Following the shoot of my family members homes, I have began to look at other photographers that have done similar projects.
Here are some images from three inspirational photographers, that deal with the ideas of materialism, and have looked at household objects/possessions, analysing their meaning to either themselves or the owner.
The first is Peter Day, a photographer who studied his own household using colour film, with his project called ‘Invisible Boundaries’.
“Overall Invisible Boundaries is an indirect autobiographical and cumulative photographic archive which illustrates through its continuous photographic recording of the rooms, spaces and items in my home, that the tracings and residues of an existence and the banality of moments, not specific perhaps, but holistically can form an archive of historical moments, which could be said to becoming a definition of me and a history.”
There is an acute sense of composition in every single photograph, it appears that things are natural and just a factual observation, but there is an underlying context and narrative to these photographs. They seem deeper than just face value. From the quote above it is clear to me that this series is about his identity; exploring the way he lives and the things that he owns, creating a self portrait of himself from behind the camera. This is a theme I feel compelled to explore in my self initiated work.
The second photographer is Martin Parr, with his series of work called ‘Signs of Times’. In this series he looks at the owners of homes in Great Britain, from all walks of life. There is a quote from the owner attached to every photograph, adding interest and a narrative to the photographs, which draws you in and makes you feel ever closer to the subjects and creating a powerful portfolio of work.
The Magnum website states;
“‘Signs of the Times’ is a photographic project about personal taste in the British home. In 1990, an advert was placed in the local press up and down Britain seeking volunteers for a survey of all aspects of their personal taste. From the 2000 respondents, 50 households were chosen featuring a range of age, gender, racial background, social class, region and type of personality.”
Martin Parr, seems to have gone to every length to ensure he has covered every aspect of the British community, which is another interesting way to look at the subject of identity and taste.
The final photographer I have come to love is Sophie Calle, a french photographer who creates context and narrative combining fiction with non-fiction to create elaborate stories. One of her series was called ‘The Hotel’, where she posed as a chambermaid for three months taking pictures of peoples belongings around the room, methodically taking pictures of the bedstead and taking down rigorous notes which she later used in her fictional writing. What interests me the most about this work, is the way she displays her images; in a book.
“For ‘The Hotel,’ I spent one year to find the hotel, I spent three months going through the text and writing it, I spent three months going through the photographs, and I spent one day deciding it would be this size and this frame . . . it’s the last thought in the process.”
References of quotes;
- Day, P. ‘Invisible Boundaries, Abstract.’ [Online] http://www.peteday.co.uk/09IB/index.htm [21st November 2012]
- Parr, M. ‘Signs of the times’ [Online] http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&ALID=29YL53GUDGH [21st November 2012]
- Calle, S. ‘Moving Pictures – The Hotel’ [Online] http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/education/school-educator-programs/teacher-resources/arts-curriculum-online?view=item&catid=717&id=4 [21st November 2012]