The process leading to the photo in this project is as important, if not more important that the photograph. A quote from the text Anthropology and Art Practice really spoke to me…
‘Perhaps art itself has become too porous, and the notion of actual artwork is at stake.’
Schneider, A and Wright, C (2013) Anthropology and Art Practice 9
It made me consider that there is so much information in art, so much quality research, that the artwork isn’t needed. It made me really consider whether I was a photographer or an anthropologist. But a combination of the two is ideal, and if there are visuals which communicate research more effectively then that research and information can be compressed down to a memorable image. There is an argument there, but as a photographer, I see the need to provide contextual images that intelligently express detailed research. But I’ve just walked into a cliche. I’m basically saying that a photograph is worth a thousand words, but because my blog posts usually exceed that limit, so my images need to express more than that. That joke appeared more pretentious than anything, but you know what I mean. When photography is intelligent it is more important and more focused. I really want to understand what I am photographing and why.
Anthony Luvera’s lecture talking about his work was really the starting inspiration for me this year. He made me realise that I need to become involved in communities to understand how I can photograph them truthfully and intelligently.
‘The process of meeting people and respecting people is important, involve yourself with organisations to get close to people’
Luvera, A (2014) Lecture
If I involve myself in scholarly establishments then I will be able to understand stories and apply my photographs to those stories instead of making assumptions. Luvera involved himself within a community in order make his work ‘Not Going Shopping’ and it made his images more focused and truthful to each individual. It was a really good research source as well. In the first year I got all of my research from either books or the internet. But this has inspired me to get my anthropological research from actual people who have experienced things.
Furthermore, Luvera presented his work throughout Brighton to get a good footfall for his work, so that it meant something to the audience in that location. I could keep mine site specific and present the images within the department of the lecturer I have photographed. Then students studying that subject would be able to see it, and hopefully they would be able to engage with it a lot more.
I really think that the process and gaining a community is really important with photography, because if art isn’t democratic then it isn’t art, if it doesn’t affect people then its beauty isn’t appreciated (with exceptions of people like Vivian Maier and Van Gogh). But if your art isn’t seen or judged, then it wouldn’t affect anyone or provoke a response. I want my art to provoke a response and to be relevant, so I’m going to involve as many people in my project as I can.