Sunday, April 10, 2011

William Eggleston and his way to document the daily human habitat

With his photographs William Eggleston succeeds in documenting the human habitat familiar as well as well as unknown.
He documents his life and his impressions, but it’s everything else than an autobiography in a chronological classification.
There is a lot of interpretations scope for the viewer

At first his photographs look like snapshots of an amateur.
But the photographs of William Eggleston memorize.

Why is it like this?

Is it because of these actually really daily motives?
Is it because of the uncommon perspective in some of his photographs?
Is it because of the eye-catching colors and this special technique called dye-transfer-process?
This technique allows William Eggleston to subjectively control colors like a painter.

I want to get to the bottom of the question, what make these photographs so special and how is it possible not only to document human habitat, rather to describe it.

In the end of my essay I want to compare two different styles of documentary photography. On the one hand there is the photography of William Eggleston; the snapshot documentary.
I think especially in the work William Eggleston we can realize that spontaneous unpredictable things in photography could be really important and could develop a deeper statement.  

On the other hand there is the photography of Bernd and Hilla Becher. They know exactly what they want to show. They know where, when and why.

Finally I can summarize that my essay is going to be an examination of the person William Eggleston, his form of daily documentation of human habitat and a comparison of his work and the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher under the aspect of documentary photography.

Alice, you asked me to post this ages ago, Apologies

BACK TO PAPER: relative spaces

Brian Barber 2010


‘a state of dependence in which the existence or significance of one entity is solely dependent on that of another.’1

A house consists of a sequences of volumes arranged
in relation to each other according to function and form. Each
room is relative to each other creating a sequence of spaces.
The person inside the building can connect these spaces to each
other by memory. This memory influences the perception of the
next space and influences how you recall the previous space.

‘Memory is recalled to admit continuity into a context of change’2

The attributes of an architectural plan drawing,
enable the architect can occupy a series of spaces at once,
albeit in a two dimensional way, and does not rely on memory
to link sequences together. With photography our perception is
limited to the field of view. However by composing the image
that cannot be seen in reality, be it divide by time or
physical parameters we can gain a greater understanding of
relative spaces This occupation of a series of spaces at once
in my photographs allows comparisons, analysis and an
experience to be translated in a single image.
The images layers crate a physical memory.

To evaluate the worth of a single image to describe

_ dogtrack

This picture is composed of a series of images that are relative to each other but are separated by time. From left to right the image describes the crowd through the length of the 31 sec race. From people not looking at the track, to the excitement just before the traps open, looking for the kick around the first corner, relaxing slight towards the middle of the race and the dogs their furthest away from the spectators, the cheering on at the final bend and the joy or disappointment at the finish line and finally the loss of preoccupation with the track. This experience of the race could not be captured in one transient image, however by linking these series of photographs together, the whole 31 seconds of the race can be perceived by the photographs observer in a coherent way.

_His fridge

A drawing can accurately describe scale. Spaces are seen in relation to each other; however in experiencing a space, other influences can alter how you understand size. I wanted to create an image that we could not see in reality. I became interested in everyday spaces we see but we could really understand. The section through the fridge accurately describes its scale. By blacking out the rest of the room we can, perceive its scale in isolation and appreciate its true size in relation to fixed reference point(the participants head).the image in the exhibition is printed at actually size so scale can be appreciated. This picture follows my way of analytically studying space. Instead of seeing a space in relation to each other, to fully understand its scale we must see it in isolation.

_working traps

Showing a single space over a period of 54 seconds and the different ways it is interacted with from the loading of the dogs, the pause before the release and finally the sprint from the trap

_Train line

There is one image that exists in reality, however can never be seen. This is the sequence of spaces before you get on a train, the train itself and the sequence after. These spaces are separated by time and distance. By composing this picture out of a series of images this space was formed. As with a drawing, comparing scales and contrasting the physicality of the place is possible, however the photograph can describe more. The physical three dimensional world, how people operate in this space, the weather, the lighting conditions are all illustrated. As with the attributes of a architectural drawing, you become able to occupy a series of spaces at once and begin to understand how each space would be experienced as you travel from one to the other

1 (13/05/2010)
2 Taka Architects, TA. (2008)’Mnemonic Tectonics’.In: Campbell,H, Martin-McAuliffe,S, Ward, B, Weadic, N (Ed.)
(2008) The Lives of Spaces. Dublin:IAF and UCD