The aim of this exercise (and Assignment Two) is to encourage you to develop metaphorical and visceral interpretations rather than obvious and literal ones, to give a sense of something rather than a record of it..
Choose a poem that resonates with you then interpret it through photographs. Don’t attempt to describe the poem but instead give a sense of the feeling of the poem and the essence it exudes.
Start by reading the poem a few times (perhaps aloud) and making a note of the feelings and ideas it promotes, how you respond to it, what it means to you and the mental images it raises in your mind. Next, think about how you’re going to interpret this visually and note down your ideas in your learning log.
You may choose to develop this idea into creating a short series of images reflecting your personal response to the poem (or another poem). Write some reflective notes about how you would move the above exercise on.
The number of pictures you choose to produce for the exercises and assignments in this course, including this one, is up to you. Try to keep in mind the following tips for knowing when you have done enough/not done enough:
• Are the images repeating themselves? Are there three versions of the same picture or example? Can you take two out?
• Does each image give a different point of view or emphasise a point you want to make?
• Do the images sit well together visually?
• Have you given the viewer enough information? Would another picture help?
Metaphor – “a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.”
Viceral – “Relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect.‘the voters’ visceral fear of change”.
I understand this to mean that I am to create images that represent the feelings I experience from the poem rather than try to create literal images of things mentioned in it.
For this exercise, rather than a poem I have chosen the words from a song, which I consider a poem set to music. The extract below is the part that am I really connecting with right now:
Defying Gravity from the musical wicked
Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap
It’s time to try
I think I’ll try
And you can’t pull me down
I’m through accepting limits
‘Cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know
Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost
Songwriters: STEPHEN LAWRENCE SCHWARTZ
“Something has changed within me” . . .
“I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game”
“Too long I’ve been afraid of
“I think I’ll try
And you can’t pull me down”
the contact sheets for this set can be seen here
This project was actually more fun than I thought it would be.
With this exercise, I started by selecting the specific lines in the song that I connected with and thought about how I could represent them. I think I picked the phrases that had a visceral meaning for me.
I chose the egg because it lent itself very well to the idea of change within, which I could represent in the images.
I decided that the images should progress from dark to light to show the change in mood. The images are deliberately surreal as I wanted them to be representations rather than ‘real’ images.
The images of the egg were taken on a white board with a camera on a tripod overhead. I lit it what an LED light. I then added an overlay and adjusted the brightness in each of the images,
The images are very much a set. Having done the planning and having the ideas before I started the photography it actually made it quite quick to produce. I was also able to adapt as I produced the image and compare them with each other as I made them, which helped with the overall feel of the set.
I came across this article when researching Robert Frank’s Americans
Robert Frank – The American – https://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/arts-culture/inside-robert-franks-the-americans/
Experimental Relationship https://www.lensculture.com/articles/yijun-liao-experimental-relationship-2
Postmodernism / Modernism