Exam Evaluation

When given the exam paper at the beginning of the project, I decided to choose the word flicker. I chose this because I really felt it was the most challenging word as an initial stimulus, and I really liked the idea of using it to explore more abstract forms of photographic work. Which I was really wanting to look at, as I'm definitely more interested in the fine art side of photography, which I haven't had that much of a chance to look at so far, during my AS Level studies. 

For me the most interesting part of this whole project, has been doing my contextual research and really learning more about the conceptual work I have come across, that has really fascinated me. I've also really loved taking inspiration from sources, that I've personally connected to and come across myself. For example really looking into the visuals of a horror film I enjoyed and learning about a singer's lyrics and the deeper meaning behind his music. Which is something I never would have previously considered applying to and using as inspiration, for my own photographic work. 

The new techniques that I've come across in this project, have really fuelled my love for really minimal, conceptually strong works of visual art. Acconci and Schneider's methods to me are just so incredibly clever, despite being relatively simple, and applying this to my own work has really provided me with a completely new perspective, to going out and simply taking photographs and putting together visual imagery. A new technique I tried in this project was overexposing my photographs on purpose, which created some really interesting abstract images. Which inspired me to think more about how I can create minimal and surreal photographs, which focus on form and composition, rather than colour and detail. I also came across the technique of creating luminograms, which I discovered by looking at some of Wolfgang Tillman's abstract work, such as Blushes and Freischwimmer. I really loved the effect of this drawing with light onto photo paper, and would love to try it in some future work. 

During this project I researched a number of photographers and artists to gather inspiration for my final piece of work. This included painters such as Andy Denzler and Francis Bacon, to photographers such as Gary Schneider and Angelica Garcia. I also looked at video imagery from the 2002 remake of The Ring and Marilyn Manson's "I don't like the drugs", music video. As well as individual artist's visual work, I also researched The Adventures of the Black Square exhibition, currently on at The Whitechapel Gallery in London, and looked more closely at Malevich's black square and Dora Maurer's conceptual work.

I have to say that all the sources I have looked at during this project, have influenced my final piece massively. This is because my research was very sequential in that I generally transferred from one source to another, due to either the way they have inspired me, or that their work has been associated with something else. In terms of my final photographs specifically, I was heavily inspired by the entire premise of the black square and the exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. I was also really inspired by Maurer's use of hands in her exploratory work and also the anonymity in the film stills I looked at in The Ring. The use of the white noise was really inspired at first, by Andy Denzler's video tape style paintings. I loved the message he conveyed in regards to maintaining the shelf life of this older technology, as newer technologies are growing and developing so fast. This work really made me think about the flickering of computer and television screens, which really brought me onto this idea of using white noise to convey something much deeper with my work. 

Personally I couldn't pinpoint one specific part of my project, that I think was the most successful. I really loved my overexposed experiments, which is why I have displayed three in a frame to go alongside this exam work. As I just love these abstract images and the minimal and compositional value that they have. I also am really pleased with my final piece, now that I have put it all together. At first I was panicking slightly that my idea was maybe too simple and maybe too ambiguous for a random person to really respond positively too. As it is more about what these images represent, rather than they're beauty. But now that I've put them together in their frames and also onto the website I created, I am proud of what I've produced conceptually in this project. I picked this title because I thought it was the most challenging and I am pleased with what I've managed to get out of a more obscure stimulus. 

I'm also really pleased with how my criticism and writing has come on during this project. When I started my other coursework back in September, I was really unsure how to write about photography and art, and how to really respond to work that is not my own. But through reading articles and books during this exam work, I really feel that I can use artistic vocabulary, more comfortably and really explore ideas and analyse work through my writing.

Problems I encountered during my project, mostly were to do with the time constraints that I had to do this work. As I really feel like a few more weeks would have helped me develop my final idea even further and to have more time to do it would have been useful too. I also had time issues on my London shoot as because I was on a trip and we also arrived late, I really didn't have enough time to get the shots that I wanted. 

Having the time issue with my London work, really helped me decided my final piece. As I knew trying to get really clever shots using interesting backgrounds, would have been too ambitious in the 5 hour duration. Which is why I decided to take more of a minimal approach to my work and focus more on how it would be displayed and edited, rather than the actual photo taking.

If given the chance to complete this project again, I would love to experiment with creating collages. As I think that this technique might be a great way to incorporate my white noise and black square cleverly into an image. I also would have liked to have created some darkroom experiments, inspired by Wolfgang Tillman's luminograms, and maybe have experimented with photograms to incorporate the black square into an image that way.  

Overall I am pleased with the work I have created during this project, and feel I have really developed in terms of my writing and my ideas about my own personal photography, from the work I have looked at. I think challenging myself with the word Flicker from the exam paper, really gave me the opportunity and confidence, to be more ambitious with my subject matter in this work. Which has just given me a completely new perspective of photography. This project has by far had my favourite themes in during AS Photography, and I think it is going to really influence my future work, not just in A2 but my own personal work in the near and distant future. 

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