Good morning everyone,
I took part two weekends ago of the Kunstrasen exhibition in Trier. What’s that? A summery local cultural event allowing a bunch of enthusiastic people to share their arts with the crowd, outside in the sun, on the grass.
-“What will you actually exhibit?”
-Haaa… Hum… Tough one…
-you don’t know yet? It’s in a week!!
-… I know…
Then, It’s basically about browsing your photos (photos in my case, paintings for others…etc) and pick a few ones to show. Cause frankly my stack of photos is the real mess.
It was out of question to exhibit single series, because I would not find this very representative. I enjoy very much starting new small projects with new people but I’m not much the long run guy…
Or am I?
I found it a very interesting exercise and took lessons from it that I thought I should share with you.
More recently I turned my camera (camera only, don’t worry I’m fine) towards the dark side. As a matter of fact I more and more tend to think it was turned towards the wrong direction for too long. And just like a long lasting muscular effort, your mind and body slowly start to give up to come back to a more natural and resting position. In a way, it takes a lot from me to shoot any joyful event as I rest in the dark.
Back to our sheep, I knew I wanted to pick something more actual, in terms of mindset. I had a few recent pictures aside that could have matched and all, but this would not have been enough for filling my allocated exhibition space.
I came up with the idea of browsing through all my series in search for pictures that would work along.
Whether you are using analog negatives or raw digital files, what you are presenting to the viewer as “your photograph” is one possible way of processing this “negative” among an infinite number of possibilities. The idea is then to look at all those negatives and “reinterpret them” in a new light; take out photos from their former series and inject them into your new project to create a new meaning contextualised by the all new set of pictures. Still following?
Let’s use a well known issue we will call the “wardrobe complex” for that matter:
Ok, so over the past few years you bought about a hundred kilograms of clothes that now lay in your wardrobe waiting for the perfect occasion. Some you could enjoy wearing everyday, some you only wore once (In the shop)…
Then you receive this Facebook event notification, asking you to join for the opening of your local urban outfitter…right? (Is this still swag? Is “swag still swag?).
You got confused, as I would be…
Luckily, you just found that amazing neo-grunge t-shirt but you could not buy sh…t to wear along. So, you browse through your wardrobe and “recycle” all those stuff you never had a chance to wear, combine creatively this half billion clothes item till you find the one look you were looking for. Got it? Ok, now brag a minute in front of your mirror and go give all what’s left to charity please.
Why is this so interesting? In my case, it helped me to actually visualise how much my practice of photography changed over the last few years. It helped me to measure the influence of all those photo books I read, the people I met, the projects I came across over the past few years. Very literally like browsing through your childhood photo album.
Moreover I found that my mess of picture surprisingly was much more coherent than what I thought. I found a common core to all my series, just like a seed I m willing to grow from now, a roadmap with a goal!
No wonder why all those #throwbacktuesday online initiatives are so successful.
So, now? What’s in your wardrobe?
Here is mine 😉