My tutor and I discuss my work on Skype and from there on he sends me a report. It's always very insightful and interesting to hear about Les' work and ideas and reflections of my work. Here's the report, I'll give my reflections below each comment.
Feedback on assignment Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
In addition to, or complimentary to the feedback given during Skype tutorial –
Some good images on show here that tell the story you intended. Particularly with the Palace of Justice, there is scope for showing a larger edit of your images to fully tell the story. I think that the ones that work best are those that include a human trace, as well as the bureaucratic and architectural decay. So, those with chairs, tables, open drawers. Perhaps have a look again at your edit – the goats must stay, of course! These recognisable traces elevate your work above, the rather tedious, and trendy photos we see so much of currently. Look at Robert Polidori and Richard Misrach, for example.
I'll go through the images again and try to change my selection, it is true that the images with the human traces tell the story of the building and its function in the best way.
There is a good commentary on the documentary scenes and evidence that you have researched them. Your writing is concise and to the point and you set out your aims for your images. On the whole you succeed in showing us work that meets your targets. To really elevate your findings it would be good to reference the statements regarding the building's (and contents) condition. This would then make a worthy photojournalism piece. If it was possible to follow the story of the man who tried to find his parents' documents, this would give an extra dimension to the narrative.
I have updated the final post with a link to the history of the building. I'm not sure if I'll be able to trace the story of the man who tried to find his parents documents, but I have visited the building again with somebody who used to work there, so it might be a possibility to add that to the story.
Again, as in previous submissions, there are some very good compositions with noteworthy attention paid to light and colour. It is interesting that you were unaware of Guy Tillim's work in former French colonies. It would be really useful to have a good look at his work.
A reminder of the suggestions for expanding on your ideas for a critique of photographers’ approach to their subjects broached last time - Parr, van der Elsken, Meyerwitz; if this still concerns you then it would be useful to follow up. Your move to New Delhi will doubtless throw up more ethical photographic situations. Your handling of the family portraits behind the school shows that you are concerned with representation.
Yes, I still have a list of blogs that I need to write, this is one of them!
Being critical of art photography's apparently narrow dissemination is important, the flip of this (usually) gallery based display is that it is tightly controlled, only when reproduced can the work be recontextualised by others.
I'll ponder a bit more on that. I think that since every individual sees an image from its own context, it is decontextualised all the time. It's an interesting thought that as a photographer you have to let go of the idea that the context you have in mind when framing the image is going to perceived as such.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays Context
You have produced a clear blog with evidence of reflection, and a questioning approach
Suggested reading/viewing Context
Guy Tillim, Jim Goldberg, George Georgiou, Richard Misrach, Robert Polidori
Pointers for the next assignment
The brief specifies an 'intelligent travel publication' so you can be as critical as you like. The Gaddafi funded hotel sounds like an excellent idea, it opens up a number of possibilities – it would be good to get as much context as possible as well as local information – you are in a privileged position.
I have photographed the hotel and interviewed its project manager. It's a very interesting series, but I have an other series that I took a few months ago, already with this assignment in mind. I think it's a bit more suited to the assignment and there's more diversity in the images.
Thanks for the feedback Les!