Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Eugene Atget is another photographer who was using the uncanny in his work.
Atget's work is unique on two levels. He was the maker of a great visual catalogue of the fruits of French culture, as it survived in and near Paris in the first quarter of this century. He was in addition a photographer of such authority and originality that his work remains a bench mark against which much of the most sophisticated contemporary photography measures itself. Other photographers had been concerned with describing specific facts, or with exploiting their indivisual sensibilities. Atget enconpassed and transcended both approaches when he set himself the task of understanding and interpreting in visual terms a complex, ancient, and living tradition.
The pictures that he made in the service of this concept are seductively and deceptively simple, wholly poised, reticent, dense with experience, mysterious, and true.
I decided to do a research on old and modern hospitals. I really like the idea of a hospital ward, but they are not too popular in modern days, so I'm thinking about designing a set of a hospital ward in modern artificial way, playing with the colours and lighting, following an example of Lady Gaga and film 'Suspiria'.
After we watched 'Suspiria' (1977) and talked about the use of artificial colours and fashion, I thought of Lady Gaga's music videos. I noticed the very strong use of uncanny, in the clothes she’s wearing, props and sets. Called a 'theatrical genius' Gaga is extremely individual, she likes to evoke different feelings in the audiences, she very often talks about things that are usually avoided like: being gay, sex, different views on the religion, mental problems, and just about being different from everyone else. She displays all this in very unusual way.
'Bad Romance' (2009)
'Born This Way' (2011)
'Marry The Night' (2011)
'Marry The Night' has the biggest impact on me. I thought of using a hospital scene for this project, and the way Gaga visualizes a psychiatrical hospital is very intriguing. I love the use of colours, and the set. Especially the third still from the video showing a big room with huge windows, long curtains and numbers of beds. I also found interesting the scene in a theatre with a stage like a ballet studio the use of lighting is especially unique. I really love Gaga’s differentness and she’s definitely the biggest influential subject for me in this project.
Joel-Peter Witkin is a photographer whose images of the human condition are undeniably powerful. For more than forty years he has pursued his interest in spirituality and how it impacts the physical world in which we exist. Finding beauty within the grotesque, Witkin pursues this complex issue through people most often cast aside by society -- human spectacles including hermaphrodites, dwarfs, amputees, androgynes, carcases, people with odd physical capabilities, fetishists and "any living myth ... anyone bearing the wounds of Christ." His fascination with other people's physicality has inspired works that confront our sense of normalcy and decency, while constantly examining the teachings handed down through Christianity.
I noticed that Witkin uses a lot of unusual deformed shapes to achieve the uncanny feeling. Looking at his black and white photographs with exaggerated shadows I get a very unpleasant, unfamiliar feeling, especially when it comes to the portraits. Witkin seemed to be interested in people with de formalities, and by making the set very artificial and unreal he achieved something extraordinary.
Examples of Witkin's photographs:
'Las Meninas' (1987)
'The Black Hat' (2009)
'Prom Photo' (2008)
'Cuisine of a Failed Romance' (2003)
'The Poet' (2005)
Mark Ryder is one of the artists that were always inspiring me. I follow his art quite frequently, and I have noticed that his paintings give out a very uncanny feeling. Even thought they are beautiful and amaze me, the extraordinary use of shapes, objects and colours make the paintings extremely artificial which e
invokes very unfamiliar nearly uncomfortable feeling.
Mark Ryden in his studio
Facts about Ryden:
Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art. His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of painting, "Pop Surrealism", dragging a host of followers in his wake. Ryden has trumped the initial surrealist strategies by choosing subject matter loaded with cultural connotation.
Ryden’s vocabulary ranges from cryptic to cute, treading a fine line between nostalgic cliché and disturbing archetype. Seduced by his infinitely detailed and meticulously glazed surfaces, the viewer is confronted with the juxtaposition of the childhood innocence and the mysterious recesses of the soul. A subtle disquiet inhabits his paintings; the work is achingly beautiful as it hints at darker psychic stuff beneath the surface of cultural kitsch. In Ryden's world cherubic girls rub elbows with strange and mysterious figures. Ornately carved frames lend the paintings a baroque exuberance that adds gravity to their enigmatic themes.
The Gay 90's Show
'Virgin and Child' (2010)
'The Piano Player' (2010)
The Snow Yak Show
'Snow Yak' (2008)
'Girl in a Fur Skirt' (2008)
The Tree Show
'68 Stump Baby' (2006)
'Allegory of the Four Elements' (2006)
Bunnies and Bees
'The Magic Circus' (2001)
The Meat Show
'The Pumpkin President' (1998)