Exercise: The Japanese Connection


Read Miranda GAvin’s reviews of Anders Petersen’s French Kiss and Jacob Aue Sobol’s I, Tokyo for Hotshoe Magazine. Read Bye, Bye Photography and researc the work of Daido Moriyama. Then write a reflective commenatary about the connections between thestyles of Moriyama, Petersen and Sobol.

(Open College of the Arts, 2014:52)


Are, bure, bokeh (Japanese terminology) translates to rough, blurred out, and out of focus and dominated the Provoke magazine era in the 1960s. Provoke magazine was first published in 1968 as a dojin-shi, or self-published magazine. The are-bure-bokeh style images created a great deal of controversy at the time, but the style seems to have perpetuated through the decades as can be seen in the work of Anders Petersen and Jacob Aue Sobol who were inspired by the work of Daido Moriyama.

Anders Petersen – French Kiss

Petersen’s work was heavily influenced by Daido Moriyama, Nan Goldin and Boris Mikhailov and he describes it as ‘personal documentary’ . According to Michael Grieve of 1000 Words, Petersen ‘captures the blur in between [that which is real and that which is not], the slight distortion of sight, and uncanny associations in that non-defined zone by which the surrealists were so fascinated’ (Grieve, s.d.). As one can see in the video above, the work in his book, French Kiss, is punctuated by sexual overtones , innuendos and symbols. The images are full bleed, with no room for captions at all, which allows the viewer to put his/her own spin on the images. Petersen shows the viewer the darker, seedier side of life. Like Moriyama, Petersen also shoots with a small point and shoot compact camera with a 35mm lens.

Jacob Aue Sobol – I, Tokyo

Like Petersen, Sobol also uses full bleed images in his book with no captions. He crops in tightly on his subjects allowing them to fill the page entirely, leaving hardly any room for the viewer to find context. His book also contains images of a sexual nature, some quite bizarre to say the least. One really has to wonder how, as an outsider, he managed to gain access to those intimate moments (or managed to stage them – which ever is the case). Or did those subjects receive payment? I’m not entirely sure that I agree with Gavin’s remark that Sobol’s ‘sensitivity … allow(s) eroticism and danger to seep through his images without becoming sordid or clichd’.

Daido Moriyama – Shashin yo sayonara (Bye bye photography)

Moriyama’s book Bye Bye Photography was made when he was very young. He was one of the founding photographers of Provoke magazine (a very short lived magazine in that it only produced three issues, but was extremely influential in establishing ‘are-bure-bokeh’ style work). The photographs were made during a time when Japan was slowly recovering from the aftermath of the atomic bomb and dealing with the invasion of American culture and its effects on collective Japanese identity. The images are an act of social rebellion on Moriyama’s part. Constantly questioning what photography was and why he was taking photos, he decided to push the boundaries of photography by including photos that had their negatives basically trashed in the bin, or walked over on the floor. The results are images that are gritty, grainy and raw, featuring blown highlights and dense shadows. His work is highly subjective, yet accurately reflects the chaotic everyday life in Japan’s megacities. He has always, and still does, used a compact camera for his photography.

It is obvious that Moriyama has been a forerunner with this type of work. He is a true street photographer, roaming the streets for hours on end (see Tate video listed below). There is a clear link in the way the three photographers approach their work and its visual output. Sobol’s work is less blurry or out of focus that Moriyama’s and Petersen’s work. Personally I find this work quite hard to read and very depressing.



Anders Petersen – Frenchkiss (Kehrer Books). (2016) At: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e2wpYyHTNY (Accessed on 26 September 2019)

Anders Petersen on Vimeo (2011) At: https://vimeo.com/34125446 (Accessed on 26 September 2019)

Are Bure Bokeh (s.d.) At: https://www.lomography.com/competitions/3214-are-bure-bokeh (Accessed on 26 September 2019)

Borrelli, V. (s.d.) Daido Moriyama: Shashin yo sayonara Bye, bye photography, dear / Farewell photography First Edition SIGNED | Daido MORIYAMA, Takuma, NAKAHIRA | 1st Edition. At: https://www.vincentborrelli.com/pages/books/110799/daido-moriyama-takuma-nakahira/daido-moriyama-shashin-yo-sayonara-bye-bye-photography-dear-farewell-photography-first-edition (Accessed on 26 September 2019)

Daido Moriyama on social rebellion in 1960s Japan. (2019) Directed by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. At: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQEDzei15UU (Accessed on 26 September 2019)

Grieve, M. (s.d.) Anders Petersen | 1000 Words. At: http://www.1000wordsmag.com/anders-petersen/ (Accessed on 26 September 2019)

Presenting I,Tokyo by Jacob Aue Sobol. (2012) At: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKdHk6ekRKk (Accessed on 26 September 2019)

Smyth, D. (2019) Daido Moriyama wins the 2019 Hasselblad Foundation International Award. At: https://www.bjp-online.com/2019/03/daido-moriyama-wins-2019-hasselblad-award/ (Accessed on 26 September 2019)

Tate (2012) Artist Daido Moriyama – In Pictures | Tate – YouTube. At: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foWAs3V_lkg (Accessed on 27 September 2019)


Contemporary Street Photography

So what is street photography? Its a long tradition that goes back to the invention of photography. It is an inquisitive and spontaneous response to everyday life, a reaction to the idiosyncrasies of public life.

It is just at the moment when a photograph verges on complete incoherence that its ability to provoke thought and convey beauty is much more profound in its implications. Street photographs are simultaneously random and precise, existing both as social documents and aesthetic treasures.

(Patrick, 2002)

It is a form of witness in which perceptions are implied or evidenced in that one moment which Henri Cartier-Bresson defined as peripateia (a drastic or unexpected turning point that indicates a reversal of circumstances). It is more commonly understood as ‘the decisive moment’. It is that moment when the photographer presses the shutter button on his camera to capture ‘the dramatic instant that will come to signify [reality]’ (Bate, 2009). Street photographers roam the streets looking for the unusual or unexpected, lingering, staring and eavesdropping ‘and in doing so they hold up a mirror to the kind of societies we are making for ourselves’ (Howarth and McLaren, 2011:9).

I decided to take a look at some of the photographers mentioned in Street Photography Now, focusing on some of the photographers who are less well known (to me at any rate).

Maciej Dakowicz

Maciej Daknowicz is a Polish born photojournalist who documents the aftermath of nightlife in the streets of his hometwon of Cardiff.

02:29. Late Meal, Cardiff, 2007 by Maciej Dakowicz

This image by Dakowicz reminds me of one of Martin Parr’s images from his The Last Resort project. Dakowicz’s project captures the aftermath of nightlife in the streets of Cardiff. He photographs revellers on their way home, documenting a world without glamour. The image above, taken in the early hours of the morning shows two couples sitting at a bus stop probably waiting for their bus home and emphasizes society’s obsession with fast food, and disregard for the environment. I’m lucky to live in a country where littering is severely frowned upon and people for the most part will dump their garbage in the trash can usually located close to a bus stop, so I find it very strange that people will willingly sit and eat a meal surrounded by junk.

Martin Kollar

Martin Kollar was born in Slovakia in 1971 and now lives in Paris. His Nothing Special project shows how the people of countries previously behind the iron curtain are experiencing their new economic opportunities and liberties that have since opened up to them.

Nădlac, Romania, 2001 by Martin Kollar

The image above is bizarre, and humorous and begs the viewer to author his/her own narrative. Did the man take a tumble off his bike and land with his head and shoulders in the manhole? Or is he looking for something in there – the red rectangular item to his side might be a book – or is he actually working? In the middle ground the comical scene is compounded by the rooster strutting across the road and the silly question “why did the chicken cross the road” keeps popping up in my mind. As Kollar states: ‘Irony is provocative, since it often uncovers the hidden meanings’ (Howarth and McLaren, 2011:98)

Frederic Lezmi

Lezmi was born in Germany to a German mother and Lebanese father. His work centres around identity and he is interested in the interplay and tensions between Western values and Eastern traditions.

Bucharest, Romania, 2008 by Frederic Lezmi

The above image is very surreal. Lezmi has managed to achieve so many layers in this photograph that it requires a long in-depth examination. What appears to be inside in some cases, is outside and that fact makes this photo quite challenging to read. The warm tones of the woman’s jacket, hair, sign going through her head are echoed in the hue of the tree and are anchored by the red restaurant sign above her and her red desk caddies.

‘The viewer’s eye is being multiplied, inverted and divided in order to put on trial and call into question the perception of cultural differences and their importance for the present and the past of our society’.

(Lezmi in Howarth and McLaren, 2011:109)

Paul Russell

Paul Russell is the only British photographer that I have included in my research. Russell specializes in photographing scenes at coastal resorts in the UK. His photos are imbued with humour, as well as a touch of nostalgia.

Bristol, England, 2007 by Paul Russell

The above photograph is beautifully balanced with the two ladies against a white backdrop. It is a photo of similarities (similar floral dresses, overcoats, sensible shoes,  orange handbags, photographs and walking sticks). It is also an image of opposites (tall lady, small picture with dark frame, grey hair, dark coat, light coloured shoes, raised walking stick – indeed she looks as if she wants to knock the other lady over the head! – vs short lady, dark hair, dark shoes, light coat, large picture with light frame, walking stick on the ground). I wish I could hear the conversation that is happening, my head is spinning with various captions I would attach to this image if it was mine.

‘Birdwatchers will often spend hours waiting for a small, nondescript brown bird to leave its nest [observes Russell] ‘but we rarely stop to examine our everyday behaviour in such detail’.

(Howarth and McLaren, 2011:169)


Bate, D. (2009) Photography The Key Concepts. London: Bloomsbury

Howarth, S. and McLaren, S. (2011) Street Photography Now. London: Thames & Hudson.

Patrick, M. (2002) MAX KOZLOFF: “Vaguely Stealthy Creatures: Max Kozloff on the Poetics of Street Photography” (2002) – AMERICAN SUBURB X. At: https://americansuburbx.com/2009/07/theory-vaguely-stealthy-creatures-max.html (Accessed on 25 September 2019

Research Point: Vivian Maier

We are asked to look at the Vivian Maier website (www.vivianmaier.com) and identify five street photographs that show the influence of surrealism, and write a short commentary in our learning log.

In looking at Maier’s images, I have tried to pick out some examples of the psychoanalytic distinctions of the primary thinking process that I researched in a previous post. In the image below we have a group of sailors getting ready to depart as they are surrounded by suitcases and duffel bags. They are bathed in a light streaming in from three windows above. The light is so strong that it overwhelms the clarity of the picture, rendering all figures in very soft focus and this creates an association of life or death. Are these sailors bathed in a light of protection or blessing or is it an ominous foreshadowing of what is to come? Given the date the photograph was taken (post WW2) we can probably safely conclude that the connotation was not meant to be ominous.

Maier certainly had a wicked sense of humour as we can see from Figures 2 and 5. Figure 5 would certain fall into the “primitive content” as it has a bit of a sexual overtone, while Figure 2 would conform to “unusual and bizarre imagery“. Both photos make us do a double take to figure out what we are looking at exactly.

Fig. 1 June 25, 1961 VM1961W00839-08-MC

Fig. 2. January 1956 VM1956W03408-10-MC

Fig. 3. 1960s. Chicago, IL VM1968-9W01816-07-MC

Fig. 4. Undated VM19XXW03075-08-MC

Fig. 5. 1977 VM1977K05746-05-MC

Figure 3 emphasizes how strange juxtapositions can set our minds racing to make connections. Apart from the dog’s chain echoing the telephone cable (rather suggestive of a noose), there are also some disturbing signs across the road about Genuine Spring Lamb (the poodle looks remarkably like a sheep). Freud’s screen-memories are evidenced in Figure 4 with the layering of the reflections of the street scene and the interior of the coffee shop. Although the woman is bathed in light, she is accompanied by two dark, ghostlike characters who seem to be watching her.


Kuit, L. (2019) Research Point: ‘Canon Fodder: Authoring Eugène Atget’. At: https://lyndakuitphotographydocumentary.wordpress.com/2019/09/22/research-point-cannon-fodder-authoring-eugene-atget/ (Accessed on 24 September 2019)

Maier, V. (s.d.) Vivian Maier Photographer | Official website of Vivian Maier | Vivian Maier Portfolios, Prints, Exhibitions, Books and documentary film. At: http://www.vivianmaier.com/ (Accessed on 24 September 2019)

Exercise: Street Photography

Choose one of the weekly instructions given to contributors to the Street Photography Now Project in 2011 and build a small portfolio of B&W images on your chosen brief.

Publish a selection of five images from your portfolio on your blog.

(Open College of the Arts, 2014:50)

I chose the following instruction:

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5


Open College of the Arts (2014) Photography 2: Documentary-Fact and Fiction (Course Manual). Barnsley: Open College of the Arts.

Street Photography Now Project (s.d.) At: https://streetphotographynowproject.wordpress.com (Accessed on 23 September 2019)

Research Point: ‘Cannon Fodder: Authoring Eugène Atget’


Read the essay ‘Canon Fodder: Authoring Eugène Atget’ by Abigail Solomon-Godeau … Research the work of the surrealist photographers (Henri Cartier-Bresson, André Kertész, George Brassaï, Man Ray, Eugène Atget, Paolo Pellegrin, Tony Ray-Jones) and  write a bullet list of key visual and conceptual characteristics that you think their work has in common.

(Open College of the Arts, 2014:48)

Solomon-Godeau’s essay is rather heavy reading so I’m jotting some brief notes and comments as I work my way through the work.

  • Essay is about how an author is constructed; how canons are constructed; what interests are served. How Atget’s work is presented both historically and in the present and how cultural production is organized and perceived.
  • Heterodox = not conforming to accepted or orthodox standards or beliefs.
  • Solomon-Godeau refers to concept of authorship as developed by Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes.
  • Some side research into Foucault’s concept of “author-function”:
    1. Discourses are objects of appropriation. The forms of ownership have been codified and historically this stems from the judicial systems. Originally a discourse was an action that was situated in the binary field of sacred/profane, lawful/unlawful, religious/blasphemous. Once a system of ownership was formulated (rules regarding copyright, author’s rights, publisher relations, reproduction rights), the possibility of transgression became attached to the text. (This seems a rather back-to-front way of establishing who the author is).
    2. The author-function is not universal in that it doesn’t affect all discourses in the same way or in all civilizations.
    3. The author-function doesn’t develop spontaneously. The reader (or viewer) tries to discern the author’s intentions by projecting their own comparisons, connections, perceived traits or exclusions to the work.
    4. The text always contains a number of signs that refer to the author. In written text this would be the author’s particular way of using personal pronouns, adverbs of time and place and verb conjugations. (I would put this forward as “style” in photography). Just as the author of a novel may write in the first person, the reader realises that this is not actually referring to the actual writer, but an alter-ego. The author-function “does not refer purely and simply to a real individual, since it can give rise simultaneously to several selves, to several subjects-positions that can be occupied by different classes of individuals” (Foucault, 1998: 216).
  • Solomon-Godeau structures her essay around the perspectives of five other curators/critics. She (Solomon-Godeau, 1991:231) states that because “Atget, … [is] currently positioned as the exemplar, progenitor and patriarch of modern photography and celebrated unanimously by the photographic community” his work carries with it the notion of “investment” – both psychically and economically.
  • Walter Benjamin described Atget’s work at the “forerunner of surrealist photography” (Solomon-Godeau, 1991:28), praising him for his ability to strip away any artifice (both of the photographer and of the reality before him).
  • Berenice Abbott considered Atget’s work as “realism unadorned” (Solomon-Godeau, 1991: 31), while using his work to validate the kind of work she wanted to do. Abbott though, seems to contradict herself by stating that Atget never worked on assignment and then listing his clients and this causes some confusion as to whether his work was commercial based or initiated on from a personal basis.
  • Stuart Franklin provides one of the most descriptive and clearest descriptions I have come across in describing surrealism. He states: “Surrealism became something of a wild animal befriended by the art world. It grazed on the dialectical tension between dream and reality, between what is actually there and what we imagine” (Franklin, 2016:151).
  • Solomon-Godeau also refers to Rosalind Krauss’s essay ‘Photography’s Discursive Spaces: Landscape/View‘ which goes into some depth on the cataloguing of Atget’s work and the vast number size of his archive (over 10,000 photographs). I wrote quite a lengthy review on this during the Landscape Module which can be found here.
  • Much attention is given to John Szarkowski, curator at MOMA, who mounted four exhibitions of Atget’s work. Solomon-Godeau (Solomon-Godeau, 1991: 39),criticizes Szarkowski for taking credit for canonising Atget’s work, using the power of his position at MOMA to “justify, promote and pedigree his preferences” at the cost of the feminine scholarship which had gone before.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Cartier-Bresson’s work was influenced by André Breton and the Cubist painter André Lhote who made him aware of geometric lines and shapes. According to Clément Chéroux in Franklin (2016: 155), “surrealism … made a deep impact” on Cartier-Bresson, “the subversive spirit, the taste for games, the scope given to the subconscious, the pleasure of strolling through the city, and the openness to the pleasures of chance”. His photographs depict not only a perceptive grasp on the human condition but also have a sense of ambiguity. Franklin goes on to say that it is essential to understand the documentary value of Cartier-Bresson’s work. Although his style may have conformed to Surrealism and formalism he photographed his subjects with sensitivity and respect. Another extremely interesting comment made by Franklin gives me a lot of food for thought: “It is important to understand that the style that a photographer adopts (type of camera, film, aesthetic) is not always the same as his or her approach as a human being towards life going on around him or her” (Franklin 2016: 157). Does this mean that we become our alter-egos when behind the camera? I know that I have photographed and approached people that I most probably would not normally have approached if I did not have a camera in my hand. Does the camera make us bolder? Please see https://pro.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&ALID=29YL53KGUTK&CT=Album for examples of Cartier-Bresson’s photographic development.

André Kertész

Interestingly the International Center of Photography does not regard Kertész’s work as belonging to the surrealism genre, nor does it classify him as a photojournalist, yet acknowledges that his work was a fusion of both genres. This was confirmed in  Kertész’s own words as documented in an online exhibition overview of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO): “I am absolutely a realist” ­ even though his brand of realism was often characterized by the abstraction of common objects through dramatic illumination and innovative framing devices” (Art Gallery of Ontario, 2000). He made use of geometric lines, patterns, deep space and juxtapositions in his photography, with the intention of complementing or altering the picture content. Just like Steve McCurry, Kertész also developed a passion for photographing people reading, especially in outdoor spaces.

Examples of  Kertész’s work can be seen at: https://huxleyparlour.com/artists/andre-kertesz/ .

Man Ray

Man Ray was a central proponent to Surrealism. His contribution to Surrealism involved photograms (which he preferred to call rayographs by placing objects, various materials and parts of a model’s body or even his own hands on photo-sensitive paper, exposing them to light to create negative images), solarization (deliberately switching on the light while processing in the dark room). He liked to make use of negative space and shadows; the partial surrender of compositional decisions to accident; and, in its precise, hard-edged application of unmodulated color, the removal of traces of the artist’s hand. His images were often considered as the origin of Surrealism in photography.

“I deliberately dodged all the rules, … I mixed the most insane products together, I used film way past its use – by date, I committed heinous crimes against chemistry and photography, and you can’t see any of it”.

(Sanchez, 2014)

Man Ray, in collaboration with Marcel Duchamp. Dust Breeding, 1920.

George Brassaï

I have always admired Brassaï’s work, but would never have considered them to be surrealist, although now looking at a few images on various websites, I can see some images that would fall into that category. Brassaï is well known for his night scenes in Paris. He often photographed the seedier side of the city, although he did photograph scenes from high society as well. His first book entitled Paris de nuit (Paris by night) was a stunning collection of black and white images that juxtaposed luminous, dreamlike nightscapes with contemporary documentary images of the Paris’s nighttime occupants.  He made extensive use of light (reflected on the wet streets or diffused by the frequent fog) and as an extension of that, darkness and shadows featured prominently in his work. He used a fixed lens camera, mounted on a wooden tripod so unlike Cartier-Bresson, his subjects were always aware of him and collaborated with him.

Couple d’Amoureux dans un Petit Café, Quartier Italie, c.1932 by Brassai

Bullet List of Key Visual and Conceptual Characteristics

John Suler, photographer and Professor of Psychology at Rider University states that in order to understand surrealism we need to understand the psychoanalytic distinctions between primary and secondary process thinking. Our secondary process thinking is where our reason, rationality, practicality, and logic lies and is the mechanism of the conscious mind. We learn it as we grow up through means of education and adaption to the social world. Surreal photography, however, originates in our primary process thinking which is “our inborn, idiosyncratic, and more fundamental mode of experiencing the world, mostly relegated to the unconscious as we grow into civilized adult beings” (Suler, s.d.). The primary thinking process usually surfaces in our dreams and some of its characteristics are:

  • it is primitive and primal
  • involves intense emotions, instincts, and experiences
  • defies reality, dwelling more on illogical, unusual, and bizarre imagery
  • features distortions and even transcendence of time and space
  • it is highly symbolic, richly imagistic, and sensation-oriented
  • there are unusual associations between ideas and images
  • it allows the experience of the physical and psychological self to be stretched, distorted, and merged with other things and other people
  • it focuses on the experience of the self and one’s internal world

(Suler, s.d.)

In some cases the surreal aspect is fairly subtle, at other times quite bizarre. Suler goes on to explain that in some cases it is the content that pushes the photograph into the surrealistic realm, while in others it is the visual style (like Man Ray’s work for example)


  • Blur – associated with falling, disorientation, fainting, movement or even death (created by intentional camera movement (ICM), slowing down shutter speed; and bokeh)
  • Intense sharpness, detail, and contrast (HDR)
  • Intensified and unusual texture
  • Intensified and unusual color (by changing the colour of something in post processing we can change or alter the emotions felt by the viewer)
  • Composites and blendings (multiple exposures, layering, reflections. This in turn has the effect of merging time, places and objects — Freud’s ‘screen-memories is referred to here).
  • Frozen movement (high speed photography, e.g. water droplet frozen in space)
  • Perceptual distortions and illusions (lens distortion. I think of the many images of people holding up the leaning tower at Pisa, or people holding the moon in their hands)
  • Strange juxtapositions (the placement of two unrelated things together – the more dissimilar they are, the more powerful and symbolic the connection between them will be – Graciela Iturbide’s photograph of the woman with the iguanas on her head come to mind).
  • Primitive content (images showing various behaviours, instincts, sexual or aggressive scenes. Images that engender emotions of anger, fear, surprise, sadness, love, contempt etc., the blatancy of which might in turn shock, disgust, surprise or provoke anxiety or other emotions in the viewer).



All About Photo.com (s.d.) George Brassaï Photographer | All About Photo. At: https://www.all-about-photo.com/photographers/photographer/6/george-brassai (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

André Kertész | International Center of Photography (s.d.) At: https://www.icp.org/exhibitions/andr%C3%A9-kert%C3%A9sz (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

André Kertész | Photographer’s Biography & Art Works | Huxley-Parlour Gallery (s.d.) At: https://huxleyparlour.com/artists/andre-kertesz/ (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

Art Gallery of Ontario (2000) To Look Again: André Kertész. At: https://ago.ca/exhibitions/look-again-andre-kertesz (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

Cartier-Bresson, H. (s.d.) Magnum Photos. At: https://pro.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&ALID=29YL53KGUTK&CT=Album (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

Foucault, M. (1998) ‘What is an Author?’ Translated by Hurley, R. et al In: Faubion, J.D. (ed.) Aesthetics, Method and Epistemology. New York: The New Press.  pp.205–222.

Franklin, S. (2016) The Documentary Impulse. London: Phaidon Press Limited.

Iturbide, G. (s.d.) Graciela Iturbide » Juchitán. At: http://www.gracielaiturbide.org/en/category/juchitan/ (Accessed on 18 September 2019)

Kim, E. (s.d.) Henri Cartier-Bresson Was a Master Surrealist Street Photographer. At: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2017/12/25/henri-cartier-bresson-was-a-master-surrealist-street-photographer/ (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

Kordic, A. (2015) The Emergence of Surrealism in Photography – How Creators of Surreal Photos Shaped the Past Century | Widewalls. At: https://www.widewalls.ch/surrealism-photography/ (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

Kuit, L. (2017) Exercise 1.2 Photography in the museum or in the gallery?. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylandscape.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/exercise-1-2-photography-in-the-museum-or-in-the-gallery/ (Accessed on 21 September 2019)

Meltzer, S. (2014) The piercing eye of Brassaï: the stunning work of a master French photographer. At: https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2014/01/07/the-piercing-eye-of-brassai-a-brief-history-of-a-master-photographer (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

MOMA (s.d.) Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky). At: https://www.moma.org/artists/3716 (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

O’Hagan, S. (2014) ‘Comrade Cartier-Bresson: the great photographer revealed as a communist’ In: The Guardian 20 February 2014 [online] At: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/feb/20/henri-cartier-bresson-exhibition-pompidou-centre-communist (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

Open College of the Arts (2014) Photography 2: Documentary-Fact and Fiction (Course Manual). Barnsley: Open College of the Arts.

Sanchez, G. (2014) Man Ray: Rayographs & Solarizations ⋆ In the In-Between. At: https://www.inthein-between.com/man-ray-before-digital/ (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

Solomon-Godeau, A. (1991) ‘Canon Fodder: Authoring Eugène Atget’ In: Photography at the Dock | Essays on Photographic History, Institutions, and Practices. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.  pp.28–51.

Suler, J. (s.d.) Photographic Psychology: Image and Psyche. At: http://users.rider.edu/~suler/photopsy/surreal.htm (Accessed on 22 September 2019)

Psychogeographies, B&W and surrealism

I had some exposure to psychogeography, Charles Baudelaire‘s concept of the flâneur  and Guy Debord’s writings during the Landscape module (here and here). Siobhan Lyons describes psychogeography as “the intersection of psychology and geography” and this description, I think highlights the emotional aspect of psychogeography. It is not only the act of wandering aimlessly through a city, but experiencing the “vibe” or history of the place.

The transition of a space from one use to another undergirds much of psychogeography’s preoccupation; the notion of a palimpsest – an object or piece of writing with new material superimposed over earlier writings – is particularly important.

(Lyons, 2017)

Lyons’ article makes mention of “traumascapes” (places where suffering of some sort occurred, e.g. Berlin, 911 sites) and also mentioned Iain Sinclair’s concept of “Obscenery” (places of negative connotation which have been transformed into recreational or other spaces, e.g. a landfill converted to a community park) and this has got me wondering if any such places exist in my rural neck of the woods. This might possibly be worth investigating as an assignment.

We are asked to look at Graciela Iturbide’s project called Juchitan. Her work is a conglomeration of documentary, constructed or staged work and surrealism. I found it strangely disturbing. Iturbide seems to have an obsession with chickens. One of the strangest images is possibly a photo of the woman wearing a hat made up of large iguanas! On the Amber Collection site there is a photograph of a child lying in a bed covered by a sheet surrounded by flowers. At first impression one is led to believe that this is a dead child, but after looking at the images on her personal website there is another image of the same child taken from another viewpoint which clearly shows the child’s eyes and different arm positions. As James Curtis mentioned in his essay, its important to dig around to see if one can uncover other photographs in order to delve into the “truth”.



Iturbide, G. (s.d.) Graciela Iturbide » Juchitán. At: http://www.gracielaiturbide.org/en/category/juchitan/ (Accessed on 18 September 2019a)

Iturbide, G. (s.d.) Juchitan – Amber Collection. At: https://www.amber-online.com/collection/juchitan/ (Accessed on 18 September 2019b)

Lyons, S. (2017) Psychogeography: a way to delve into the soul of a city. At: http://theconversation.com/psychogeography-a-way-to-delve-into-the-soul-of-a-city-78032 (Accessed on 18 September 2019)