Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Joshua Arter Analysis.

A senior graduate enrolled at Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This photograph is part of series displayed on his website (joshuaarter.weebly.com) in a selection named 'Dear Marquette', this particular photograph named 'O'Donnell Hall, East Entrance', his university which he quotes 'They say a picture is worth 1000 words, in Marquette's case its worth 130 years'. The work is photographs from years ago placed by hand and in the framing of a photograph taken more recently (2010) of the same place. Combines the original darkroom print with a DSLR photograph. The content goes deeper to symbolise a meaning and value of the place in the past, connecting then and now, the concept is simple yet powerful and shows us how change occurs over time in the historic campus of the university. The theme could be described as documentary, documenting the place now but combining and enhancing it by past photographs, it gives a sense of time and shows the place realistically in view, but almost like a portal into the past, when we look at the picture we know that it has been produced on a whole by someone standing there because of the visibility of the hand, we get a sense of actually being there and our sense of touch is evoked by the framing creating an illusion of us standing there in person in his shoes. The pictures are blurred in the background because he has deliberately used the focus to create a depth of filed and let us only see the past clearly, yet only blurred to a point where we can still tell exactly what it is and that it is the same place. I think that the meaning can be depicted quite easily when it is thought about because of the stereotypical style of photography 100 years ago (black and white, quite old fashioned clothing according to nowadays) and we see a link to the pas immediately, the personal history and exactly where these photographs have been taken isn't immediately obvious though. Action isn't taking place at the scene, he is there photographing by himself and we sense a silence, almost an echo of how the place used to be rather than how it is now, a sense that something has happened rather than happening.

The framing is quite casual, it doesn't look like it needs a tripod or anything to enhance the professional quality of it, the point is that it shows someone standing holding a photograph onto the same place, spacial awareness and dimensions are important to place it correctly. Contrast is seen between the black and white print in perfect focus and the blurred colour, the balance is quite odd but they sit well together because of the lines connecting the spaces together which make sit clear it is the same place. The arrangement is pleasing because of this and how the squares and the perspective of the photographs are the same and the geometric squares match up.

The photograph has obviously been planned because of the thought needed to gain access to these older photographs and knowing exactly where each one is placed, it has been posed and held correctly to achieve a successful effect composition. The camera use has been revolved around the focus ring, also taken advantage of a sunny days natural lighting, the darkroom has also used a slow and dull exposure to achieve the highest contrast between the black and white tones, digital imagery hasn't been enhanced by text or filters but maybe added contrast for a more professional and valuable effect. 

This work doesn't effect me personally in terms of emotion but I can see that somebody who has grown up in this area would be effected because of the past and personal link, I can imagine a similar effect on myself if I was to do this to an area that I am familiar with. The artists feeling when doing this were probably quite nostalgic, he probably thought of the past in his own life on the campus. I like the piece because of the research and thought that has been put into producing such an emotional series.

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