251mc – Picturing the Body; Lecture 2

The second lecture for picturing the body discussed conversation as record and stimuli, we looked at the importance of conversations and how they can work to build a relationship with photographer and subject. A subject and a photographer must work collaboratively to create an image, because if the subject is not made to feel comfortable it will show in the images. Conversations can address the imbalance in power in a photographic encounter. We looked at the roles of images making, these being photographer, subject and viewer. The lecture discussed how there can often be a power imbalance between subject and photographer. So forming a relationship with a subject is very important as if we are trying to represent a subject through images we must ensure that we know who they are. During the lecture we were introduced to the works of Laia Abril, particularly her project ‘The Epilogue’ where she illustrates the story of Cammy, a bulimia sufferer. Abril tells Cammy’s story story through the family members and friends that she left behind. Abril formed a very close relationship with Cammys family and friends and through them she was able to find out who Cammy was. I found it interesting that Abril gets to know her subject through other people and through Cammy’s diaries. Abril created an extremely personal and emotional documentation of Cammy’s life despite having never met her. She was able to form a close bond with the subject’s family in order to capture a truthful representation of her life.

We also were able to watch an interview with photographer Ben Krewinkel, in which he discussed his project ‘A Possible Life: Conversations with Galbert’. Krewinkel focused the project on an illegal immigrant going by the name ‘Galbert’. He discussed the issues he faced when working with Galbert because maintaining anonymity was crucial to ensure Galbert did not face any legal trouble. Krewinkel discussed how trust was important throughout the project, as any image of Galbert’s face could get him into serious trouble. Krewinkels work was a collaborative project as he worked very closely with Galbert and discussed every image with him. The interview highlighted the importance of communicating with a subject and taking on board a subject’s views and opinions when creating images.

 

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