – Jonathan Shaw

Jonathan Shaw came to our class and talked about his work, which I completely fell in love with, mostly because the way he captured the time and the movement, work that has inspired me for the project that I am working at the moment.

The book Time/Motion brings together the work of three photographers: Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton and of course Jonathan Shaw, each one of them well-known for their famous images. The famous image from Eadweard Muybridge of the horse in motion in which he wanted to show that while running, there is that one moment where the horse has all its four feet in the air, which I found extremely interesting, not the fact that the horse has all its feet in the air, but the fact that through a photograph he was able to show this and made me think more about how the time goes so fast that there are thousands of things that we can’t see and don’t even notice. So in these situations the camera is doing for us what our eyes can’t.

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Harold Edgerton’s photos of the milk drops are another set of images that amazed me. Capturing that exact moment when a milk drop strikes another layer of milk and getting everything in the picture so aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  And even better that these series, are the stop-motion pictures that he took, something that the human eye will never be able to see by its own, it is fascinating.

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Jonathan Shaw’s work is different, but still goes on the same theme. He looked more into capturing the time/motion by photographing people practicing different sports. The photographs of the men running for a marathon are simply amazing, aesthetically pleasing to the eye and it makes the viewer analyze the photos, because at the first look I for one didn’t realized what is going on in the picture,  I saw that it  looks like a reflection so I first thought it was edited, because the person on the left is the same person on the right and with the slow shutter speed and the high speed of the runners it is really hard if not almost impossible, they would just not appear in the image. But then he told us he was using a tracker, so just after releasing the shutter he tracked them ending up with these images.

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Another series of photographs that I really enjoyed is Crash. It is a series o photographs taken at the most degenerated and turbulent clubs in London.  I really liked the way this work was exhibited – the images had been reproduced at high resolution with the latest technology in order to create a maze, a labyrinth, a closed spaced that would draw the viewer in the claustrophobic world of club. The gallery walls are covered  by a large scale panoramic photograph that extends throughout the full length of the gallery.

 

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Critical Reflection -Artist Talk – Anthony Luvera

I have chosen to talk about Anthony Luvera’s work because I personally was really impressed with his work and his way of approaching certain subjects.

One of his projects that I found really interesting is Residency.   He said that he never wanted to photograph the homeless people and so this project it is not about him documenting the life of the homeless and recording it, but it is about the people themselves representing themselves through photographs. I was really interested in how he looked into the relation between the subject, the camera and the photographer, so the subject would become more than just the person that is being photographed, he would become actively involved in the creation of the representation, he would represent himself through the photograph.

Since 2002 he has been working on a series of long-term photographic project with people that have experienced homelessness living in London. He provided the people with single-use cameras to create photographs of the thing that interests them. He also learned the participants how to use large-format cameras in order to work on the creation of self-portrait for his series Assisted Self-Portraits. Withing these series his role is to teach and support the participants, while they are becoming the photographers and while they are choosing where the photograph will be taken and how they are going to frame the subject.

He collaborated with over 250 people and this collection of photographs became an archive.

His way of approaching this project and his commitment amazed me. When documenting the life of homeless and not only, people do spend a certain amount of time doing research, investigating, but he is doing more than that – he is interested to see how the subject would choose to represent himself though the photograph and not just take the photo of the subject himself, because with all the research and investigation one can do, it is just not enough – the photographer still can’t see through the subjects eyes, but by making the subject the photographer the photograph become what the subject actually sees.

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Residency Documentation Joe Murray

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Residency Documentation Angela Wildman

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Residency Assisted Self-Portrait Chris McCabe

East Winds Film Festival – Critical Review – Cult

The second movie I have seen at the festival was The Cult, which I thought it would be much better that Pawnshop, but it turned out to be worse.

Although it says on the wallpaper made for this movie that it was made by the producer of The Ring and The Grudge, it is quite, actually, really hard to believe this, because I have seen those movies too and they were really good. The story, the effect and how the scenes flowed, everything was good about those movies and they are actually horror movies, at least from my point of view, as I am not a big fan of these movies.

The movie appears to be, from my point of view, a pathetic copy of Paranormal Activity. It begins with three young girls that agree to appear on a paranormal activity television show in order to investigate whether the house of a family is being haunted or not, which of course it seems to be haunted.

They eventually go to that house and investigate the strange things that are happening there and they see things that are moving by themselves, some of them end up being possessed, the same with the members of the family whose house was haunted. Also. the scene where the daughter of the lady that lives in that house, is possessed it’s incredibly bad, you can spot the mistakes from the first look. She is being possessed by some thing that looks like a black tentacle, the priest is trying to get that out of her body, but it turns out to be unsuccessful(all of this happening in the living room), she runs upstairs, but when she’s climbing the stairs, she’s going backwards and it is obviously that this scene was edited, it is impossible not to notice the fact that this scene was filmed with her coming downstairs and then edited(really bad editing) to go backwards. Everyone is going after her, when they get in her room they find her eating their dog and after this the dog’s head appears with some tentacles instead of a body coming on the corridor, again with an extremely awful editing. After these scenes she is vomiting half of a plate, which, of course, would never fit in her mouth and she doesn’t even cut her mouth, it’s perfectly fine. Then the movie goes on with the priest being unsuccessful and then the three girls calling for help of a man that is supposed to know more things about possession and this kind of paranormal activity.

From my point of view the film was way too long, not interesting or horror at all and the editing, the effects, everything is extremely awful. It is indeed hard to believe that this came from the producer of The Ring and The Grudge.

East Winds Film Festival – Critical Review – Pawnshop

For this festival I choose to go to see two horror movies, as I am really afraid of horror movies and I need to get rid of that fear, but I can’t say I was impressed. Actually I was not impressed at all.

First movie that I saw, Pawnshop, was about the owner of a Chinese pawnshop (which is close to being ‘out of business’), that has been worshiping a ghost in his house, for many years. Because of the extremely bad situation (involving money) that he and his wife are in, he decides one day to pray to acquire wealth, a prayer that is answered, but with one condition – that his wife will be sacrificed. This is the moment when the film is going to a totally different scene, with a bar owner that falls asleep while driving and accidentally hits his neighbor’s little daughter who goes into a coma. He feels that he needs to compensate the family and he sells his house and his other assets and that’s when the life of him and his wife become really though. So he comes across a flyer of the pawnshop that is showed at the beginning of the movie, which says that if offering a great amount of money for those who are willing to sell their souls to a ghost. He decides to accept the deal and finds out that he’s not the only one that is in desperate need for money. All of them eventually find out that the deal they accepted comes with a heavy price. Heavier than just selling their souls, apparently. The pawnbroker had also made a deal with the ghost – he is taking the souls of the people that accept the deal, in order to feed the ghost. After all of these scenes are showed, they eventually show who the ghost is – which appears to have been a dancer that was rapped and murdered. During the whole movie there are many scenes of the ghost vomiting blood. The pawnbroker is deceiving everyone that is coming to the pawnshop to sell their souls for money, by offering the a much lower amount of money instead of what it says in the flyer. Also, before getting their money, they must spend a night in a room in the pawnshop, in which, apparently they only go in, they never get out, because they’re killed.

The whole movie is extremely confusing, it goes from one scene to another, scenes that don’t really make sense, only at the end of the movie. Usually these kind of movies are interesting, because you get to see at the end of the movie the thing you never thought it would have happen or that happened, but in this movie nothing makes sense. The scenes are going from showing the pawnbroker, to showing the man that hit the little girl, then showing other people that are going at the pawnshop because the lack of money and between these scenes, they’re showing the man that hit the little girl with the car, screaming, hitting himself and having an awkward behavior.

From my point of view, the film makes absolutely no sense. It begins kind of in the style of the Saw series, which makes you think that it will be an actual horror movie, when it is not. Not to mention the awful effects of the fake blood, the terrible angles of the camera, the lights, the shadows and the ghost, which looks like it has been created by the worst beginner in photoshop.

I personally wasn’t impressed by this movie, I find it the most awful movie I have ever seen so far, everything is terrible, from the effects to the story.