The Kitchen as a Womb Experiments

Here we have a selection of some of my experiments so far this term from looking at the kitchen and especially baking as a way of conceptualising the creation of a child. Let me know what you think, I’d love some feedback. 🙂

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Observations on Photography sat outside Notre Dame, Paris

A slightly long title but I thought you might enjoy one of my finds in my notebooks. I wrote this last October whilst on a trip to Paris. I spent a few hours alone wandering up and down the river and sat outside the Notre Dame observing strangers (which I do constantly, but I don’t always write it all down). There were some sketches of what people were doing, their behaviours and poses etc but they aren’t really necessary with my already sketchy writing. I’ve been reading through my notebooks as I have a new brief/theme at University to explore and it is Culture, especially in regards to digital and new cultures. I found my writing quite relevant despite being a mixture of rambling and excitement. So here goes…

I’m sat in front of Notre Dame after walking from the Latin Quarter. Someone is doing wedding photographs in front of this massively historic building. I’m not sure what that means; to be photographed in front of it apart from stating ‘I was here’. I feel like Martin Parr, sat there observing the poses people make, the people in the images and the way they photograph. Some are knelt down, some use tripods, some use flash, some photograph people photographing. It’s madness really .

I feel like going around and asking if people want me to photograph them. Just by walking into this area, I must already be in hundreds of people’s family holiday snaps. I wonder if they’ll ever look at the photographs and wonder who I am. The wedding party has gone. Now there’s a film crew doing an interview. I’ve started a game with myself; counting the people that I can see without a visible camera on them. I’m at about 4.

Oh my, someone just used a timer in front of me. They look adorable. Now they move to a different angle of the Notre Dame. Madness I tell you. People seem to have disappeared; the cameras are still out though.

Vivre la Photographie.

Monday 3rd October 2011

After reading through and collecting it all together, one sentence in there sticks out to me and that is; Vivre la Photographie. I cannot quite remember what I meant by that. My french is good at times but I’ll often give it a guess and be wrong, and something about that phrase made me uneasy. I think I was attempting a “Live on Photography” type of line but in fact I said something far more intrinsic to what I was saying.

Vivre la Photographie, essentially means… To live photography. This could be seen as:

  • To live through photography
  • To live with photography
  • To live by photography
  • To live in photography
  • To live using photography

I asked a friend who knew more about the definition I was trying to capture and they came up with a more rounded answer. Vivre la photography means to live through the idea of and by the ideals of photography.

Made Up Love Song – Bettina von Zwehl


http://www.bettinavonzwehl.com/main.html

I had a rather productive week in my research, I got the first piece of feedback on the work from Mauritius, so who knows when you’ll get some sort of finished edit. It’s still very rough so I might give a peek on here at what I was trying to achieve. Anyway, back to the original content of this blog.

Yesterday afternoon after a lecture, I decided to go see some exhibitions to get my creative juices flowing and visited three, which I will talk about individually. Today I will talk about Bettina von Zwehl’s piece Made Up Love Song, which is currently showing at the Purdy Hicks Gallery, Southwark.

I had had the pleasure of visiting Bettina whilst she was on a residency at the V&A earlier this year, where she was beginning to create this work. As 15 of us (being students) crowded around Bettina, she told us about her previous work such as her series shown at the Museum of Childhood and how she had come to start this piece of work.

Made Up Love Song is a series of portraits of an employee of the V&A, stood infront of a large window which inspired Bettina to return to continuously. This returning to the same place, the same pose, is a trait or at least a theme that runs through a lot of her work. As is her use of profiles. Her images have a delicasy to them which lends beautifully to the concept and execution of miniatures, it was no surprise that she was inspired by the miniatures collection at the V&A.

In miniaturising the portraits, I felt closer to these people, even though I felt like I was looking through a window myself into a world of miniature people. It felt like they were approachable, that you could let yourself read their emotions. Among the photographs of this beautiful woman, she had other portraits created in the same style.

What surprised me about these portraits is that my favourite photographs out of the selection shown at Purdy Hicks were when the subject is slightly turned towards the viewer. For me it was the same feeling as when you think something is a statue and then they suddenly move and you get the shock of your life, it’s that shock and drama in just including them that got me very excited.

Studying at London College of Communication, I get the priviledge of hearing her speak in a few weeks, so it will be interesting to see what she’ll say about how the work rounded off, whether it is in fact rounded off. To have seen the start of something and then the finished product is a wonderfully rare thing and I’ll be looking out at what Bettina gets up to next.

I would definitely recommend visiting Purdy Hicks (7th October-7th November 2011) and experience these photographs for yourself. Due to the nature of them, experiencing the prints in front of you is the only way you can really appreciate the depth and intimacy of them.

There is one quote I want to post from the press release which I thought was beautiful and really summed up the nature of the portraits and the relationship between photographer and subject.

When the Residency was all over, and I’d packed up all my things, I went back one last time to see if there were any traces from the broken glass, scratches in the stone floor. All I found were the scuffed out chalk marks left by Sophia and me. Two separate marks; Sophia’s position and mine.

 

Related Links

http://www.purdyhicks.com/bettina-von-zwehl_2011.php

http://www.purdyhicks.com/exhibitions/pressrelease/bettina-von-zwehl-press-release-2011.pdf

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/made-up-love-song-by-bettina-von-zwehl–picture-prevew-2365901.html

http://www.lcc.arts.ac.uk/research/research-staff-profiles/bettina-von-zwehl/

http://www.artnet.com/artists/bettina+von-zwehl/