Out of Place by juxtaposition through digital collage?

Where I am now
It seems to me as though the project three is beginning to form and so I have provisionally entitled it Out of Place as this reflects the sort of evocation I want to offer.

Looking at the images that worked in my first two attempts suggests that I might need/want to try to go beyond the domestic setting and see how any juxtaposition of any impairment related subject matter might work outside in more general landscape settings. So I began by simply placing images of impairment related kit into some conventional landscapes as a way of challenging the viewer’s perception and expectation about what they are looking at.

 Mr P MansellMr P Mansell Landscape 18-3Landscape-1050418-EditLandscape 18-2 Landscape 18-4 untitled-0483-Edit Project 3 finals (5 of 8)

This approach doesn’t seem to work well for two reasons. Firstly in terms of gestalt. I have selected and used largely traditional landscapes so that the images should work on as pictures but rather than the addition of impairment related kit destabilising the image in a good way they just spoil the vista.

However there was once exception. I felt the last image of the seaside shown above worked well as a picture and a discourse because the urine bag looked rather like something from out of space sitting in the frame. This didn’t so much spoil the image as offer a sense of unreality and destabilisation I am after.

I worked on the image a little more and am please with the final outcome here below. (The main difference is jut a slight adjustment to the placing of the bag in the frame).

untitled shoot-1070468a-Edit

Notwithstanding this last image the second weakness with the general approach is that I don’t think the images are personal enough. One of two in a set might help – even add to – the out of place discourse but a set dominated by such landscapes would be rather abstract rather than alien and not very personal. For this reason I went back to working on images of interiors and applied the concept. Here are some examples of the results.

 Project 3 finals (7 of 8)  Project 3 finals (3 of 6)untitled-0633-Edit

I don’t think the image in a hospital really works. I am not talking about the issue of the lack of technical integration between the two images as these were just shot as idea makers. Rather I am talking about what the image suggests and whether is works as a picture. Maybe the hospital setting is too close of the conventional ideas around impairment, illness and disability and so it’s not challenging enough. However the other two photos have potential. They invite questions from the viewer.

It’s interesting that these are nothing like the types of collages I enjoy, I’m thinking of the strong abstract expressionism of people like Marilyn Landau or Mitzi Trachtenberg. In approach there much closer to say work of Marty Gordon where there is a simple juxtaposition of elements, although he uses words in his imagery.

Next steps
I think I will try a more subtle approach next to see whether I can build a set that articulate a sense of being Out of Place.

About Pete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
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