Simon Sweeney | Informing contexts: Speaking Photographically

Informing contexts: Speaking Photographically

March 11, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Cramer’s Trilogy series is something I can relate to. A slight glimpse into the world has been composed and viewed in different contexts for the viewer to be left wanting to see or want to know more in an inquisitive state. A unique series that makes the viewer question the artistic photography approach and to question where the images were taken. Above or below water, the size, or depth of the woodland? In my opinion Daniel Gustav Cramer's practice evolves over time. Some of the woodland images are of a similar nature and are ideal for book covers; Horror, Drama, Mythology type of genre. The mysterious settings, of contrast, vignetting and focus, leaves the viewer's gaze to see if they can see further into the woods. Where his underwater and mountains make this trilogy complete. These images that I have researched exclude any form of people, animals, infrastructure to give any comparison to size, density, time or whereabouts. In my opinion this is a unique and an interesting concept which gives it an infinite state.

Arthur Danto (1981) reminds us that 'An artwork is different from an ordinary object because it is about something. Because it is about something, it requires interpretation to function'.
Utilising the quote from Arthur Danto only adds worry to my practice that interpretation will not be that of its intent. I may have completely misunderstood Cramer’s intent or reasoning behind his trilogy however it is my subjective view.

To put this into context the story of the 'Three blind men and an elephant' originated in the Indian subcontinent. For those of you who don’t know the story:
Three blind men bump into an elephant. One bumps into the leg and thinks it must be a tree. Another bumps into the trunk and thinks it must be a snake and the third bumps into its tail and figures it’s a broom. The point is, one person’s subjective view might not be somebody else’s and neither subjective views maybe the actual truth. 
By adding text to my short film will therefore be inevitable to help the interpretation. I was only considering adding titles to each new phase. After reflecting, a higher percentage of my viewers will gain a clearer subjective view as It was deemed to be intended, if a greater explanation is added. I don’t want the text to be overpowering, this will only detract from the artistic nature. I will have to experiment and develop different scenarios in a survey before I have a conclusion. Or as Pierre Bourdieu (1997: 73) points out 'Any work of art reflects the personality of its creator'. Do I just stick with my gut feeling? 
My personality is somewhat different to that of Jeff Wall's approach. Jeff likes the appearance of most things and capture the artistic nature of the occurrence (or non-occurrence) of what has happened. He likes to have the experience of viewing it first and then revealing it. He use's the analogy of sea creature like an Octopus. The Octopus wouldn’t go hunting for its prey on the sea bed as it would get eaten itself. Instead it (he) waits for something to come along. I am quite the opposite. I must plan weeks, months or even seasons ahead to capture my moment. I must go ‘hunting’ for my images. I often don’t even see the results until I have processed. My final implementation of the film will not be possible until next year. This is my artistic personality or nature. 



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