9 Eyes Of Google – Jon Rafman
When viewing photography I always find myself asking what was the intention of the photographer, why that subject? Why that moment? But as these photographs were taken by the ‘9 Eyes of Google’, a machine capturing moments free of human intervention, I find myself at a loss to find an agenda to these photographs. Each frame seems to have a moment of significance but that moment seems to be captured unintentionally. Its this process of accidentally freezing a moment that has purpose but knowing there is not an agenda in taking them that baffles me.
For me, looking at this work clarifies who it is that brings purpose to the photographs, the viewer. As I begin to play with this idea that it is the viewer that solely brings the meaning to the photograph, I remind myself that someone has selected these scenes, sequenced them and framed them, narrowing our view of the location in its entirety. This person has transformed what can be argued to be a completely objective tool into a subjective piece of work. The moments are free of intention but the framing is not.
The Little Black Jacket – Karl Lagerfeld
This body of work has been created by Karl Lagerfeld, a fashion designer, stylist and photographer. The series was not explained in detail, all I knew of it was that the same black jacket features in each portrait. The styling of the sitters and the jacket vary quite drastically throughout the series, but there is one thing that remains a constant in all the photographs, that is the visual language of Karl Lagerfeld.
He uses a very similar set up in each image, the lighting and backdrop appear the same and just the sitters and the jacket vary between each frame. It is very similar to Richard Avedons work in that it isolates each sitter removing them from any social context. As a result the only individuating factors that come into play are the sitters and the slight variation in the jacket. The jacket begins to take on a life of its own by transforming itself in every different interaction the photographer has with his subjects.