Exercise 3.4 i
Fine three examples (or a collective effort of a set of photographs) that are being used to assert a particular ideological point of view. Look at the images that have been used in advertising or other commercial applications, as well as within fine art and documentary photography. This might be a very explicit message, or something a lot subtler. If text is used, consider how this relates to the image. Write about 300 words describing how the photographer or designer used the photograph and how the image communicates its intended message.
This photograph is particularly easy to deconstruct, and it needs to be to enable the broadest viewer impact possible. This photomontage is a juxtaposition of romantic notions ‘picturesque’, with the binary opposite of human destruction of the planet. We can also see that the landscape is based around a chessboard with the trees competing against man and machine. Quietly appearing in the bottom right hand corner is , “They have already made a move.” This sentence causes my eye to go back to the image to find that a man is representing a paw and has made his move towards further attack of the idyllic landscape
This photograph is from Nick Hedges’ project ‘Make Life Worth Living’. The project was entirely political and it was used by Shelter UK to highlight the living conditions of the working classes based in the north of England. As a result of this, social housing conditions were improved across the North of England. This photograph reads as a story that I needn’t elaborate on here, apart from mentioning the irony of the advertising painting on the side of the house. Nothing more needs to be said in text to reinforce the message here.
Peter Kennard is a senior lecturer at RCA and is reputed to be a big influence on ‘Banksy’.
Without any text, you have to be of an age to know who Tony Blair is, and his part in being in cahoots with USA to justify the invasion of Iraq. The decision to invade was based on false intelligence about Saddam Hussain holding weapons of mass destruction. Arguably, it unleashed the birth of Islamic terrorism against the western world.
Kennard has superimposed a photograph of Tony Blair on to an explosion. It denotes the ‘Blairite’ ego that contributed to the mess that Iraq has been left in. The portrait is set against the reality of his decision-making. The signification could be construed as Blair being represented as Satan who is stood at the gates of hell.
Exercise 3.4 ii
Consider an issue (social political, or environmental) that you feel strongly about. Design an image that you think will have a persuasive effect upon the viewer. This could be a deliberately rough photomontage or something more polished. You don’t necessarily need to make the photograph or tableau; this is an exercise in generating ideas, thinking about communicating as idea and taking an ideological standpoint. Annotate the sketches and / or any other work and enter it into your learning log.
In my mind, at this point in time, global and national politics seem to be spinning in completely the wrong direction. Every time that I switch on the television, another subliminal political event is evolving.
When I reached this exercise, Donald Trump (POTUS) had just pulled America out of the Paris Climate Agreement. It seems that he is sceptical about global warming and the impact of Co2 emissions.
Pulling out of this agreement was a catastrophic turn of events. Denying the contribution that Co2 emissions make to the climate and extreme weather patterns leaves the planet and its inhabitants at greater risk than ever. The worst affected will always be the poorest of populations from ’emerging economies’.
Placing Donald Trump at the front of the frame with his back to the people wading through flood water, signifies the action of turning his back on the people who will suffer the most. He is placed so that troubled eyes are staring at Donald Trumps back. I have placed our planet in one hand and the the Doomsday clock in the other hand. The Bulletin of Atomic Science has this clock set at 2.5 minutes before midnight at this juncture in history (Donald Trumps bluster is also putting the planet at risk from nuclear war).
The Eiffel Tower is of course a recognisable Parisian place. It serves well as a microphone, with Donald Trump talking at it (and not listening to Paris).
In the backdrop are other European leaders (albeit that I have chosen them this time, other global leaders could be inserted) who are looking around at the flood and standing with the people and understanding the consequences of global warming fully.