Monday, April 11, 2011

Library Assignment Journal (Thais)

Image 1: Everyday dada (book) , Photographer: Sian Bonnell

Objective observations:

- daylight

- view: from up to down

- color: cool colors palette

- diagonals

- large aperture

- toast on the ground in the place of floor tiles

- white toast and wheat toast create a checkerboard pattern similar to the old black and white tile pattern

How does the observations lead to how I interpret the photograph:

- The fact that toast is on the ground makes me think something’s not right here. Surreal comes to mind, and the diagonal angles create a creepy even more surreal mood. Also, my mind goes to the retro black and white tile pattern for kitchen floors. So this photograph is referencing reality but giving it a twist of crazyness. It could feel like you are in an odd dream where you are starving so your whole house turns into food! Or something like that…

Research: - Dada was an art movement in response to WWI. The Dada artists believed that the reason and logic of burgeois capitalist society had led to the war, so their art rejected logic and embraced chaos and irrationality.

So why is Sian Bonnell rejecting logic in the 21st century? Was she speaking against the War in the Middle East?

So according to this site the artist is “reconstructing the home environment”. She feels life is full of absurdity so she uses dada to illustrate this.

Honestly I was kind of disappointed because I was expecting something really deep, and when I read the explanation it just felt kind of obvious. The photographs are extremely gorgeous though – which is why I looked at the whole book, but still I wish the concept was a tad deeper. I’ll get struck by lighting now because she is an established UK photographer, as I found out, and she’s in many galleries - even at the MFAH. Maybe there is more to this series… I just haven’t found it yet. -------------------------------------------

Image 2: Laura Letinsky - Untitled, #10

Series: Alone, Somewhere , Book: Now Again

objective observations:

- subdued color palette

- a lot of texture

- empty containers

- eaten fruit

o or – leftovers of fruit

- neutral background

- crumbs of bread

- diagonals

- things almost falling off the table

how that influences my read:

- feeling that something has happened here

o because of the empty containers with traces of a liquid of some sort

o because of the eaten fruit

o because of the wrinkled table cloth

§ signs of use

o bread crumbs

It actually feels like people totally went at the orange and the juice with no mercy like they were starving or completely into the oranges.

This has a feeling of eating in abundance without worries.

Can I say – even animalistic?

Whatever it is, “abundance” is shown and “aftermath”


Laura references Flemish still-life paintings. She mimicked the way that Flemish paintings show fruit at various stages of being ripe.

According to her statement, the morning light shows that the eating happened the night or day before. “There is only the residual evidence of social clatter.”

Image 3: Laura Letinsky - Untitled #38


- pink

- red

- yellows, other warm colors

- all warm colors pretty much

- different textures

o wood

o metal

o cloth

o ceramic

o gritty bread and orange textures

o A LOT of detail

Beyond: This one is more chaotic than Untitled #10, and it makes me think of the immense detail that Flemish had, like those I Spy books people had as kids. I wonder if she’s using red and pinks to imply something since red is such a powerful color. I wonder if the paintings used red for a specific reason.

*Oranges are a sign of wealth! Is Laura talking about wealth or just referencing a custom in Flemish paintings?


Image 4: Laura Letinsky - Untitled, #114


- cool colors – grays, blues, blacks

o muted colors

- awkward angles

- diagonals

- people-less

- furniture-less

- marks of furniture on the carpet

- now drapes or blinds on windows

beyond the objective:

- feeling of empty

- feeling of – someone was living here before

- the marks left from the furniture make you thing someone or a group of people lived here and then left

- the open windows with no blinds add to the feeling that people left after inhabiting this space for a while

o I say a while because their furniture was there long enough to leave imprints on the carpet

- the colors and lighting together add to the feeling of emptiness on a psychological level

- and the awkward angles and diagonals make this image a little creepy or unsettling

I suppose that like her series with food, she is also exploring the phenomenon of the aftermath in this series of spaces.


These rooms are of recently vacated houses. MEGAN THIS IS SO YOU!!!!!!!!

The description of these images talked about homes as “shells”.

Through these images Laura wants us to bring in our own memories of spaces we occupated in our life. I suppose she is giving us a blank canvas to imagine in.


the scan doesnt do it justice

Image 5:

Laura Letinsky

Untitled #106

Objective observations:

- cool colors

o blues

o turkoises

o greens

o violets

o and maybe red violet

- soft light

- very vertical

- perpendicular lines

- no wall paper

- no decorations in this environment

- everything in this home/space is neutral

- cloth in the room on the floor ? or tissue paper?

What the objective make me think of/feel:

- this space is very ethereal…heavenly…at the same time that it is devoid of visible human life…although there IS a chair and a basket in the far background. So there is a hint that there is someone here…The tissue paper or cloth in the room kind of freaks me out. What is that doing there? It creates a side story for me that I as the viewer have to figure out. I wonder if it’s something obvious like bed sheets that are just draping off the bed we can’t see. Or – it could be packing paper, since these photographs are about vacated homes. Still I’m not sure….but the ambiguity is wonderful. It keeps me at the photo. It’s just such a calming photo, with the soft light coming through the window gently illuminating the room on the right that I want to say is a kitchen. I want to be in that house except for that room with the cloth-tissue-bed sheet-whatever it is. Not just because of that but maybe because it is darker than the other rooms in the image. Still, it’s a turquoise, cozy type of dark…

She puts props in her photographs for us to take and use with our imagination, implanting our own past or made up story into the photographs.

“Where imagination collides with memory is always unclear territory but the two phenomena are certainly interdependent. As our minds walk down Letinsky’s empty corridors and produce narrative content, we perhaps find ourselves in the intimate space where memory, fantasy, and imagination meet.” – Karen Irvine

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