The Photograph as Contemporary Art Ch. 5 Intimate Life.

These are narratives of the domestic and of the intimate life. confessional? Diaristic?

It can take the conventions of the family photograph and the family album. It helps suggest a closeness and intimacy. But this is directed in a certain way so not as to exclude. To make it universal? or at least inclusive. The family photograph, the wedding album, the happy holiday, the happy moments are replaced. Things not usually included…sadness…tears…the mundane…..the taboo? Or what some areas of society consider taboo. For others it is life. It is a different kind of family. Outsiders stumbling, trying to creat something, to  find a level. Perhaps these images have an almost Victorian element. Interesting reports from the other? The fact it’s from the inside. Nan Goldin’s story supports and infests her photographs with value….That they are real. a record of her life. Her images developed from a personal need rather than a part of a professional trajectory. It is a joy to see her new images of her family of friends. Less stumbling and bruises and growing up. Children and joy. Moving on…growing.

It can also work the other way? Creating a work and presenting it as a diary gives it weight? The conventions of this genre have now been taken and used. People creating an ambience of intimate. Co-opted. Still intimate images but playing with these outsider visions. conscious.

The intimate can also be used in other ways as  a self-portrait, portrait, still life, landscape, conceptually and even the found object (somehow these images are almost the most intimate ” I declared those orphan photographs my own and took care of them“. They can combine and layer with photographs from the past, from maps, ephemera, recreating scenes from a family (like Guy Maddin’s attempt to escape Winnipeg).

Using closeness with oneself? family? community? to access points nad ideas for images. To gain access to reveal. To share.


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Filed under October 2011, Readings

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