The boundaries between applied commissioned photography and documentary or fine art practice continue to break down. New, fresh and more progressive commercial photography agents such as We Folk, East, Wyatt Clarke + Jones and Art + Commerce, increasingly work with photographers and artists whose practice is equally at home in the gallery as it is in the applied sector.
This studio builds on the ideas of affect and the encountered sign developed by Gilles Deleuze. The word sign here refers to the images you will create. The Encountered Sign is a sign that is felt rather than recognised or perceived through cognition. Sensation is not "an end in itself" but acts as "a catalyst for critical inquiry or deep thought", allowing affect or emotion to be an "effective trigger for profound thought because of the way in which it grasps us, forcing us to engage involuntarily." (Bennet, 2005 p7).
You will study aesthetic concepts such as beauty, the sublime, the abject, and deadpan and the mundane as well as considering their political and at times contentious nature. It will enable you to develop a project informed by your personal interests. You will explore using these to create affective imagery that critically addresses subjects, stories, ideas, concepts or issues that you will identify from your own interests or personal experience.
You will also develop your knowledge and understanding of how such work has value for a range of specialist audiences. You will explore contexts including publication, artist residencies, curatorial commissions and exhibition, alongside application within the commissioned editorial, advertising and design sectors as well as other markets such as photo libraries and stock photography.
You will develop a critical and rigorous making methodology including a range of practices from practical experimentation and reflection to investigation of creative practitioners, collaborations and the critical conversations that surround your area of interest.
Photo credit: James Russell Cant, Aoi Dori (2011) from the E Hagaki series
Studio Art 01: Negotiating Form
Andrea Medjesi-Jones and Pete Fillingham
This studio is about painting and sculpture. The painter Ad Reinhardt once famously quipped that “sculpture is something you bump into when you back up to look at a painting”. Those were the days when medium-specificity counted. These days, another art medium isn’t really a nuisance like this anymore. So what is painting, now exactly? And what is sculpture now, too? We shall question new tendencies in painting and sculpture and discover and research what we mean by these categories.
Studio Art 02: Archive Fever
Patrick Ward and Galia Kollectiv
This studio explores the archive – the means by which historical knowledge and forms of remembrance are accumulated, stored and recovered – through the ways that it has been explored, subverted and deconstructed by artists from the early 20th century to the present.
Studio Art 03: Unstable Assembly
Rosemarie McGoldrick and Jonathan Whitehall
Unstable Assembly is a studio that looks at art and the world around us – how art fits in among the important stuff that increasingly impacts on the way we live – the environment, other animals, science and the great outdoors. If you are interested in learning how to push your art practice into the open, into wide public space, this is the studio for you.
Studio Photo 04: The Encountered Sign
James Russell Cant and Ania Dabrowska
Increasingly, progressive commercial photography agents work with photographers and artists whose practice is at home in the gallery as it is in the applied sector. This studio aims directly at that growing elision, too – building on the ideas of affect and the encountered sign.
Studio Photo 05: Post-Truth. Narrating the (Un)Real
Paola Leonardi and Heather McDonough
Presenting the photographer’s role as both artist, storyteller and witness of our times, this studio explores the construction of photographic narratives that reflect changes in and challenges to our society. In this studio, photography can be a tool to protest stereotypes, a method of testimony to events, a practice to construct fantasies or a way to engage with media trends.