ONLINE DOSSIER: CRITIC ANNOTATION NO.1
This semester’s project is a photographic correspondence with the photographer Jashim Salam. His body of work varies between documenting everyday life in Bangladesh and a critical confrontation of today’s circumstances. His photographic style and mine have some similarities: we produce images with clarity and compelling compositions, capture moments as they happen and do not focus on the individual but rather a person as a synonym for people in general.
Salam’s and my work also differ. He uses a shorter lens, showing more complex pictures, including his surroundings. In some pictures he shows himself, his shadow or some of his family members. The viewer gets an insight to his life and therefore identifies with him and his situation. In my work, I do my best to keep my shadow, reflection or even myself out of the frame. I believe this project will be compelling because of the similarities and differences in Salam’s and my photographic approach.
Before starting the project, I researched how other image makers have collaborated in visual projects. Víctor Erie and Abbas Kiarostami, two filmmakers, worked on a 10-minute film together. This was the center piece of their exhibit called Correspondences. Unfortunately, the rest of the exhibit was divided into two separate parts, one for each artist, without a connection to the other artist’s work. In an exhibit called Correspondences, I expect the major part of the work shown to be part of a correspondence. As a final exhibit, my goal is to only show Salam’s and my photographic dialogue, no division of the space for our individual works.
The two similar Instagram accounts @shinliart and @halfhalftravel follow the same concept: they merge their photographs, even without a border, to half and half images. On a first glance this appears delightful but wears off quickly. The compositions are strict and therefore limited. Possibly that is why they are not really inspiring and become boring after just looking at a few images.
Salam and I will not merge our pictures to one image. I am more interested in a »conversation« that can happen between two separate pictures that are displayed right next to each other. The viewer will be more engaged to have a close look, understand each picture individually and a dialogue between the two photographs on another level. Intriguing examples for a play happening between two images are shown by Markus Burke and Ruba Abu-Nimah. Both post images standing side-by-side, focusing on the formal side of the image (i.e. shape, color, gesture). Burke and Abu-Nimah make their individual compositions by themselves. Yet, in a similar way, David Campany and Anastasia Samoylova share a photographic dialogue on the same formal level. To achieve a deeper meaningful conversation, I am aiming to have a correspondence on the content level of the image (i.e. topic, theme).