Patricia Lay-Dorsey is another photographer I met at Filter Photo Festival that I found connections with. We talked mostly about her project “Falling Into Place”. Looking through the work, what came to mind immediately is how much it shows the point of view of the subject. It is done in such a way that I think it invites the viewer to see from her perspective and enter into the scene in an experiential way not as much as an outside observer.
As I looked through the images I began to notice something familiar about the point of view; it reminded me of the vantage point I am often photographing from. I found a connection between the actual physical point of view of Patricia in her photographs and my experience of a “child’s point of view” or rather my point of view while relating to very young children. I also realized there is a similar interest in embodying the subject through the photographs, getting away from an object to be viewed from the outside and moving toward inviting you in to connect with this person and their experience…. something I love to explore in my own work.
I think my picture making has been linked to my interest in connecting with people, finding a similar view point as a place to relate, empathy as a way of understanding, and relating to how they are experiencing the world as a way to communicate. I feel like Patricia Lay-Dorsey may be doing something curiously similar in her work.
Two weeks ago was the 2011 Filter Photo Festival here in Chicago. I was invited to be a reviewer as editor of F-Stop Magazine. I met with seventeen photographers and saw a lot of interesting work. In talking with a few of the photographers I found interesting connections between their work and my own interests and photography. Here are the first two photographers.
Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman are two photographers who collaborate on projects exploring “narratives of femininity”. It was cool to find out they were interested in meeting with me because of connections between their work and mine, and there truly are… many interesting ones.
The work they showed me was “Ponder Food as Love” and “Watch Me Grow”. “Ponder Food as Love” is a series of beautiful images with layers of meaning that are still rolling around in my thoughts for now …
The series “Watch Me Grow” shows the “storefront” sort of view of urban daycare centers and the images and language used on their exteriors. I think what connects for me in this project is the taking of a sort of traditional style of photographing – the storefront image – and applying it to a not typical at all subject. It strikes me as humorous and adds a curious layer of meaning to the project.
I find this relates to my interest in the connections between art making and children… it often seems children are not yet “adults” so their creative output or experience or subjecthood is not given the same consideration… And so something funny is brought about when you juxtapose or insert children the idea of children into an “art” context. I began to talk about it a little bit here in talking about project plans for a “dérive as a walk with a toddler” and mapping the movements of a baby’s daily activity.
Here is a link to their site:
Yay for me! I’m a nominee for the New York Photo Awards 2009 Fine Art Single Image category. I like the part where they say about the nominees, “It is clear that they represent the Future of Contemporary Photography, and we wish them continued success.”
So, for the past week or so I have been reading a bit about artists who use geography, movement and mapping in their art practice. It has been just bits and pieces so far, the introduction to the catalog for a show called GNS that was at Palais de Tokyo in 2003, blog postings that have turned up in my google alert for “Francis Alÿs” (whose work I love), and then things here and there I have looked up from what I have read. Something about this work really sparks my imagination and gets me dreaming up projects. I have always had an interest in making art beyond the two dimensions of a photograph, but who knows if I ever will…
I’m not sure at this point I could sum up this sort of art practice or even describe it very well. My interest in it has something to do with actions and setting out a plan for them or documenting them in some way and the use of space and documenting that… Sorta… It also has to do with the everyday and how people are in the world… Interestingly these things really do connect to the interests I have identified previously in my work.
One artist who I came across is Richard Long. He makes art by walking. For example, he walked the same path of a circle over and over again which resulted in the marking of that path on the ground. He documents his work with photographs, writing or maps.
This work and others got me thinking about how much time I spend in my own house and how interesting/funny it would be to see the path I walk into my apartment floor (if it was made of dirt or something). There would probably be a deep path between my desk, the bathroom and the kitchen . Thinking about it further and wondering how these ideas might relate to my photographs and videos, I thought how fun and interesting it would be to do this sort of action with a crawling baby or a toddler just beginning to walk. To see their path in the space of their home would be really interesting because I don’t think it would have the expected pattern like I describe that my movements at home would have. In my imagination of it the baby would be in footy pajamas and like covered in finger paint or something that could get thicker as the path was repeated. I wonder if you can hire a baby model to do that sort of thing? 🙂
I am really interested in how these movements and mapping of space activities could be applied to the home and specifically to a kid’s experience. I have lots of ideas floating around and a stack of books I’m working my way through.. I am also playing around with an idea of making a map to find my way “home”… I have had an ongoing theme of not quite feeling at home/trying to decide where I want to live for as long as I can remember it seems. I was reading and came across the sentence, “You need a map when your lost” and thought how that could be fun to try to create a map of some sort to get un-lost or find “home”. At the very least it gives me lots to think about, we’ll see if anything comes of it…
Stuff I have been looking at: Francis Alÿs, Psychogeography, Theory of the Dérive which, (at least on first looking over) makes me think of what it can be like going on a walk with a toddler, “In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.”, Experimental Geography exhibit, someone named Amy who works with maps, and lots more.