I’ve only ever observed and appreciated photography. I have never been the photographer and I don’t think I will ever ‘make the cut’ to be honest because photography is harder than it looks. As research, I have looked at the works of Michael Wolf, Allan Sekula and Trent Parke. All three artists are talented photographers with a unique eye  for the obscure.

Hong Kong: Back Door 02‘, Michael Wolf, 2005
Hong Kong: Back Door 38‘, Michael Wolf, 2005

These pieces above by Michael Wolf highlight the human state through a different lens; demonstrating a large sense of mystery. The ambiguous nature of the first piece immediately engages with its viewers as we see ourselves sitting on the plastic, dull chair, looking at the segregated city from a high. A city, coloured and structured unlike any other holds the attention of a man made object placed within a naturalistic setting.

The second piece allows for more of an intimate and personal interaction with the concept of humanity. The harsh undertones of concrete and metal reflect the world’s reliance on man-made creations often more so than the natural. This piece focuses on fabric through the pair of jeans and the coat hangers which clothes are placed on, mirroring the idea of a fabricated world. As both pieces are within the same series they definitely have maintain a relationship that is quite clear to its audience.

The Forgotten Space: Fish Story’, Allan Sekula, 2010

Sekula’s photograph (as shown above) illustrates a sense of containment, suggesting how humans have too much ‘stuff’. We discussed this image in class and we all came to the same conclusion about consumption in this capitalist world we live in. What is in the containers? Are we being contained ourselves? When does it end with the demand for buying products? The questions we ask are relevant to this photograph but also in our every day lives. It can also be noted that the containers are going against the ocean; against the natural world.

[I added this link below, check it out.]

“What we’re struggling with here is the big story, and no one thinks they can tell the big story anymore, everyone’s given up; they’re feeling hopeless about their ability to … tell this story. Maybe in economics it’s similar to the turn to microeconomics, away from macroeconomics, you know, tending your own little garden.”

                                   – Allan Sekula (2011)

Welcome to Nowhere: 01′, Trent Parke, 2006

Lastly, Trent Parke, I just love his random yet eerie works within his Welcome to Nowhere series. Parke’s first image within the series (above) is stunning with ambivalence. The human figure is in a compromising position, alone and in a remote town. As an observer you feel a sense of isolation yet immense curiosity for the surroundings. The figure is positioned in an animalistic stance, alluding to how humans are just like animals despite evolution, despite the ‘trophy’ earned from science. Perhaps, I’m going too far with this analysis so I’ll leave it at that. Check out these artists regularly because they always do abstract pieces! Their ideas about humanity, consumption and the constant contrast between the man-made and natural world all intrigue me.

Note: Feel free to click on each image for a link to where I found it!


Noted Quote: Peacock, A, 2012, Allan Sekula: Making Sense, Art Gallery of New South Wales, viewed 10 April 2016, <file:///C:/Users/ashaw/Downloads/Sekula-collection-notes-v2%20(2).pdf>.

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