Photo of the Week - #48 8/15/22

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by samstevens, Aug 15, 2022.

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    POTW2.jpg
     
  1. Presumably this represents 3 shots as if they were on a gallery wall, which you might see in passing, as you shoot by. Since it is a construct rather than an image of a "real" set of the 3 framed pics, it is quite intriguing, particularly as none of the images are well defined. Two have apparently bad reflections and one is mysteriously out of focus. In conclusion I think the image is rather clever. The 3 depicted images remain essentially unknown. I have the feeling that if only I could stop and move my position or get closer I could see what the images actually are, but of course I will never be able to do this. It is a photo that will never be resolved, but to me is rather thought provoking.
     
  2. This one presents as a puzzle.

    At first reading, it seems very meta. Judging from the format, it looks like a surreptitious cell-phone photo of an exhibition of photos by a photographer named Graziella. As far as art goes, we seem to be in Warhol territory here.

    But there’s something odd going on: there are no shadows; the window reflection ends at the edge of the mat; and the wall lighting is absolutely flat. “Frames” and “mats” turn out to be post-processing constructs, and now we’re in the meta-meta realm. We’ve got a photo constructed from a collection of three photos that are posed as photos at an exhibition.

    So who’s Graziella? I’m guessing she’s the subject of the collection of photos—the woman who shows up as a distorted profile in the third, whose face and hair may or may not be the subject of the second, and who may or may not be standing by the tree in the first. Is she a real person? Is she a mannequin in a window? Or is she as much of an imagined construct as the photo itself?

    Nice.
     
  3. Hmmmm. Out of curiosity, I searched Graziella. Turns out it’s a novel from the 1800s based on unrequited love, that served “as commentary” to a poem by the same author.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graziella

    Questions arose immediately: what exactly are we seeing here? Is this a phone pic of a wall of photos? Why is the assumed title situated off to one side? I have more questions than answers, but it’s fair to say I find this intriguing and mysterious. I find this whole thing somewhat avant garde, and although I had a bit of trouble connecting the images themselves to one another, I applaud the depth of this conceptualization. Somewhat obscure, if I may say so- but since these images seemed to be assigned to (or at least associated with) this story/poem of Graziella, they begin to make some sense, in that context.
    Adding that context, whether what I’ve found has anything to to with the artist’s intent, sure helps.

    The center photo I believe I’ve seen already and have had conversations with someone here who was connecting imagery & poetry. So I’ve got some suspicions as to who this artist may be but will keep that to myself and let him reveal himself if he chooses to.

    All in all tho I like this and I like when someone goes deep and pulls off something that others aren’t doing. I’ll revisit this again on my desktop when I can see the imagery on a larger scale- but will wait breathlessly to see if the photographer pops up.

    Two thumbs up!
     
  4. Pictures of someone else's pictures doesn't seem right to me. Needs another element.
     
    mickeysimpson likes this.
  5. Maybe more??? The frames too???

    St Louis Art Museum
    Becher-USA-Blast-Furnaces.jpg
    Blast Furnaces - Berndt and Hiller Becher​
     
    mickeysimpson and Sanford like this.
  6. Hmmmm. Out of curiosity, I searched Graziella. Turns out it’s a novel from the 1800s based on unrequited love. The novel served “as commentary” to a poem by the same author.

    Graziella - Wikipedia

    Somewhat obscure, if I may say so- but since these images seemed to be assigned to (or at least associated with) this story/poem of Graziella, they begin to make some sense, in that context.

    Questions arose immediately: what exactly are we seeing here? Is this a phone pic of a wall of photos? Why is the assumed title situated off to one side? I have more questions than answers, but it’s fair to say I find this intriguing and mysterious. I find this whole thing somewhat avant garde, and although I had a bit of trouble connecting the images themselves to one another, I applaud the depth of this conceptualization. Adding context, whether what I’ve found has anything to to with the artist’s intent, sure helps.

    I feel as though I’ve seen the center photo already and in fact was having some conversations some time ago with a member here who was connecting his photography with poems. Not certain these are his but, under my hypothesis, it seems to be a fit.
    In any event, I won’t give him up; let’s wait to see if he pops in and offers clarification and/or confirmation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2022
  7. Thanks for your comments, everyone. The photos are mine. Graziella is the name (you can't see it in the photo) decorating the neckline of the bust in the third photo, so I decided it was a good title for the series (even though I knew no one would actually get where it came from).

    This has been a great experience for me. For quite a while, I've been putting a lot of effort into presentation, especially regarding printed photos which I display in galleries. I know how much that can affect how a photo comes across. That said, I didn't anticipate how much this presentation would affect what people saw.

    I wanted to present these three as a series and I hate the white background PN offers, so I simply created the darker digital background and then gave each one a digital mat and key line as a frame. It's simply three jpgs shown together. As soon as I read Robin's comment, I realized how the presentation lent itself to that interpretation especially given the window reflections which simply are part of the third photo, which was a shot of a bust through art glass. The second photo was a use of motion blur at a dance studio. The first, a foggy San Francisco morning, where I focused on the rising sun, which is cropped out.

    The two titles I considered before Graziella were Blurred Vision (which I found too literal and descriptive) and Glissando, but I'm happy with the intrigue of Graziella (which is actually an Italian name meaning lovely and with grace).

    I liked reading Leslie's and Tom's reactions as well as Robin's. I think each of your reactions still stands and makes sense to me. My giving away the "reality" of the situation is just a bit of inside baseball, but I actually more appreciate the kind of "poetic" response the whole elicited in all of you.

    Sanford, I agree with you that if this were a photo of someone else's work hanging in a gallery, it very well might not feel right. I wouldn't be likely to take or post such a photo.
     
  8. Thanks, Sam! I thoroughly enjoy learning the back-stories. This image was a lot of fun to delve into as a viewer.
    I was just about to post a follow-up to my previous post when I saw your post. Here's what I was going to say:

    The aspect I didn’t discuss in my previous post was the “why?”, and I’ve been pleasantly puzzling over that, with no conclusions. Here’s what I’ve got:
    1. The photographer wanted us to know that the “exhibit” is a construct, or they would have added the shadows and modified the wall lighting. Message: we are supposed to understand that the presentation itself is conveying the photographer’s own interpretation of the meaning of the component images.
    2. Framing and hanging an image gives a certain sense of closure—it’s not likely to go any further than it already has.
    3. But framing the image also puts it on a pedestal: artists tend to frame the images that are important to them.
    4. Placing framed images in a museum or gallery amplifies the sense of closure. Museums, in particular, often deal with unrecoverable pasts.
    5. An exhibition of framed images also amplifies the perception of importance.
    6. The component images are obscured, so we can’t get a good view of what’s actually there. Whatever meaning they convey resides in their existence rather than in their content.
    7. …And Graziella is important.
    What this is all leading me towards isn’t a definable interpretation of the photographer’s intent, but instead is an emotional response. I’m getting a feeling of nostalgia here, of wistful, fading memories of something that either did or didn’t happen, or maybe a dream of a person who never actually existed. At least, that’s my late-at-night reaction.

    My first-thing-on-a-sunny-morning reaction is quite different, and focuses on the pedestal aspect rather than the closure aspect. Is the photographer placing Graziella on a pedestal of esteem, telling us that this is a person—or an idealization of a person—who deserves to be publicly celebrated?

    Of course, there is also the harsh-light-of-noon reaction: this was an intriguing idea for an image and there is no intended meaning other than what the viewer brings to it. In other words, it could be a Rorschach test.
     
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  9. Thanks so much for your further thoughts, Leslie. I like your entire post and it has many thoughtful aspects to it. The description quoted here, in particular, stood out to me.

    I don't have a definable intention or interpretation of these photos or of the series. I can give a general vibe, a direction, but didn't go into them with precise thoughts. The feelings you got are beautifully described and certainly ring a bell for me without really limiting the photos to those particular feelings, knowing that someone else might experience the photos differently. What you describe has an ethereal or evanescent quality that's open enough and leaves plenty of room for all kinds of things to come to mind. It was the feel of that sort of unspecified ethereal quality, as well as the colors to be honest, that led me to connect them into a series.
     
  10. I'm currently limited to cellphone access to PN forums (including this thread). So I decided not to comment on this trilogy because the 3 images were hard to see (together) on a cellphone
     
  11. Yeah, me too, thankfully
     

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