Experimental photography case studies

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  • 1. Experimental Photography Case Studies

2. Hannah Hoch Hannah Hoch was a German experimental photographer who used mainly traditional methods in creating her pieces as all her work consist of paper collages or at least contain elements of paper collage. However, some pieces of her work include a background image with paper collage covering parts and becoming the main focus of the work. She became a pioneer of her art form which became known as photomontage. Her work would most likely be found in galleries. I would consider her work to be historical because of the major feature of the paper collages which is a very traditional method of creating experimental photography as the collages are very abstract and do not portray realistic and lifelike images like photographs do. Hochs work, I feel was commercial, as it was produced in response to female beauty and fashion, when mass media was beginning to portray women and beauty. She toyed with the idea and created works such as The Bride and Strauss. The Bride, 1933, explores race by placing body parts of different races onto each other to create one person, making it hard to define what race the bride actually is. This also creates a thought that Hoch was against racism as she has created an image that doesnt favour any race in particular but combines them all to create a piece of art, which is considered beauty. Strauss, 1929, consists of many different types of eyes, all put together in an arrangement that comes across to be a bouquet of flowers. By combining all the different types of eyes into such an arrangement, Hoch has portrayed the eyes as beautiful, just like flowers. 3. John Heartfield John Heartfield was another German experimental photographer. However, instead of using his work to portray different types of beauty etc, Heartfield used his art as a political weapon. His most famous pieces of work consisted of anti-Nazi campaigns and images. His work would most likely be found in history books. Again, just like Hoch, his work was historical and used traditional methods, such as illustrations and ink. I think this because all of his works look like World War 2 propaganda (which it was probably classed as or inspired by) and because there was no major digital inventions/machinery, certainly ones that could be afforded by such a person in them times, all the images would have had to be hand produced. This then leads me to think it would have all been produced in secrecy as if Heartfield produced these works publicly then he would probably been killed by the Nazis and his work destroyed. So with this in mind, he would have had to hand produce them in the safety of his own home. Adolf the Superman Swallows Gold and Spouts Junk, 1932, shows Hitler to have no heart and a greed for money (as his spine and other insides are made of it). The title of the artwork leads me to think that the meaning behind this piece is that in Johns eyes, Adolf had a lot of power and he stole other peoples possessions and promoted ideas that were false to then gain more power and more wealth. The Cross Was Not Yet Heavy Enough, 1933, puts the idea across that Hitler was the one to put Jesus on the cross. However, it also suggests that he wanted him to suffer more whilst carrying the cross, therefore, he is seen to be adding more onto the cross to make it harder for Jesus to carry and also successfully turning it into a Swastika. 4. Alvin Langdon Coburn Photographer, Alvin Langdon Coburn was a key figure in the experimental photography. He developed some of the first completely abstract photographs. His work was mainly created by using a system of mirrors to get the abstract effect. The shapes created by the mirrors create perfect straight lines, enough to try and make sense of the shapes and reflections. For example, one of his creations resembles the shape of a flying bird. Coburns work would most likely be featured in photography text books and galleries. I dont think theyd be used on billboards as they arent really anything promotional or can be used for advertising purposes. I feel like his work is historical and traditional (material wise) as it will have been taken on a film camera but it looks contemporary and non-traditional. 5. Man Ray Man Ray was an American modern artist who had a significant contribution to the Dada and Surrealism movement. His main bit of work is with photograms which he then named Rayographs in reference to himself. These are referred to as a cameraless picture. He made them by placing objects and material directly on light sensitive paper, which he then exposed to light and developed, achieving the end result. They look a lot like xrays, which they essentially are. Some of the objects he used to create the pieces are easily identifiable, such as strips of film and human body parts. Again, I feel like his work would be featured in photography text books and maybe even a few galleries but not a billboard. Also this work will be historical and traditional as it does not contain any digital producing, it is all done with film and dark rooms. 6. David Hockney David Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th centaury. His experimental photography pieces are made up of Polaroid pictures. All the images contained are of the same area/scene but are structured in a way to create an abstract look and feel about the picture or makes a piece look like a digital camera has taken a picture with a slow shutter speed. By using the Polaroid images he creates an extremely unique piece of work that stands out from other pieces of work by other artists. The work he has created is kind of contemporary but historical at the same time. This is because the images are printed on film but a film that was developed a lot later on, so could be considered modern. It is a traditional method though as all the images go together to create one big image, no digital editing involved or anything. I would expect to see the work maybe on billboards as an advert (the swimming pool one could be used for holiday adverts). I could also see this style being shown in books and galleries.