The cover of the book by Erik Kessels explains what it is about. What you can’t see from the photo is that the book also opens the wrong side. Genius touch.
The general thrust of the book is about taking failures, accidents, non-conformity and embracing it to make something creative and different from the normal. Making something unexpected and interesting. It is full of examples of artists doing this, including photographers and sculptors.
It is a reminder to think differently and create differently. To not produce chain-art, to not be McDonalds or Heineken.
Failed it! (2006). Kessels E. New York, Phaidon Press.
The full feedback on assignment 5 is attached here. It felt positive and pleasing but I focus here only on the points that require consideration and perhaps some further work:
- The possibility of taking the work further as the story of my grandfather is engaging.
I’ve already devoted considerable time to the work for what is one degree project, within a time-limited degree. This makes me apprehensive about spending more time. However, on reflection, I think that is the right thing to do as the work is more important that just a degree project. It is about the memory of my grandfather and those lost on HMS Royal Oak. I am also encouraged by some interest from an Orkney museum representative.
- Evidence that I am engaging with the work of other photographers / artists.
There is a need to document my engagement as evidence for the course work to be evaluated. It is not enough to engage, one must also write about engagement! Point taken.
- Consider the final dissemination of the work – what form it will take and make more use of the contextual information to ensure justice is done to the story.
I think I’ve confined myself to the context of the degree project and its brief; it is perhaps more important to tell the story as there is a good reason to expand the brief to accommodate it.
- Practical difficulties in reading the text from the letter could be distracting.
Agree with this – I was also concerned that typing out the words could distract from the photos. I’m now considering dissemination in the form of slides/video with a narrated sound track.
- ‘Try and do another edit maybe expanding on the project and producing more archival images, maybe there are individual key words within the text that you could highlight and bring to the fore. These are just ideas if you want to push the project further. Audio would also be interesting.’
Agree – I’ve been holding back on this line as I’m wary of the extensive time already passed on this work. However, there is no sense in stopping before the finishing straight.
- Your reflective text accompanying the final images could do with expanding upon. This should also cover your working methodology and your influences and decision making.
- Suggested work to look at:
Jim Goldberg (Raised by Wolves): http://www.jimgoldberg.com
I enjoyed the scrapbook aesthetic of this work and the use of mixed media and handwritten text. It seems the work was originally created as a photo book, but the artist has produced a video to showcase the work, which is posted to Vimeo and shared on his website. The work was produced over the course of 10 years – note to self; be realistic, you don’t have 10 years.
Erik Kessels: http://www.bjp-online.com/2017/05/kessels-lives/
I’ve looked at Kessels’ work earlier in level 1. A fresh look, revealed this recent video interview with Time, The Story Behind Erik Kessels’ Obsession, How He Breathes New Life Into Amateur Photography. It offers some insight into how he works with found photographs and what he looks for. It is concerned with family archives (other people’s) Erik Kessels. It has not been a significant part of my practice to look at archives (at least before this current assignment), with my preference being to be involved in the process of making new images. However, I can see how it with fit with my practice to more frequently use archive images in combination with my own work. Something to explore as I extend assignment 5.
PDF of assignment 5 feedback: A5 IAP
Erik Kessels. Time YouTube. The Story Behind Erik Kessels’ Obsession, How He Breathes New Life Into Amateur Photography. Available from:https://youtu.be/7_Yjf5l1G9k [accessed 25.6.17]