Today’s post comes in two parts. The first part is a new entry in the RA series (RA-008) and the second is this text. In response to a comment of Keith’s, I said I would try to articulate some of my thoughts behind RA-00x.
Here is a semi-ordered set of notes, that are a continuation of https://seandrysdale.com/2018/06/04/ra-000-introduction/
- In response to our fleeting attention span, I wanted to initially arrest the viewers attention span, and then hopefully make the stop worth while. Contributing to this is size, and structure.
- The repetition has evolved from a single image being repeated multiple time to a set of images with subtle differences. For instance in RA-008 there are 6 different pictures plus a 7th photo along the bottom. Speaking of structure, as mentioned in the revised introduction, I thought it was important to pick up the plastic once it was photographed, and then it made sense to take a photo with the plastic removed.
- I like the playfulness of Hockney and his work with Polaroids. Each of the images RA-001 – RA-007 has the same exterior ratio as a Polaroid (1:1.31). The reference to Polaroid also accounts for the equal white space on three sides and more white space on the bottom. As April said these images read horizontal and the vertical presentation works against the individual pictures. In other words, the reference is both opaque and a distraction. Both images and ideas evolve. With RA-008 we move on.
- I find that much of the work of the Dusseldorf school has a melancholy quality. On the other hand I really appreciate the way those photographers centred their subject matter, and address it head on. Burtynsky has spoken about the influences of painters on his work. I also think that he has some heritage in the Dusseldorf school. As I mentioned before I have long been drawn to the conflict between beauty and subject matter in his work.
So where does this leave you the viewer. I would like to think that there is enough skill and content in these images for you to stick around. At worst you give this series a passing glance. At best you stopped long enough to pause, appreciate the disconnect between contemplation and subject matter, and let your mind wander down any number of roads. Possible avenues are up to you but I can suggest the nature of perception, repetition, pollution, and visual overload. Or perhaps, you just went I don’t get but I like it, and that too is a fine response.
As always, thank you for stopping by.