Tuesday, 31 March 2009


We chose a random sentence out of a box of folded up paper and was to produce a photograph using the sentence. My sentence was "Can you see the place where the rock cried? said the Bird."

Blog 9

We were given chapter 7 of John Berger’s Ways of Seeing to read. In this chapter he speaks about the effectiveness of publicity and how it works and relies on spectators being slightly unhappy in them selves. “The purpose of publicity is to make the spectator marginally dissatisfied with his present way of life” and buying what is on offer will improve ones life. Berger also talks about how dynamic advertisements are, they are bigger than us “…continually passing us, like express trains on their way to some distant terminus. We are static…” Despite this we as the consumer still have control, we can turn off the tv or radio and throw away the newspaper, publicity’s job is to stop us from ignoring it. Publicity also references oil painting and quite profoundly, an example Berger gave was Dejeuner sur L’herbe by Manet which was placed along side a publicity image that mimics Manets’ painting from the 1800’s almost exactly. Berger says that people in the publicity images are enviable because they’ve been transformed (as the consumer will be) by the product being advertised. “The state of being envied is what constitutes glamour. And publicity is the process of manufacturing glamour”. Basically, glamour sells the idea of a new and better lifestyle but makes the consumer worse off having spent their money on a desire/fantasy. I do however, know of a style of publicity that doesn’t use glamour and which Berger doesn’t talk about (maybe Ways of Seeing needs updating) and it involves shocking the spectator. The prime example of this would be the campaigns in the early 90’s.Produced by United Colours of Benetton. The clothing company produced images and donned them with their logo but didn’t out-rightly advertise the intended articles. Images included a black woman breast feeding a white baby, the grieving family with an AIDS victim on his deathbed and a priest kissing a nun. The reason that these shots worked was that they kept the potential buyer talking about the company and they probably would’ve said “Well who are these people?” searched them out, focused on the clothing and possibly bought something or spoke to their friends about these shocking images and they bought something. For me this type of advertising works better as I have no desire to try and improve my life by spending money.

Saturday, 28 March 2009


At uni we have been asked to recreate an iconic photograph after watching "Seven Photographs That Changed Fashion" in which, fashion photographer Rankin recreates seven of his favourite images. The photograph I chose to recreate is by Rankin and it's called "Feeling Hungry" his is on the left and my version is on the right. What do you think?

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Blog 8

Also at the Urbis was "Black Panther: Emory Douglas and the Art of Revolution". Emory Douglas was the minister of culture for The Black Panther Party (originally The Black Panther Party for self-defence). The party was an African-American organization established to promote Black power and self-defence. They wanted to end police brutality and murder of black people and basically the same level of healthcare, housing and respect that white people recieved. Using art in their political newspaper and social agitation the group overcame so much opression and racism and eventually achieved the society we have today. There are two reasons why this exhibition is so significant, one is that is starts from the very beginning when public lynching was something to be laughed and jeered at, people could have photos taken with the dead bodies and it ends up with... Barack Obama, the first black president, it ends on such a high. The second reason for it's significance is that it's an example of revolutionary art that we could've used to answer our CS essay question. I answered the question using the Russian Revolution and completely overlooked such a prolific part of world history. To me the art has quite a PopArt feel to it and Douglas used catchy slogans such as "All power to the people". Something I also found that he used pigs and rats to represent police and politicians and suddenly realised that although we probably shouldn't as it's derogatory, we still use it as part of our everyday language. I was really impressed with this exhibitiona and felt that I learnt alot about Black History that I probably should've already been taught and that Emory Douglas' art was truely powerful, thought provoking and life changing stuff!

Drive by snapping.

Long journeys seem to lend themselves to getting bored and taking photos out of a moving vehicle.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Blog 7

Over the weekend in January I went to the Urbis in Manchester and saw an exhibition by photographer Andrew Paul Brooks. It's called "Reality Hack: Hidden Manchester". 14 photographs altogether depicting the hidden underworld of the city, many taken in restricted and often dangerous places. Throughout the exhibiton we find that there's a whole secretive society that purposefully put themselves in danger to explore the urban underground. The images themselves are extremely detailed, almost hyper real and quite distorted, as there is alot of distortion it has led me to think that Brooks has taken a few shots of the scene and stitched them together. It seems a great deal of thought and time has gone into the works. They are such a contrast to the busy metropolitan city we know and love, no dodging, weaving, ducking or diving of hundreds of people, just tranquility. My favourite photography was called Quiet Refuge (below), I'm not entirely sure why, it feels quite romantic and reminds me of the Moulin Rouge in Paris, it's probably the red colour, but there is also this sense of the romantic notion of forbidden fruit in that he shouldn't really be there. As it stands I feel I've seen more of hidden Manchester than the unrestricted Manchester, I guess sometimes, I have my eyes closed when I walk around, maybe I should try opening them, stop and take a look around.



I was bought a bouquet of flowers so naturally I took a few photies and here they are...