In my Assignment 1 feedback my tutor mentioned that I should look at Laura Letinsky’s still life work, particularly her use of planes. I have looked at her work online and although the subject matter is a trifle bizarre there is an ethereal quality about it. As she states in an interview at the Photographers’ Gallery prior to the opening of her exhibition, Ill Form and Void Full, her setup is shoddily put together and one of her objectives in her work is to break the illusion of perfection. There is an awkward balance which comes through in her work. Many of the items in her photos are precariously balancing on the edge of a table or shelf, on the verge of toppling over. She uses natural light and is sometimes amazed at the way the light interacts with her constructions. Size and scale of her work is important to her as she wants the viewer to have a sense of proximity, a feeling that they are taking part in the narrative and standing before the table.
In an interview with Aperture in 2013 she made a statement that gave me much food for thought: “Alongside its ability to provoke sensations, photography has a way of homogenizing experience. A piece of schumutz and a Tiffany diamond become the same thing once they’re photographed—they become photographs. I have a love/hate relationship with this power of the camera to flatten difference.” This is so true. I have never thought about photography as a leveler before. It would be so easy if all the wrongs in the world could be righted with the power of photography, but unfortunately we live in a 3 dimensional world. But definitely a statement to mull over.
Although I am not crazy about doing still life myself, I will most likely review her work some more and see if I can emulate her methods during the rainy days in Vancouver when it is too wet to shoot outdoors.
An Interview with Laura Letinsky [webcast, online] The Photographers’ Gallery, 18/01/2013. 4 minutes 51 seconds. http://vimeo.com/57683797 (accessed 25/07/2014)
Sholis, Brian. (2013) Interview with Laura Letinsky [online]. Aperture. Available from: http://www.aperture.org/blog/interview-with-laura-letinsky/ [Accessed 25 July, 2014]