I had a useful tutorial this month with the course leader to discuss the course and what I intended to focus on for my main project. I shared my work in progress through my website www.chrisforrestphotography.com and we talked through this as well as my main project.
Whilst my project is relatively broad in terms of the theme at present I don’t think that this is a bad thing as it gives me room to explore different approaches over the next three modules – Informing Contexts, Surfaces and Strategies, and Sustainable Prospects. I have started to look into each of the Module Information Forms to consider possible approaches with my project for each of the next three modules and this will be outlined in my project proposal – Home Away From Home.
My work in progress so far has focused on exploring different communities across Dubai such as those in Al Satwa, Al Karama and Deira to understand a little bit more of the city. As I spend more time in the different communities my hope is to get closer to the people to be able to document more about their lives here in Dubai in a more personal way and not just objectively.
The tutor referenced two photography projects in the tutorial as being worthwhile reviewing.
The first project is Stranger by Olivia Arthur (www.oliviaarthur.com/Stranger) which imagines a shipwreck survivor returning to Dubai fifty years later and what they would see on their return. What struck me most about Olivia’s work was the use of transparent paper for the photographs in the book. This makes each image blend in with the next image and then it slowly fades away in reverse as the page is turned which has an almost dreamlike feel to the viewer. The ordering of the images has also been carefully considered. This highlights the contrasts in Dubai such as that of the man half buried in the sand and the DeLoreon car on the next page. Olivia also uses archival pictures and text to supplement her own photographs which is very effective given the story being told. Given that we recently explored contexts in the course, it is perhaps not surprising that I found these aspects of Olivia’s work most interesting. Olivia gave me a timely example of the importance of photography’s context.
The second project is Open See by Jim Goldberg (Open See). It was interesting that this was raised by the tutor as this was one of the documentary photographers that I had referenced in my first draft of my oral presentation but I took this out to cut down on the material so that it fit in the ten minute limit. I had referenced this photographer as I like the way in which he gets very close to his subjects through his long-term and in-depth collaborations with the types of populations that he focuses on – typically those that are marginalised, neglected or ignored. It is this sort of depth that I am looking for in my project.
Goldberg, J. Albanian Beggar. 2003