Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Idris Khan Analysis.

1978, English born artist based in London. He graduated from the University of Derby in 2004 and studied for an MA in 2004 at the Royal College of Art. Khan photographs things from a secondary resource and industrial subjects, this piece 'Every... Bernd and Hilla Becher Prison Type Gasholders', 2004, a photographic print, 208x160cm large. Although Khan has no official website his work has been exhibited in the Saatchi Gallery and he has his own biography on this page - We can see the industrial influence on his work here, part of a series the compositions are fairly similar with the building being the subject and in the centre of the space filling it and the blurriness giving it a sense of illusion, he aims to create a sense of depiction in motion, with variating opacity on the layers creating ghostly outlines which could link to the social culture of the prison by symbolising the evil and disturbed - what could be in there which is the hidden meaning which isn't immediately depicted. Although it is a realistic photograph in terms of scene, its presence has been exaggerated by the layers to draw us straight into it - making it the first thing we see. No action is visibly taking place but the website states that the various exposures and moving of the picture show time and age through the building by showing it moving slightly to the side or downward naturally.

The piece has been framed as a long shot of the whole subject rather than a close up of a selected part, a straight on simple angle. Shapes I can see are squares and rectangular shapes which are all very similar and created from the lines on the building, they create a linear pattern and contrast with the sky in the background, also the bumpy look to the grounds made of various grey shades giving it an eerie look. The balance in the tones works well because the various exposures all sit together, only the centre exposure stands out rather than the side ones which gives a sense of symmetry, the overall arrangement works well because it accurately relates to the meaning trying to be conveyed. 

The photograph has been planned posing isn't needed because people aren't present, the way of printing the photograph has also been planned because it is the process in the darkroom of the blurred development that carries all the meaning. The camera shows rather dramatic lighting, the subject isn't clearly lit but we can still see it, I assume it was taken either early dawn or at the beginning of it getting dark. 

This work first attracted me because of the darkroom technique which related to my blurring of the photographs, I also enjoy depicting meaning from photographs which can look so meaningless before you open your eyes to them and the possibilities. Although the subject matter doesn't link to my work because I am doing fashion the technique and process does, I haven't seen an artist/photographer do this before and I found it very interesting and helpful to link to my work, I realise that the blurring can have a very valuable meaning to it and my opinion is that it works effectively for this photograph but for my subject matter of fashion with outfits and portraiture it was a bit too deep and gloomy for my idea of Alice in Wonderland photographs, I thought that I could perhaps change the meaning to a distorted view on childhood characters because of the adult twist on them, but until then I plan to further experiment and see what is preferable to produce a final outcome with. I can imagine Khan's feelings when he took the photograph would be very focused and interested, planning to depict this meaning and having a knowledge on the building and subject to accurately produce this as he did.

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