Sophie Calle’s work exists on the borders of photography and conceptual art. Her work is rarely aesthetic in the pictorial sense, but setms from her curiosity at realising an idea or action.
At the core of Calle’s work is a child-like curiosity with life and people. It’s not so much about making art as allowing herself to be taken on an adventure by an idea.
- Her work sometimes raises ethical issues related to privacy, and in return she is very open about her own life.
I think that if you are going to intrude on someone else’s privacy, even if you are doing that in a public setting like a street, then you have to be prepared for other people to do the same to you.
- What are your moral feeling about following a stranger to make photographs of him?
I feel that following a stranger and taking photos of him is something that I would not be comfortable doing.
Taking photos of people without them realising it, is the basis for Street Photography. Actively following someone in order to take photos of them borders on stalking them.
If you worked for a newspaper or magazine then taking photos of people without their knowledge is part of the job but for someone who doesn’t work in that profession or following someone who is ordinary, is an intrusion on their privacy.
It’s something that I’d feel morally uncomfortable doing.
- Can you think of an adventure you could go on – however banal it may seem – that would put you in a different position than you are accustomed to when making photographs.?
In a few weeks time I will be travelling to Finland and staying in Lahti in the Lakeland area. After I’ve finished the triathlon I’m there to do I’ll have a chance to explore a bit of the area by taking a boat trip. Taking photographs while afloat isn’t something I get a chance to do on a regular basis.
- Is there a job you could take that would give you access to a certain kind of subject that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to?
At work our communications department make use of photographers for some publicity work. Changing role and taking on one in that area would provide me with access to aircraft, ships and other vehicles, at various stages of development, that I wouldn’t normally have access to.
For the final post utilising the techniques in exercise 5.2 and 5.3 I’m using a final series of photos from when Rhys was in hospital.
At the time we were going into hospital, I’d come across a photography challenge called 101 Days. The idea behind the challenge was to take a single photograph each day that summed up how that day went. With nothing better to do we settled down to take at least one photo from when we started our stay. There were a few days that we didn’t manage to take a photograph for one reason or another, but we managed to capture something for the majority of them.
One of the restrictions on bone marrow transplant patients back in 2008 were that you could only have four named visitors while you were in hospital. We chose Tracey, her Mum, my Mum and myself. Of course Rhys being Rhys, he managed to get an extra few visitors. Tracey’s aunt was one of the hospital friends and so could pop in and see him when the rota scheduled her to be on. In addition to her, Rhys also had visits from a couple of the nurses that looked after him in Yeovil, when they happened to be in the area. The hospital school teacher, chaplain, play specialist and a music therapist also visited. Some days it was like Picadilly Circus in his room.
One Rhys left isolation and was able to leave the hospital, even if only for a short while, the number of people that could visit him increased.
The entire experience was blogged about from before we went in, to the time he got home. Rhys’ Treatment Blog can be found at: https://treatingrhys.wordpress.com/
This second post supporting exercises 5.2 and 5.3 contains further photos from while we were in isolation while Rhys was having his transplant.
Exercise 5.1 – Set up a blog has been covered since day 1 of the Foundations in Photography course as I needed to set up this blog as my learning log.
Exercise 5.2 and 5.3 have been done a number of times throughout the course as I’ve needed to re-size images, uploaded them and create blog posts for the exercises, assignments and research points.
To complete the Exercises in Part 5 of the course I’ve decided to create a series of posts that use the steps from exercises 5.2 and 5.3. This is the first of them.
The photos below were taken a number of years ago when we were attending Bristol Childrens’ Hospital while my son was undergoing a bone marrow transplant. These photos are some of the ones from the day of his transplant.