Thursday, 3 November 2011

Exhibitions 24.10.11

So last week I went to London for the day to visit a few exhibitions. Okay, so the only gallery I ended up going to was the Tate Modern. But I spent hours in there looking at Tacita Deans Film, a collection of portraits from Diane Arbus and A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapers by Taryn Simon.

I mainly went to see Tacita Dean's work for the Unilever series, which was really impressive. I'd already made a concious decision to only shoot on film this year at uni and perfect my printing techniques in the darkroom, but this exhibition made me LOVE film even more. I'm not very well clued up on the moving image, so watching her analogue techniques such as glass matte painting, multiple exposures, mirroring and masking etc on film had a really enchanting effect.

And the size, scale and rotated 90degree angle of the projection was awe-inspiring! 

I didn't know anything about the Taryn Simon A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters exhibition also current at the Tate Modern. I didn't know anything about Taryn Simon altogether. To my surprise, it was ridiculously relevant to my current project and line of interest at the moment that is (in basic terms) Identity and portraiture. 

Taryn Simon presents each set, or chapter of her project in 3 separate frames. Each chapter is based around the story of life of one certain individual. Frame One shows a series of clinical, dead pan portraits of this subject's bloodline. Frame Two, notes down who is in each portrait and gives reason for choosing the primary individual, Such as Leila Khaled, the famed 1969 plane hijacker. Frame three then gives further evidence into the story behind the portrait, something which would never been known from just looking at Frame one. 

It was fascinating walking around and finding everyone's stories, from Hungarian orphans to the triplet thalidomide 'babies' to a volunteered Chinese family. Each chapter gave all of them a case full of evidence of their fascinating stories and a voice to be heard.

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