Monthly Archives: April 2011

Photography, Lens, Paperclips

A few months back, I bought a new (cheap) lens for my camera and sold my giant, heavy super nice expensive one. Had I been posting more regularly you may have noticed a change in the quality of my photography since then. The sheer weight of the old lens prevented me from using the better camera.

I have a Canon Digital Rebel camera body, a rather nice consumer DSLR and I always knew I’d love it if only I used it. When I bought the camera, I bought a giant, all-purpose lens. It literally weighed more than the camera body and doubled the size of the camera. It also instilled in me an irrational fear of using it in case I broke it.

A few months back I bought a 50 quid 50mm fixed lens. Yes, zoom is nice, but I get the majority of shots I would have gotten anyway, but for which I would have used the lower-quality camera. I’m actually using the better camera now because it’s lighter and I’m less afraid of breaking it.  It can be a  bit of a challenge to get the right shots, but it’s a fun challenge and I’m getting different types of shots than I did when I had more control.

I’ve also rediscovered my shameless love of high contrast black and white photos (and cemeteries).

In other news, I’ve been reading Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. If you know what I’m talking about you may recognise the style of the title and perhaps be thinking about paperclips a lot! A Wild Sheep Chase had me overthinking ears for a while. Great author- reminiscent of Truman Capote with a lot more Weird.

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Dress: Halfway and Thoughts

I worked fairly steadily on The Dress for the past month or so achieving a great amount (it’s nearly one piece) and achieving the complete inability to look at the thing in the near future.

I still haven’t come up with a proper title for it, but The Dress is beginning to fit nicely both in terms of my rampant usage of the term (for lack of a better one) and its massive scale in terms of a project (The dress to end all dresses?).

The main idea behind the dress has to do with ambiguity. Is it a spider’s web that entraps you or is it like the net below a trapeze artist to catch you if you fall? It’s an idea I’ve been interested in since moving countries and not being able to bring my friends or my family with me which on one hand is incredibly disorientating and on the other lends a sense of freedom.

This idea is also explore beautifully in The Unbearable Lightness of Being where the relationship between Tomas and Tereza  and Tomas’ lover Sabina wherein Tomas is an incurable womaniser, always wondering about the next woman but is married to Tereza. Tereza can think only of Tomas, but Sabina always remains unattached. It explores basically the pros and cons of each of the three people’s lives in a quasi-scientific, detached way. It’s title comes from the discussion of lightness or freedom of being unattached and not responsible for another person, while at the same time this lightness can be unbearable for not being attached to anyone.  It’s oddly moving for its style and backdrop of the communist revolution.

There’s an innate ambiguity in security and being safe. A prison can be safe and secure as well as life. A relationship can exemplify this idea just as easily.

The method of production has centered on what one artist at Raven Row described as the ‘awkwardness of production.’ The very fact that it’s difficult, annoying, inefficient, yet enjoyable is the point of the  means of production. It wouldn’t have the impact or be what I want it to be if I used a machine or even larger needles or any method to make my life a whole lot easier (sigh). Making this has been a mediation on its production both materialistically and intellectually.

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