Assignment 5. Learning Criteria
- Demonstration of technical and visual skills
Endeavouring to keeps a similar style to each of the images and fitting with the theme of liminality I chose to take the images at the turn of light during the day, mostly around the evening at sunset. On several occasions to enhance and lift the subjects within the images for visual effect I used a flash off camera with some kind of modifier to soften the light. I have used a range of vantage points and subject focal distances but largely focused on 20-35mm lens focal length in order to keep a strong sense of context to the photos. I believe that this has worked well, with the exception of maybe the dead snake shot which appears more visually difficult to observe even though I felt that it worked as part of the series of images. I have used a mixture of staged and found contexts to photograph and largely have tried to keep the main focal points in view so that there is less ambiguity of subject matter.
- Quality of outcomes
I feel that (and from feedback received) that this project has been steered in the right direction, by and large. I have conceptualised the images and explored the theme of liminality with reasonable success. I note that the response from the work presented was more in relation to the voiceover monologues that I provided to the series in slideshow format as opposed to the images themselves. In presenting a conceptual theme I wondered wether there needed to be a textual dimension or something else to help orientate the viewer. Instead, I used a number of voices talking about liminal experiences and one could say that this is the documentary aspect applied to the visual concept of liminality attempting to communicate together. If the images alone had been presented I imagine that the series would be open to very broad interpretation indeed. I believe that I have at least ‘opened the door’ of interest in the theme of change and liminality with this project. Further exploration for me would involve a different kind of presentation in a gallery format with photos arranged in such as way as to provoke a fuller response. I feel that the slide show presentation is limited.
- Demonstration of creativity
As I become interested in Van Gennep’s ideas I fell upon the threefold structure that I have grouped images into. This seemed like a creative response to the theme and one which I believed worked fairly well. It allowed me to apply a chronological age sequence of photos that acts as a signifier for change as well as repeat an image (train station) at different focal lengths which again indicates or points to something moving or changing. In fact fact some of the signifiers in the series are directly related to the discussion of the liminal both modern and old. The train station is a physical place of movement and transition. People arrive and go, they are not there for any length of time. In this way, attempting to give the whole structure with which the photos are shown in more context, I hope to have ‘fleshed out’ what the series is about.
I spent time reflecting on the experience of liminality, primarily, realising that especially with current world events this is a highly relevant topic to explore. Perhaps, if there was more freedom of movement, the subject could have been explored in relation to particular political or social issues as a more traditional documentary process. However, in this assignment I have stayed with a more conceptual approach, rather than attempting a narrative interpretation of events. In looking at art and the exploration of the liminal as well as other areas of social studies, it is clear that the liminal as Thomassen says, refers to any transition, but usually pertains to important and meaningful changes. I have therefore attempted to root this assignment in the transitions of age, pointing to the liminality of our transitory being.