Teun Hocks as Sisyphus
The Semester 2 final project is titled, “Inside and Out, a Portrait of the Artist.”
Student Examples: 2013 (note, many of thee examples were done poorly)
The final project is based upon the premise that we as individuals do not actually truly share ourselves with each other. When asked by someone, “how are you?” we do not give an honest answer. That level of honesty is reserved for the closest ones in our lives. Additionally, as previously stated in class, we do not truly look at one another; we glance for moments and then look away. As photographers, we break from social mores and get in people’s personal space, using the camera as a go-between. Without a camera between the photographer and subject, it would be socially unacceptable to gaze, examine and compose pictures the way necessary to properly compose photographs. The camera gives passport to both the photographer and subject. Regardless, with or without a camera, it is about observation and composition. We are forced to focus, to be the photographic “hunter” where we “aim, focus, shoot” in order to create our images. It takes intense observation on our part to compose the photograph just right, an observation level that we do not use when speaking with people. As all photographs we create are a reflection of us, it is now time to turn the camera on ourselves and create a self portrait.
“My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph.” Richard Avedon
The final project is about looking at the concept of inside and out. What is seen and what is kept hidden. As individuals, we have varying degrees of persona that we use as a mask. As the teacher, I am somewhat of an actor on stage when in front of the class. Being in front of an audience is something I never thought I would do each day, but it is done in spite of being uncomfortable. I am more committed to teaching art and photography than I am committed to letting my discomfort get in the way of my goals as an educator. What has been made clear to me many times this year and all previous years in education is that there are many things going on in an individual’s life that I do not know about. The smiley faced student who I discover has been struggling with depression at home. The quiet student who is dealing with loss. The seemingly popular student who is looked up to is severely insecure about looks and body image. These “unspokens” are known but not discussed. The truth behind them is that many, if not all experience these insecurities and self doubts. However, they are rarely discussed because doing so would uncover a vulnerability and risk looking weak.
We see you, but we only see what you present to us. We see what you are willing to share with us, but we do not truly know you. In this project, the goal is to creatively show both sides, the inside and the out. Each student will create a series of three images, and within each image can contain multiple images. The images can be blended together, separated by borders, be distinctly different, or only contain subtle changes. Everyone has different masks for different occasions. Show these concepts visually.
Robert Parke Harrison
Robert Parke Harrison is best known for his book, The Architect’s Brother where he is the “everyman” in each image. The images are rich in contextual visual imagery while a muted sepia or gray-scale image. Harrison does not give answers in his images, but rather prompts more questions. Simply the name, The Architect’s Brother alludes to concepts, but allows the viewer to bring their own conclusions, regardless of closure. The following links go to a gallery of his work as well as his personal page.
The following images are from a series titled, Plasma were created in reaction to several concepts. The identity as man, and the self induced creation of that definition as well as the internal and external struggles of the self-imposed definition.
The project is graded on:
- Technical execution
- Depth of concept.
- Text. It is expected that text will accompany the final project, either read when the project is presented, directly incorporated into the work, or alongside the images as a separate slide when displayed. Text can be incorporated as spoken word recorded into a slide-show or single image slide-show and uploaded to Vimeo. The text should be succinct as well as carefully crafted. The choice of font, spacing, size, placement, color, transparency. These are all visual elements that alter how the message is absorbed Plan and design accordingly. All text must be original.
It is recommended that each student blend multiple images together using Photoshop. Demonstrations and examples will be shown in class using layer styles and masking. The visual metaphor of the externally quiet but internally screaming person is a good example of two forces pushing/pulling at each other.
- State your purpose
- Proposal. Thesis statement/Premise.
- Unedited images, due: 5/31 Minimum of 30 images. (10 points)
- Rough drafts due: 6/2 (10 points)
- Final: one triptych due on the day of the final. (100 points)
Things to avoid:
Picture of self with camera. A pet-peeve of mine is photographers taking pictures with their camera. Your camera is a tool, you are the artist. Use the camera to create your images, don’t include it in the project.
TIME Interview with James Nachtwey
Cindy Sherman: “Untitled Film Stills”