Artist Research from ‘The Subject as Object’

Fran Herbello –

Explores a variety of different representation of the human body in relation to objects stating “I like to play with everyday elements creating new situations that break the usual way of seeing the familiar. I carve on the skin, I make ephemeral interventions which I document with truthful, scientifically rigorous black and white images.” (The Alternative Museum, 2016). Herbello’s images are incredibly evocative “…creating ephemeral contributions void of meaning in themselves only dreamed up and executed so as to give center-stage to photographs. Obviously it is pointless trying to label them within a specific art form; they are sculptures and photographs at the same time, as is the case with a great part of modern day sculpture.” (The Alternative Museum, 2016). I am particularly interested by this artist as I wanted to explore / illustrate the shared relationship between humans and the objects they consume and interact with. I also wanted to explore this artist as I find some of these images slightly distressing. Again the artist uses tone and lighting to accentuate the structure and texture of the skin as well as to draw attention to the altered object integration.

‘A IMAXE E SEMELLANZA’

Sally Mann –

Born an American from Virginia, producing various award-winning and groundbreaking photographic series. Mann’s images are renowned for raising and exploring challenging and controversial topics. Most famously criticised for issues around censorships the series titled ‘Immediate Family’ which featured images of children that  were depicted as “…too knowing, too adult, and (it was argued) implicitly sexual.” (Henning, M. 2009: 207). I want to pay particular attention to the series titled “Proud Flesh” (2009)  which “…investigates the bonds between husband and wife. Exquisitely detailed, intimate, psychologically and emotionally intense, Sally Mann: Proud Flesh engages territory most often inhabited by male artists portraying their wives and female lovers as Mann turns the camera to her husband of 39 years, Larry. (Aperture Foundation, 2016).  Featuring a selection of images that focus on particular parts of the human body and anatomy. For instance…

I find these images particularly inspiring because they bring into questions issues around censorship and body objectification. Mann has made the conscious decision to display these images in black and white to draw attention to the tonal qualities of the body. In some instances, Mann has used the tone, shadow and fractals/image grain to censor or mask intimate areas.  I would argue that the use of black and white creates a strong sense of intimacy between photographer, subject and viewer with subjects bare skin exposed giving the whole series a raw and stripped down feel.

Hannah Höch –

German photomontage artist and active within the Dada movement (emerged as a reaction to the First World War). Described as a ‘self-conscious’ and ‘diverse’ photographer by using alternative photographic elements from a variety of different sources to make “sometimes startling, sometimes insightful connections was one that came to be adopted by many Dada and Surrealist artists of her era, and also by later generations of “post-modern” conceptual artists in other media, including sculptural installations, mixed media and moving images, as well as in still photography.” (The Art Story, 2016). I want to draw particular attention to a project titled “Dada Puppen (Dada Dolls” (1918) which features small-scale sculptural works that were inspired by writer Hugo Ball. These sculptures are mentioned to resemble geometric forms (similar to Ball’s costume from the seminal Dada performance at Cabaret Voltaire). I was drawn to this artist because of her unconventional techniques and the colaborative montage of objects and body parts.


References:

Apperture Foundation (2016) aperture.org. Available from:http://aperture.org/shop/sally-mann-proud-flesh-book/ [Accessed 30 September 2016]

Herballo, F. (2016) franherbello.com/. Available from:http://franherbello.com/ [Accessed 30 September 2016]

Henning, M. (2009) The Subject as Object: Photography: A Critical Introduction (Fourth edition) London: Routledge.

National Gallery of Art (2016) http://www.nga.gov. Available from:https://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2006/dada/artwork/hoch.shtm [Accessed 30 September 2016]

The Alternative Museum (2016) http://www.alternativemuseum.org. Available from:http://www.alternativemuseum.org/exh/herbello/herbello.html [Accessed 30 September 2016]

The Art Story Foundation (2016) http://www.theartstory.org. Available from:http://www.theartstory.org/artist-hoch-hannah.htm. [Accessed 30 September 2016]

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