Assignment 4 – Photography Reflective Commentary

In writing the essay for Assignment 4, I have attempted to demonstrate understanding of the historic and cultural contexts of La Jetée as they seemed particularly relevant. It also seemed appropriate to reference later works by Chris Marker and others that were influenced by the film.

As I felt that the photography was integral to this work, I attempted to justify that argument using other sources and theoretical arguments from people such as Susan Sontag and the concept of the role of the reader. This was introduced when reading Roland Barthes’ essay ‘The Death of the Author’ in Part 2 (Creative Reading) and I wanted to start trying to tie together the learning from different sections.

I have tried to use a variety of sources but am still having difficulty finding primary sources. For example, I found a quote from Marker to Jacques Ledoux however I could not find the original letter, only quote from it in Darke’s book. I have tried to engage with the overarching themes of time and place in this essay as well as focussing on the importance of Marker’s use of photography.

I have attempted to act on my tutor’s feedback from earlier assignments, for example including a link in my bibliography to ensure that I am cross-referencing all my work.

As I mentioned in Part 3 Exercise 3 I have felt conflicted studying Photography. Whilst I have always enjoyed taking photographs, it was frustrating to realise how little stamina I have compared to a decade ago. To compensate for fluctuating energy and the shake I develop when tired, I realised that I needed to capitalise on higher energy levels by not procrastinating and planning ideas for practical tasks in advance.

Studying photography has shown me that it is worth looking to other disciplines for ideas on composition, colour combination and subject matter. Discussions with someone who had worked with David Bailey made it clear that the only way to get better at photography was to take lots of photographs so in future I intend to be more confident using trial and error to learn how to improve my understanding of my own camera and lenses.

Artists such as Ben Shahn and Yvan Salomone who use photography as prompts for their art fascinated me. Although it is challenging for me to undertake too much photography, I am keen to use it as a way to supplement my broader creative work. Reading Dialogue with Photography it became apparent that many photographers such as Minor White and Brassaï also engage in other creative practices.

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Assignment 4 – Chris Marker’s Use of Photography in La Jetée to Explore the Themes of Time and Place

Chris Marker’s Use of Photography in La Jetée to Explore the Themes of Time and Place

Time and place are explored in Chris Marker’s 1962 short film, La Jetée. Constructed almost entirely from photographs, the French story of a time travel experiment post-nuclear war is overshadowed by death, acting as momento mori. Orly airport viewing platform dominates the protagonist’s dreams. A place synonymous with travel combined with Marker’s stills invites the viewer to become a fellow tourist in time. Continue reading “Assignment 4 – Chris Marker’s Use of Photography in La Jetée to Explore the Themes of Time and Place”

Assignment 3 – Re-appropriating Images: The Relevance of Time and Place to the Interpretation of the European Flag

The image of the European flag (fig. 1) is widely seen on European Union (EU) products, online, citizenship documents such as passports and Customs signs at border crossings. It was designed to signify unity in 1955 but in 2016 Banksy responded to the UK’s EU referendum result by creating a work that re-appropriated the flag, subverting its intended meaning. Continue reading “Assignment 3 – Re-appropriating Images: The Relevance of Time and Place to the Interpretation of the European Flag”