“The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.” – Fernando Pessoa
Regardless of how happy and content a person may be, I believe everybody has an internal personal space that stores doubts, regrets and a longing for another time and place. In my own space I mainly feel a sense of grief over friendships lost because of my nomadic life, careers that never happened and relationships that did not turn out the way I would have liked them to. There is no trauma, nor extreme pain, but a nagging discomfort.
I don’t think it is very wise to get stuck here, it is the shadowy side of ourselves, with no getting out or finding relief. Still, sometimes I like to allow myself to let my thoughts flow freely and feel all alone, thrown back to who I am.
The images in this PDF all represent the act of being in that place, excluding oneself from reality, escaping from the everyday hassles of life and people that want your attention. They may trigger feelings of recognition and maybe pain. However, shady as they may be, there are options to escape; to dive in the pool, open the gate and run away. To not stay where you are, but go back in the light and face reality.
“Fernando Pessoa Quotes (Author Of The Book Of Disquiet)”. Goodreads.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.
Demonstration of technical and visual skills
With this assignment I feel that I have challenged myself with coming up with a wide variety of images, using different cameras and lenses and angles. I have tried to be critical about the quality outcomes of the work, as you can see in the selection process of the images. While I’m working on the assignment, my awareness of myself and how to visualize that was heightened like never before and I hope this is reflected in the work as well.
In the rework I have channelled my ideas around the constructed photographs. I explored more options to work towards a consistent narrative and feel that I have succeeded in that. I realize that I need to get a shutter release, because to take these images took a lot of running back and forth between the scene and the camera!
Quality of outcome
In general I am quite content with the outcome of my work. I think that the images go well together and offer a coherent theme throughout the book. I have applied some of the techniques and ideas that I studied in Part 3 of the course and was especially inspired by learning about how our brain works and the ways in which we perceive ourselves.
The quality of the images that I have added to the new pdf are in par with the images that I had taken before. Because I photographed in the dark, some images have some noise and sharpness issues, but I have been able to get rid of most of it in post processing. The final prints on metallic paper bring about an extra sense of mystery that work together with the overall theme of the assignment
Demonstration of creativity
Throughout the whole process of producing this assignment I have experimented a lot with different ideas, techniques and ways to photograph myself. I believe I am better at critiquing than creating my work and I want to develop my conceptual thinking and skills to execute the ideas I come up with.
When challenged to take more images in a same style, I noticed that I started looking differently at locations and ways to photograph. Even though I felt that I had tapped into new channels of creativity when working on the earlier version, this going deeper into a certain style triggers a more profound necessity to be creative, which was good to experience.
There is always ample room for improvement when it comes identifying and establishing the context in which I work. This assignment might have benefitted from showing more work of other artists who stand out when it comes to self portraiture. In my next assignment I want to be more diligent in writing about what I read and research.
Only after I had photographed the images for the rework and looked at them as a set, I realized that they all portray a certain kind of longing and isolation. With having the same theme throughout the work, there is a deeper thematic and narrative to the set that wasn’t there in the earlier work. I find that this rework is more embedded in the reconstructed photography genre and has a more poetical feel than my earlier work.
I still doubt whether you can define this as documentary photography, but maybe it shows that the margin is very broad and there is room for creativity in documenting a certain emotion or state of being. The comments of my fellow students were very reassuring and helpful in seeing my work from a documentary point of view.