BA Phot

DIC Part 1 Exercise 1.2

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Project 1.1 The origins of photomontage - Exc 1.1 - Project 1.2 Through a digital lens - Exc 1.2 - Project 1.3 The found image in photomontage - Exc 1.3 - Project 1.4 Photomontage in the age of the internet - Conclusion - Upsum - Eval

Burson - Doisneau - Guillot - Hara - Kárász - Khan - Lotar - McMurdo - Maar - Rejlander - Sear - Teichmann - Vionnet - Wall - Yevonde - name -

Balthus -

Batchen - Fontcuberta - Rubinstein & Sluis -


Prelude - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Asg.1 - Asg.2 - Asg.3 - Asg.4 - Asg.5 - LPE - I&P - C&N - EyV -

Discuss a photograph that takes an existing work of art as its starting point. Write a 500- word reflection on your chosen piece in your learning log.
Next, re-make an existing work of art using photography. This can be a simple re-staging – using photography – of an existing painting, drawing or print (see, for example, Sam Taylor-Wood’s Dutch still life-inspired Still Life video portrait at Link 4) or a more elaborate figurative tableau (like that of Hara). DIC, p.25

Part 1 - Part 2

notes Doisneau
Box X
1. early notes
2. Doisneau Les Helicopteres

[not spellchecked  ]


[10Mar] on Wall

Get the book.
Continued elsewhere.
Helicopters - comment briefly
New evaluation methodology required
Look at Barrett
Black folder
Photo circulation box

Size location context (who's there; what else; single or series; shopping mall or gallery; public or private;; size, technology [for Wall, response at the timw, innovator], the picture or series, subjective, mine is intrigue, ambiguity, creativity, originality ... I value. Reference back to a C18? Woodcut pointless unless the viewer is aware it generates a standalone of merit


Part One

[spellchecked P1 20Mar]

[15Mar23] My first idea was to discuss Doisneau's Les Helicopteres (fig. 1A1). Then I was rather carried away by a newfound respect for Jeff Wall and I thought to expand upon Part 1, in which the course material quotes a rather florid passage from The Tate: I found a rather more measured section of the same Tate web page that quotes from Barents, 1986. I ordered a copy of Barents on which to base this exercise, but it has not yet arrived, so back to Doisneau and I'll keep Wall in reserve.

[19Mar] I often photograph sculpture and, to a lesser extent, statues: I publish a calendar of this work each year for family and friends. I therefore have a keen admiration for effective and unusual examples of the genre. Doisneau's Les Helicopteres (fig. 1A1) fits firmly in this category.

It will be seen from the examples of images in the MoMA collection (fig. 1A3) that, to some extent, Doisneau carried on where Atget left off. He states at the beginning of a 1977 interview in Hill and Cooper (2018, pp.75-96) that he "owe[s] a debt" to Brassaï and Kertész, and later, "Atget was a fellow in whose spirit I very often find myself" (p.88).

Comparing Doisneau to Cartier-Bresson, Max Kozloff (2007, p.119) states,

Both men deal with the same period of Depression in Europe and with similar subjects, but Doisneau's tone conveys an incipient nostalgia, quite distinct from Cartier-Bresson's oblique misery. Kozloff, 2007, p.119

Doisneau describes his approach,

If my work speaks, it does so by being a little less serious, a little less solemn, and by its lightness it helps people to live.
in order to excuse myself for having been witness and voyeur to … tender, deeply moving moment - I take refuge. The refuge I take has been in humour. I seek humour so that the moment will not be such a solemn declaration. Humour is a way to hide yourself a little bit. But even when the situation is impossible, I make fun of myself as well! I don't take myself seriously at all. One just can't. Hill and Cooper, 2018, pp.95-96, 87
Doisneau Maillol MoMA Doisneau
Box 1A
1. Doisneau Les Helicopteres
2. Aristide Maillol, Les Trois Graces, 1938, photographer unknown
3. Part of the MoMA holding of Doisneau photographs
image sources: 1. Princeton; 2.; 3. MoMA.

Turning to Les Helicopteres, this black and white photograph shows an outdoor sculpture of the Three Graces. Judging from the configuration and the hair styles, this could be the 1938 piece by Aristide Maillol in the Jardin des Tuileries, Paris (fig. 1A2). The camera is at a low angle and tilted to include a large expanse of sky in which are four helicopters in formation. The statues in Doisneau's photograph have accumulated a heavy load of bird droppings and the composition suggests that the aircraft could be the birds that are responsible for the soiling.

This is a fine example both of Doisneau's use of humour and his patience in his work. He states in the Hill and Cooper interview,

Often, you find a scene, a scene that already is evoking something - either stupidity, or pretentiousness, or, perhaps, charm. So you have a little theatre. ·Well, all you have to do is wait there in front of this little theatre for the actors to present themselves. I often operate in this way. Here I have my setting and I wait. What I am waiting for, I don't know exactly. I can stay half a day in the same place. And it's very rare that I come home with a completely empty bag. Hill and Cooper, 2018, p.91

Part Two

[spellchecked P2 19Mar]

… Next, re-make an existing work of art using photography. This can be a simple re-staging – using photography – of an existing painting, drawing or print (see, for example, Sam Taylor-Wood’s Dutch still life-inspired Still Life video portrait at Link 4) or a more elaborate figurative tableau (like that of Hara). DIC, p.25
Box 2A
Jacques-Louis David,
The Death of Marat, 1793,
used as a book cover
image source: eBay

For the second part of the exercise, I have long had in mind David's Death of Marat, fig. A1. Wiki.

Another possibility is Duchamp's Nude descending a staircase using multiple exposures, but I'll keep my powder dry on that in case this becomes a series later in the course. And something like Lotar's Giacometti,  Lotar, looking to transform a self portrait digitally to make it look like it arose in another art form - on hold, same reason.

[18Mar] Marat it is. I studied the French Revolution for History A-Level in the 1960s and the image of Marat, assassinated in his bath, is one of the few things I remember - it has stayed with me as a powerful composition and as a notion for 50 years. If have played with the image digitally several times over the past 20.

I photographed myself in the bath this morning. The bathroom is quite narrow and so I had to fit in a camera with a wide angle lens on a tripod and I needed to control it from my mobile in order to achieve some sort of match with the original.

Looking at Figure 2B, 2BA is the original David painting and 2BB its use on a book cover, a play by Peter Weisse, The Persecution And Assassination Of Marat As Performed By The Inmates Of The Asylum Of Charenton Under The Direction Of The Marquis De Sade. (1965).

2BC is me in the bath, 2BD just me - converted to monochrome because I though it would be easier to match B&W on the book cover than colours in the painting.

The body configurations of 2BB and 2BC are vaguely similar but the angles of the arm, the head and the body are all significantly different.

2BE was my first attempt. It was necessary to remove Marat's arm and scale up my image to cover Marat's head which resulted in my arm (remembering the wide angle lens) being significantly too large.
2BF begins a second try with the arm narrowed.
2BG the arm was still to long and lacking a hand and so the bottom border was raised to disguise this.
2BH the image was isolated in a separate layer and 2BI reset to monochrome to match the tones (a simple Photoshop Image / Adjustments / Black & White).
2BJ the image was tinkered with using a tweaked Nik Filter Analog Efex Preset.
2BK the rest of the cover was reinstated.
2BL The cover was cropped to establish the revised border. As an afterthought the colour was altered using a Nik Old Photo preset.

Figure 2B2 shows the final version. The join between my left shoulder and Marat's shoulder and arm is apparent at second glance, nevertheless, not a bad effort.

E1.2 E1.2
Box 2B
Exercise 1.2 Part 2

DIC Exc 1.2 References

Alexander, Jesse & McMurdo, Wendy (2015) Digital Image and Culture [DIC]. Barnsley: Open College of the Arts.

Hill, Paul & Cooper, Thomas (2018) Dialogue with Photography. Stockport: Dewi Lewis.

Kozloff, M. (2007) The theatre of the face: portrait photograpy since 1900. NY: Phaidon Press.

author, (year) Title. Location: Publisher.

author (year) title [online]. website. Available from url [Accessed nn January 2020].

author (year) Title. Location: Publisher.

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author (year) title [online]. website. Available from url [Accessed nn January 2020].

author, (year) Book Title. Location: Publisher.

author (year) Title. Journal. Vol, pages.

author (year) Title. Newspaper. Date. pages.

Page created 07-Oct-2021 | Page updated 20-Mar-2023