Saturday, February 7, 2009
At our first meeting, Tom shared the work of Marnix Goossens, a photographer who seems to embrace the ambiguous in portraiture. Rather than focusing on the production of images that are easily distinguished from one another, he uses the same subjects and presents them in ways to extract different personalities. His photographic subjects are not limited to humans, as he incorporates objects of the everyday to personify feeling. “Happy” (2008) displays a colorful arrangement of flowers, but a thick sheet of glass appears to distort the image, making it difficult to accurately identify. His use of an emotion as the title, and the decision to exclude people from the shot, definitely stimulates an intellectual search for the strings that would tie humans to his piece. Such an obscure representation by Gooossens also serves as a visual metaphor that comments on the intangibility of feelings.
Whether a title correctly corresponds with the work it’s labeling or merely serves as a crutch for alternative thinking, it is almost as revealing as the image itself. I am interested in this function: how a bit of information can alter perspective almost instantly causes me to question whether its authenticity even matters. The mind’s way of responding to these signals is to create possibility within the space of disconnectedness, and I hope to initiate this exercise in my work.