Self-deﬁned proposal with supporting research & development work (30%) LO1-4
During my symposium I began to pick apart a world I considered myself a fan of, Japanese popular culture. Whilst researching we were challenged to critique every bit of information and never take anything for face value. I found pointing out the flaws in this world to be the most thought provoking work I have produced, and immediately knew I needed to make a photographic piece that developed from my presentation. I began to realise that there is a community of photographers who whilst being Japanese and “fans” are producing work which comments on issues of the society they live in, like the sexualisation of children. I discovered an area I could see myself progressing towards. Rather than simply documenting the culture I obsess over (which my past projects have done) I want to produce work which makes a comment on it, and acts as more than just visually stimulating images, I think this is where the future lays for my work.
There are two major aspects of my final project. The first is the want to produce images which provoke debate. Allowing the spectator to relate to my images and begin to reflect of their own lives, in this regards my work will act as a mirror. I will be using myself as the example of the “consumer” creating a character and story that exaggerates the truth the point out problems within our over saturated consumerist culture. The main focus will be on the tension within myself (and others), striving to be an activist but being poisoned by consumerism. The second aspect is the photograph as a method of storytelling. I have always seen the photography as an alternate reality, a fictional world, I want to play off this idea and create fiction photography. Taking influence from writers such as William Gibson, Cory Doctorow and Ernie Cline I will create a narrative which has elements of truth and fantasy combined to make a political/ social comment.
I am going to achieve all of this by critiquing myself. How could I expect my audience to see my images as a reflection of their lives if i don’t reflect on mine? Japanese photographer Makoto Aida exploits his role as a man in an oversexed society to portray issues he finds within men. He openly says he has an unhealthy fascination with young girls, like a lot of men in Japan, so uses his art to portray the problems in himself and others, I will look deeper into this exploitation of the self. I’ll also be thinking about the production of the images, researching how using a cheaper camera/‘snapshot’ can add the sense of truth to an image, looking at cindy Sherman and Mariko Mori as inspiration, then contrasting this with high production, stylised fantasy images like David LaChapelle’s. Discussing the consumer/the studio shoot vs the activist/the snapshot. Trying to create the perfection mix of fantasy and real life, creating a hyper-reality highlighting issues but containing enough “realness” to relate back to my audience, the consumer.
It’s definitely not finished but it’s a start. less than 500 words is barely enough to explain where my project has come from let along the development of it too. However it will make me focus on the important content. So where does my research go from now?
– Research the authenticity of the ‘snapshot’
– Look deeper into self-portraiture and using the self as an example. Find photographers and theories.
– Watch some consumerism documentaries
– Semiotics – in regards to tell stories