Project 13: identities and context

The risk with this project is that it may damage all the other articulations about disability by allowing the body to dominate. My objective here is to represent my body honestly and in relation to impairment, but to do it in a way to complements the other work.

An obvious approach would be through straight portraiture and so that is where I begin but in what style? Formal? Vernacular? With glasses? Without glasses? In context or not? What should I include? The face? The head? Head and shoulder? Upper torso; full body? Should I offer a contemporary presentation of self or an historical one?

Here are some vernacular images of me taken over a long period of time.

image

Thoughts
Each one of these images works individually as a narrative but not necessarily in a way that I want. They all create their own problems. They are all historical and so don’t speak of my current status or outlook and work as a collective narrative about my past. Indeed the settings and contexts are too strong. Compare the images above to these below.

image

These images are both current but dislocate me from any meaningful contexts. Moreover some of the second set – those with my hat and glasses on – look more contrived by the use of props. But by concentrating on the face and gaze they offer some insight into who I am rather than what I am.

Both sets show my public self and not what is hidden beneath my clothes.

Thoughts
Would any of the images help me with my discourse? Neither set offers the viewer much insight into my experience and outlook and what I want to say visually. Rather, I think inclusion of these types of images would muddy the water and allow the representation of me to dominate and obscure rather than illuminate on the experience of being disabled in modern society.

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About anomiepete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
This entry was posted in Projects 13 and 14: My Face; My body and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Project 13: identities and context

  1. Catherine says:

    Would an alter ego make a difference?

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    • anomiepete says:

      Maybe Catherine, Stephanie suggested the same but I’m just not fired up by this or myown approach.

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      • Catherine says:

        It’s a difficult one I know, finding the right way to express something that’s so important in a different way. Have you ever included other people in your work in a documentary sense?

        Liked by 1 person

      • anomiepete says:

        No, not really Catherine. I’m concentrating on the experience of paralysis in terms of the physiological, emotional and social experience from my point of view and so do not plan to document others unless it offers the viewer a sense of my internal experience. (Sorry I have posted this here I can’t reply to your comment below so put it here).

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  2. Hi Pete, I hope you don’t mind, it is just an idea, but your sons are very present in your images, and I am wondering if you could not create something to talk about your experience and ‘rpresention’ while documenting/exploring your relationship to them, now, but also in time through vernacular images. Fatherhood could be a field of inquiry. There might a way to do that in relationship with questions about ‘representation’.
    I say that because I feel that your relationship to them, as well as the one with your father, is something that is latent and intense, always there in the background, and as a viewer I think I would like to see your more theoretical and conceptual inquiries linked to this other part of your photographic work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • anomiepete says:

      I don’t mind at all steph! Your comments are helpful and insightful. I see here your suggestion is coming from and may indeed use the type of approach you suggest although in terms of the MA final products I think I want to focus on my individual experience on three things: the inward me and the physical and social environments.

      If I include familial issues like the project entitled Getting On here ( http://anomiepete.weebly.com/getting-on.html) I think the body of work will become too linear/documentary in its narrative or lose shape in terms of how I envisage it as described above, and what I want to end up with is a body of work about being. I hope that makes sense! Maybe the family will be the next project after the MA.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. paul490280 says:

    Now I see things a little differently in your work. At times you seem to play to my ignorance of perception of your experience of being disabled and then at other times you ‘slap me in the face’ (metaphorically) by describing some uncomfortable truths. I guess your identity falls somewhere in between.

    Liked by 1 person

    • anomiepete says:

      Indeed Paul. I think the problem I am having with this particular bit of work is that I have conflated the body with identity. I will give the approach a few more days and then think again as I need to reference the physiological impairment aspect of disability but don’t think portraiture does it (not so far anyway!).

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