June 17th, 2018 … Making vs Exhibiting Your Work … Suzanne Part 2
….. Intent ….. that’s part of what we are dealing with Suzanne, See, when your out making photos, you are dealing with them on a one to one basis. Even if your doing a project, your still doing a one on one. When your exhibiting or doing a book or anything that takes the one on one of the photos and joins them collectively, the intent is altered and things are added to it. The end result is entirely different than the result of a single photo. Suzanne looks at me and raises her brow….(it has long been know to all that when a woman raises her brow, you best get clarity and rid any chance of misunderstanding quickly. ) So I start the journey of teaching or passing on what I have learned and hopefully learn again and more myself. See, knowledge is a wonderful thing to have but if it’s not shared, it’s as close to a sin as any of us need be.
I ask Suzanne what the single most important item is in photography. I will now tell her answers because I care about her and that’s enough. She ask me what. I tell her, nothing is more important than EYE TRAVEL. This single thing is what determines how long the viewer will engage the photo. Subject matter and color or black and white and anything else is all secondary. This is not a new invention to photography, oh no … not at all. Even as far back as Adam & Eve. Eye travel was crucial. See, Adam and Eve were out frolicking about when Adam noticed Eve and her, ummmm apples. He said, Eve, ya gotz some nice apples. Well in the tree was the snake. The snake said, hee ya, I gotz ya apple right heeer. So Eve being the curious one, looked at Adam and saw Adam didn’t have any apples. Hmmmm she thought, so she took the apple from the snake…. well needless to say, it’s not up to me to convince you or anyone but that Garden of Eden was supposed to be like a paradise. Now look at us….. so, take the apples from your spouse or lover or someone very close but, shun the apple from the snake. Apple Monogamy is essential to healthy life.
Of course Suzanne at this point tells me I lost her and she wonders how that relates to photography. Ok, youse alls take a minute and think how this applies to your photography. I’ll wait for ya’s a few lines down…………………………………………………………
Ok, I know youse all figured this out. I will run thru it just so we are all on the same page. When you make photos, mostly you are your own audience. Yeah, yeah, Flickr and 500px and Instagram, all nice places but the real satisfaction should be YOU! I’m not talking about work for clients etc, that’s a post in development.
When you exhibit work, now there’s a new dynamic involved. That dynamic is known as the viewer. The viewer is now an independent partner in your work. Of course you are the source and maybe you think that’s all that matters but your wrong. Just like in viewing single photos, an exhibition has it’s own way of presenting and viewing the work. Suzanne, there are a few ways to do the exhibition and i’ll explain some and then you can decide which is best for you.
One way is: to have the prints hang with some space between them so each photo makes it’s own statement unto itself. The exhibition is like a retrospective in a way. The photos reflect the photographer’s vision and not necessarily connected in a way that seems obvious. Each as always is an image of the shooters vision. One of the most common mistakes in this way, is to place the photos too close together. What happens is, they seem connected in a way more than from the same shooter. They appear to be connected as in a group or project and this is not the real case. They want to be viewed independent of each other. They are individual statements that together add up to a mark in a photographers life.
Another way it to hang as a project and that means each photo is a part of the whole. It happens in a way different from the previous method. This method makes the sum equal to or greater than the whole. The story or project comes to like because each photo adds to the story or the whole.
So, Suzanne, we need to determine what your work is and how to present it. Maybe time we get into sequencing some. She looked at me with groggy eyes and said, she’s tired and needs to sleep. Good night luv, seeya soon and I left with Andre’ the Leica M240 and headed home.