METHOD + MEANING

In Gillian Wearing’s 1992 series Signs (Signs that say what you want them to say, and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say)  the photographer approaches strangers in the street and asks them to write on a piece of paper what they are feeling right now.

Her methodologies of photographing these strangers in the street as they hold up the paper announcing their inner feelings, has been shot in a style compared to reality TV.  It has a raw and rough quality… almost like a snap-shot, which adds to my interpretation that nothing has been edited or preconceived.  The photographer didn’t allow themselves time to create a well composed shot, nor has she given the stranger the time to think about how other’s will perceive their text.  It’s an immediate honest response to what is on their minds right now.

Image taken from https://publicdelivery.org/gillian-wearing-signs/

TERMINOLOGY

Methods – is the processes within each stage in a photography practice. From research, to shooting, to exhibition.

Methodology – Not to be confused with ‘methods’ or ‘concepts’ – it refers to the application of methods used – and is the discussion around this. It’s important to develop and understand methodologies and concepts behind historic and contemporary bodies of work – this will enable progress in my visual practice.

Concept / Objective – This is the intention of the photographer. The concept is usually articulated in the artist statement, the gallery text, or contextualised as an essay in a photo book. Concepts are not always defined at the outset but quite often formed over time; it’s perfectly acceptable to “shoot first, ask questions later.” (Victor Burgin (1998) in CAMPANY, 2003: 281)]

SHOOT FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER

In Boris Michallov series Red (1968 – 1975) he observed the presence of red in his work over time. it makes the point how you don’t need to have everything in place when embarking on a new body of work. It demonstrates the importance of reflecting on your practice and analysis why some things are working and others now and work out new ways of doing things.