Wednesday, April 17, 2013

4 x 5 Series: Student

For my final 4x5 project I chose to undertake the concept of portraying challenging or isolating aspects of student life through quasi-still lives. The format I chose to employ is using a 1ft sketching mannequin, portrayed in real-life situations. The purpose of using a sketching mannequin as opposed to a life size mannequin or blow-up doll is to avoid the humorous aspect of the photos and to emphasize the size relation. The objects and places being so much larger than the subject are a metaphor for how challenging or isolating those situations can be for some. Half the photos were made in studio to monopolize on the lighting afforded by studio work, and to generalize the situations. The other half were on location for contextualizing reasons.
If I were to approach the project again I would want to do all of the work on location. I would also ideally approach this subject matter from a digital perspective because the analogue format wasn't really a part of the photos. Conceptually and technically it would have been nearly identical in digital, and much more manageable.
The reason I had for approaching a topic like this was because it is something that I've been dealing with the last year and I know many of my fellow classmates would agree. it is also a topic that isn't really discussed artistically because it can be seen to be too boring or everyday, but by incorporating the mannequin instead of a figure I believe I managed to bring this series out of that pitfall, and artistically address the issue in a way that (while flawed) talked to the problem and brought some light to the situation.
The photo in this series that I am the most proud of is definitely the Essay Writing photo, closely followed by the on location Walking photo. I feel the composition and technical aspects of these photos works better than the others. The photo I feel the least positive about is the photo with the envelope of change. I tried a few times to re-arrange the subject matter, but I still feel as if there is a better way of presenting it out there somewhere.