I visited an exhibiton [1img]

Started May 7, 2006 | Discussions
Jonas B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,596
I visited an exhibiton [1img]

and got a little perplexed. Here is a picture from the exhibition:

"One day he asked me to call him Mr Duck" by Anna Petters

This artsy work is in two parts: First we have a small "house" build by some wood with white paper on the outside. There is no door or window so what we can is the shadow of somebody sitting inside, lit by a quite strong lamp. The second part is the monitor on the wall showing "Mr Duck" performing slow and somewhat theatrical movements, taking a few steps, standing still, walking to a lamp post, standing beneath a lamp post and so on, most of the times holding his head at 90 degrees to the camera showing the silhoutte against the white background. Ok.

Looking at my picture (not as artsy but at a snapshot level rather) we can see a woman trying to get the idea of the artwork. She is reading the exhibition material. I did so also and this piece is described as (my translation from Swedish): a work by Anna Petters who often works with 3-dimensional installations that in the end shows us a more problematic view of the reality (compared to how we usually see it).

You are still reading, and maybe wondering why I post this? Well, how shall I put it? The work above is on display right now, in Gothenburg at Konsthallen (a part of the city art museum) where a group of 8 or 9 students at the University of Gothenburg taking their Master exam in Photography are holding their final exhibition. At the exhibition I saw maybe three or four of the students actually showing pictures. The other showed either a short video, or an "installation". This master exam in photography is the result from five years at university as full time photography students.

When taking the picture I was approached by one of the exhibition hostesses who wanted to make sure I took it for personal use only. Yes, this is personal: I usually visit the exhibitions by the "school of photography and film at göteborg university" and sometimes I start to really wonder what it is all about. What would you put on display after five years of photography studies at uni? What is photography to you? Or, what is not photography to you? Lol.

Jonas

ps - I really hope i remember Anna's name correctly, I'll check that and make a correction here in case my memory fails me right now.

TBLF Regular Member • Posts: 401
Re: I visited an exhibiton [1img]

I know it's a stretch but the photographic print is the result of light projected on paper... maybe this student was show casing a temporary "Dry" print process with Mr Ducks shadow projected on the paper walls?

Beats me. I know the early pin hole camera was a big box with an artist working away inside.

It's hard to say without knowing his assigment parameters given by his teacher, but I wouldn't be too pleased if I was a parent footing the bill for the course, books, photo equipment & supplies for the last 4 years...
--
EricV

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Stomie Veteran Member • Posts: 3,119
Re: I visited an exhibiton [1img]

Jonas,
I guess this seems rather unorthodox for a Photography course.

I have found that some Learning Institutions are providing qualifications in courses which use the word "Photography" (such as Master of, or Diploma of Photography & Media Studies) but include other media such as 3D installations, AV, video etc.

I suspect that in trying to provide qualifications which are more focused on the contemporary skill requirements for photographers in advertising & media etc, the institutions are broadening the scope of their subject criteria & rather than being focused on the technical, are including more visual & concepually orientated training.
I think that this is not such a bad idea.
Cheers
Stomie

OzSavage Senior Member • Posts: 1,909
Re: I visited an exhibiton [1img]

What are they doing for 5 years?

Reminds me of a silly joke:

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

Jonas B wrote:

This master exam in photography is the
result from five years at university as full time photography
students.

Jonas

-- hide signature --

Dave Savage

GMT +8:00 hrs

OP Jonas B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,596
Re: I visited an exhibiton [1img]

Five years Eric...

I don't know what the assignment was, if any. From the material I understood it as the students have been free to choose either a work made for the final exhibition, or a major work(s) from the years at uni.

Jonas

TBLF wrote:

I know it's a stretch but the photographic print is the result of
light projected on paper... maybe this student was show casing a
temporary "Dry" print process with Mr Ducks shadow projected on the
paper walls?

Beats me. I know the early pin hole camera was a big box with an
artist working away inside.

It's hard to say without knowing his assigment parameters given by
his teacher, but I wouldn't be too pleased if I was a parent
footing the bill for the course, books, photo equipment & supplies
for the last 4 years...
--
EricV

OP Jonas B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,596
Re: I visited an exhibiton [1img]

Not that orthodox; it's the same every year - I get a little dissapointed. The major thing is that I seldom get that impressed by the pictures. When they choose to show other sorts of work I often fail to see how this could be The Great Work to show after five years...

More visual and conceptually orientated training.. Yes, it's good. I can see the need for it and have no objections.

I wish they could give the beholders a feeling for photography. I never once went from any of their exhibitions with the feeling that photography is important, or saying Wov! What a story he told us!, or something similar.

Here is from the schools homesite:

"Representation photography is the main theme of the whole period of education." and later for the last two years (the complete education is divided in a 3 year course plus another 2 years for the master grade): "The course allows students to develop their own language of expression in photography, to acquire advanced theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the areas of contemporary photography and related media, as well as building up active responses to the aesthetic and philosophical theories of the 20th century."

So, there surely is room for related media at the same time as the main area is photography.

regards,

Jonas

Stomie wrote:

Jonas,
I guess this seems rather unorthodox for a Photography course.
I have found that some Learning Institutions are providing
qualifications in courses which use the word "Photography" (such as
Master of, or Diploma of Photography & Media Studies) but include
other media such as 3D installations, AV, video etc.
I suspect that in trying to provide qualifications which are more
focused on the contemporary skill requirements for photographers in
advertising & media etc, the institutions are broadening the scope
of their subject criteria & rather than being focused on the
technical, are including more visual & concepually orientated
training.
I think that this is not such a bad idea.

OP Jonas B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,596
Re: I visited an exhibiton [1img]

Oh, we all know they do a lot of things during their years at school. But is can be funny to joke about it anyway. Thank you.

Jonas

OzSavage wrote:

What are they doing for 5 years?

Reminds me of a silly joke:

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

jeffkrol Veteran Member • Posts: 6,225
Re: I visited an exhibiton [1img]

As I floundered around in my first few semesters in college one was as a fine arts major. Seems the primary objective was to teach you to talk art. How to justify what you were doing. Didn't matter as to what you did as long as you could explain it. Needless to say I soon returned to the sciences where I obtained a BS in Botany. That choice was also a borderline "do you want fries with that" degree............
--
360 minutes from the prime meridian. (-5375min, 3.55sec) 1093' above sea level.

Rupert60 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,731
Re: I visited an exhibiton [1img]

Was the "shadow duck" possibly a take on Plato's "Allegory of the Cave"? If so, then it was not so original, if not, then maybe someone took too much Prozac?
At any rate, I found it interesting.
'This is more serious than I thought.....but it is still fun!'

KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,885
Re: I visited an exhibiton [1img]

Awe come on guys, interpreting modern art is fun!

Some of these artist aren't as daft as one may think. What could this person (or work of art) be trying to express (or what does it say to us)? Think about it being a photography exhibit. The image in the house is created by Mr. Duck's shadow on the wall, in other words an absence of light in his precise form. We don't really know that Mr. Duck is even in there, we must assume it. The title and the video and even the house-like shape of the box all suggest that Mr. Duck is a real person, his posture of reclining in the box suggests he lives there. These are all assumptions we've made with little or no evidence, whithout having even seen Mr. Duck, whose physical presence is merely a shadow here. But it's more than enough for us - we fully assume Mr. Duck (or a puppet of Mr. Duck) is in there, and probably that it is the same Mr. Duck as in the video. So the installation is struggling with the difficulty of portraying a complex 3D reality (whatever that is) through 2-dimensional photography, highlighting all the distortions and interpretations that immediately generate familiar naratives out of images which may or may not conclusively support them.

This could be very far from what the artist intended, but who cares what the artist intended? Once the work is exhibited, it is no longer theirs, it's ours...;-)

-Matt

OP Jonas B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,596
Okey, here's one more [110 kB]

I took a picture of another work of art as well:

"Väntrummet" (by an unknown artist I forget the name of, I'm sorry for that but i'll have to go back and check Mr Duck once again anyway...)

Väntrummet translates to "The Waiting Room" in English. The woman in the picture visited the exhibition and agreed to remain sitting while I took the picture.

Here is a wall to the right with a lot of fluorescent lights. Two chairs and on the wall two loudspeakers giving us the sound of early morning birds.

Again it is for my personal use - please explain to me what the great idea here really is... I can use a little help once again.

My picture is darkish, intended to be descriptive rather than bringing the feeling from the bright tubes.

Matt and Rupert and ?: What can you do out of this one?

Jonas

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