Hand and Eye (Part 1)

‘Hand and Eye.’ The main elements of the theme for this week refers to the use of the photographic print as a object. The photographers who explore this concept want to capture the materiality of a photograph. Its this tendency which is used across a variety of different mediums of art which shows the work’s physical and sculptural presence in space (Shore, R. 2014.) This theme has derived from the fact that we live in a digital age, an age in which we have access to take thousands of images, and delete them all just as easily. This has lead to a throw away culture to be attached to photographic work. The theme ‘Hand and Eye’ helps us to understand the importance of literally holding a print in your hand, then using your eye to create an interpretation in which the piece becomes a process of artistic creation. This hands on approach in its creation produces a more fragile, thought out piece of work that can’t be reproduced perfectly millions of times. But instead you appreciate this materiality and objecthood that the print has to offer.

“Whatever it grants to vision and whatever its manner, a photograph is always invisible: it is not it that we see.”  (Barthes, R. Post Photography the Artist with a Camera, 2014)

There are many different ways that this approach has been used. Some have stitched into an image, others have hole punched, coloured, burnt, cut, overlaid, used interesting surfaces, solarised, projected, collaged, sculptured, and some have even attached objects onto the surface of the print. All of these effects have made the photograph a work of art that not only puts across a meaning, but instead shows something that you can feel, adding textures that you could physically see when in a gallery but even when its on the screen, it becomes something in which is more than just a photograph.

Maurizio Anzeri

The three artists that most captured my interest during the lecture were Aliki Brain, Chen Nong and John Stezaker. Their work explores how by adding to the photographic print after its production can add to the overall interpretation of an image. These images below show some of their work but I will expand upon them throughout the week in individual artist research.

I am very interested in this theme, and it is something which I would be interested in experimenting further after this week has finished. To me, the pictures become quite powerful and influential and I hope that the work that I can produce this week will be able to create a similar effect. I will experiment with some of these methods that I have most enjoyed looking at, but putting my own twist on them and creating work that I’ve never really produced in the past, but hope to experiment more with in the future.

© Kirstie Wilkinson

  • Shore, Robert, “Post Photography- The Artist With a Camera” Laurence King Publishers, London, 2014

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