Brett Wilson asked a while ago if conscience should go into toy photography. I think it should, and it should also go into art (and obviously into toy photography that aspires to be art).
Why don’t I like political art?
However, there is one kind of art that usually does not do the job for me. It’s what they call political art. Most political art is very efficient in getting its message across. A Parthenon made of forbidden books: Once you know all these books were sometimes forbidden somewhere, it seems to be hard to misunderstand this work. The artist may mean well, but I am not satisfied.
I do not care for the good intentions of the artist. I care for the kind of art that stays with you because you can never really figure it out although you would really like to. Continue reading Art and Politics
A Structuralist Tale: Six single pictures that may be seen independently from one another. Yet they are connected by a ‘structural’ idea, a formal rule. The story has no beginning, and no end: Pick any picture you want as a starting point. And you can also read the sequence backwards. Shuffling the pictures would not work though. Does this provide narrative? It is up to you to decide.
Let me admit that I am not a builder of models. I am a photographer. So, along with the budget, I also try to minimize the work I put into the sets (hence their slightly minimalist feeling).
To achieve this, I try to build sets which are so flexible that they can be put to multiple uses. And with the above room, I think it worked. The whole thing started when I held a wall with a pair of windows under the desk lamp. I had been ready to discard it because the windows had turned out to be too crooked for H0 scale use. But then I suddenly realized that they could still be used for lighting a room. Continue reading Thinking inside the box
“Light comes in flickers, defining the darkness, not dispelling it.”
Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere
Although lighting is crucial in the Noir series, I never payed attention to how exactly I proceed. I do not know much about light. I only have a general idea of the look I want to achieve. And then I kind of play around, which at the end of the day leaves me with lots of pictures that are ‘same but different,’ as they say.
However, since the lighting in this series has been commented on a couple of times, I tried to pay more attention to the process. Here’s what I think I do:
It all started with ideas about lighting
At one point for example, I wanted the central person to be illuminated by light falling out of a door or a window, casting a long shadow. That’s how Noir started, and you can tell from the first pictures of the series that in the beginning, there was the light, and then the story followed. Continue reading And then there was light
“To speak out once for all, man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is man, and he is only completely man when he plays.” (Friedrich Schiller, Letters Upon The Aesthetic Education of Man)
Last year my pictures had to be radically abstract. This year they are all about miniature people. What happened? And am I being inconsistent in my photography?
It’s about pictures
I have always tried to be very clear about one thing: My photography is not ‘about’ the things I photograph – in fact, I could not care less in many instances. It is ‘about’ pictures because I like pictures. This notion is also supposed to help me escape a certain kind criticism: It has been said that photography is the death mask of reality and that it is not able to surpass the reality it depicts. I wanted to go beyond that. I aimed at pictures that are independent of the time and place they show. Continue reading Think big, shoot small?