Gueorgui Pinkhassov: Sightwalk

Recently I have been struggling to formulate a concept for a new project, which revolved around a particular sight. I have toyed with the idea of creating a series of portraits within one area, in order to explore the diversity of lifestyles with a small area but I am struggling to put this idea into practice. I have chosen a street and wrote to each house along that street asking if they would be interested in participating in this project. As I wait for a response I have been exploring other options, which led me to discover Gueorgui Pinkhassov’s book ‘Sightwalk.

This photographers work is completely new to me and the experience of reading this photobook was a completely unique one. I had found this book by scanning through the shelves of all the photobooks at the library and this book jumped out with its weirdly textured, purple cover. Having an initial flick through I was immediately drawn to the aesthetic style of this work, the colours, the compositions and the abstract style were all aspects I could relate to. Because of this I decided to sit down and have a detailed look through the body of work.

The photographs seemed to be split into sections, or chapters, each section starting with a list of words, such as ‘fishmarket’, ‘sunlight’ and ‘parking’. At no point throughout the book does it explain these words or the body of work. I came to the conclusion that the words must correspond to the following photographs, but there is no order to them so the matching of the word is left up to the viewer. Because of this I had quite a unique viewing experience and a lot more of an interactive one than I usually do when going through a photobook. Once I paired a word with an image I later realise that word could apply to a different image, so I would go back to the list of words and find a different one that could match what I was seeing in the photograph. This caused me to have several alternate perspectives of a single photograph, which I found extremely interesting and exciting as I don’t think I have ever viewed an image in such a way.

This got me thinking about how the photographer can alter the meaning of a subject, simply by placing it within a framework they have devised. I thought of how an object acquires meaning by the way in which it is photographed and sequenced among a series. With this in mind I am thinking of creating a narrative by photographing found objects within a particular site. These subjects may not have any relation to one another but hopefully by the way in which they are captured and placed alongside each other the viewer will begin to interpret them in their own unique narrative.

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