RPHC4003 - Year 1 - Contextual Studies: Photography: Part 2 Unit Leader: Francis Summers The second term builds on the

concepts introduced in the first by examining the way in which major philosophical and cultural themes frame the construction of the image, influence our understanding of visual signs and our approach to ‘reading’ and comprehension. This is explored historically and in relation to contemporary practice, within fine art and communication media and from the perspective of the creator, publisher and audience. The unit introduces first year students to new themes and fresh ways of thinking that can broaden and deepen their cultural perspective, ability to discuss critically and their understanding of the image and their approach to visual practice. There will be an attempt to link these themes to the other units that you are undertaking alongside this unit in order to widen your understanding of theses areas. What will happen in the unit: This unit will consist of a series of lectures, group tutorials and seminars. The assessed requirement for the unit will be an essay of 2,000 words utilising academic referencing. Please see the schedule for the exact timetable. Attendance is mandatory.

The aims of this unit are: A1. To explore ideas of visual language and the visual construction of meaning through theoretical concepts and photographic practice. A2. To promote a critical understanding of theories of perception, representation, contemporary communication and cultural meaning. A3. To promote the investigation and understanding of how cultural history informs the present and historical and contemporary visual practice. A4. To promote and support the development of essential academic skills i.e. research, analysis of texts, structuring of argument and the ability to critically analyse and debate verbally and in writing. Learning outcomes for unit: On successful completion of this unit you will be able to demonstrate: LO1 A growing understanding of critical ideas regarding perception, meaning, and communication. LO2 A growing appreciation of the application and operation of concepts of visual communication to both historical and contemporary practice particularly in photography. LO3 A developing knowledge of theoretical cultural ideas and perspectives and their importance in both historical and contemporary practice LO4 Developing essential academic skills to support, explore, and expand concepts, support critical analysis, the understanding and development of ideas and their expression in verbal and written form Assessment requirement: Essay of 2,000 words. This accounts for 70% of the units marks

Lecture Schedule: All lectures will be held in 806 Week 1: Monday 21st Jan. 10 – 11am Unit Introduction Week 2: Monday 28th Jan. 10 – 11am Photography as Picture or Document: Victorian photography as paradigm Week 3: Monday 4th Feb. 10 – 11am Documentary Strategies: Examples from an American context Week 4: Monday 11th Feb 10 – 11am Objectivity and Deadpan: Examples from a German context Week 5: Monday 18th Feb 10 – 11 Sequence and the Page: Fashion Stories Week 6: Monday 25th Feb 10 – 11 Educating Vision: Avant-garde experiments in European photography Week 7: Monday 4th March 10 -11 A Question of Beauty Week 8: Monday 11th March 10 – 11 Locating the Digital: Construction or Velocity? Week 9: Monday 18th March – essay support group tutorials with Francis Summers EASTER 28th MARCH – 14TH APRIL Week 10: Monday 15t h April – essay support group tutorials with Tracey Ashmore

Seminar Schedule: All seminars will be held in 806. A task will be set for each session, and each session is expected to be driven by student input. It is expected that you read the supplied texts before seminar as these texts will form the basis of discussion. Please see the iCal for group times. *Seminar 1: Monday 4th Feb What is a photograph? Picture or Document? Set texts: Bull, Stephen (2010) 'The Photograph as Document' and 'Photographs as Art' in his Photography, Routledge *Seminar 2: Monday 11th Feb How is a photograph? Subjective or Objective (Snapshot or Deadpan?) Set texts: Cotton, Charlotte (2004) 'Deadpan' in her The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Thames & Hudson Kotz, Liz (1998) 'Aesthetics of Intimacy' in Bright, Deborah (ed). The Passionate Camera, Routledge *Seminar 3: Monday 11th March What's the difference, analogue or digital? Set texts: Ritchen, Fred (2009) 'Into the Digital' and 'Towards a Hyperphotography' in his After Photography, W.W.Norton & Co.

Essay Support Please see the iCal for group times. *Monday 25th Feb Essay writing support workshop A follow-up on general strategies, methods and skills for essay writing *Monday 18th March Group essay tutorials with Francis Summers Task: to clarify essay questions, helping decide which essay to choose and why, to discuss strategies for beginning to write the essay *Monday 15th April Group essay tutorials with Tracey Ashmore Task: to support issues of structure and argument, to address any study skills questions / issues

Essay Questions: Address one of the three following questions. 1. Compare and contrast the work of Robert Frank and Andreas Gursky Some pointers: Consider how each different photographer has used different methodologies to represent the world through documentary methods. What stylistic differences can you perceive? How does each photographer respond to a notion of representation of a particular time and place? What relation to snapshot or deadpan is there in this work? What other photographers might be relevant? (Examples: Diane Arbus, Candida Hofer, Lee Friedlander, Thomas Ruff) 2. "Beauty is difficult" (Ezra Pound, Canto LXXX); explore the implications of this quote with visual and critical examples Some pointers: Consider how the notion of beauty arrives in both our culture and in photographic practice. Which modes of photography valorise beauty or ugliness and how is this constructed? How does beauty arrive, or how is it encountered in photography? Is beauty natural or manufactured? What alternate models of beauty / ugliness have some photographers explored? (Examples: Pierre et Gilles, Lewis Baltz, Tim Walker, Hans Bellmer, Juergen Teller, Andres Serrano) 3. How has digital technology changed our ideas about photographic materiality and the space of publication? Some pointers: Discuss, with examples, some key issues in recent publication of photographs via different digital platforms (for example, the photographer’s website, the photographic agency website, user generated content websites [Flickr / Youtube / Tumblr / Facebook]). Is photography a print or screen medium; or does it move between both? How does photography figure differently in a 'broadcast' and / or a 'network' context? Essay deadline: Monday 29th April Location: Registry Office Annexe between 11-12.00


Assessment Criteria Knowledge of Contexts, Concepts, Technologies Processes Applied knowledge and theoretical understanding of perception, LO1 communication and meaning Critical understanding of historical and LO2 cultural photographic practice Understanding through Application of Knowledge Use of research to initiate, support, LO3 and develop ideas Strength of argument through LO4 structure, flow, and development Application of Technical and Professional Skills Use of academic conventions to LO5 communicate clearly in written form REFERENCE MATERIAL Essential Author Barrett, T Barthes, R Bignell, J Berger, J Wells, L Papageorge, T Elkins, J Arnheim, R Palmer, D Dat e 200 5 200 9 200 2 200 8 200 9 201 1 200 9 200 4 200 8 Title & publication details Criticizing Photographs: An Introduction to Understanding Images (California: Mayfield) Mythologies, trans. A. Lavers (London: Vintage) Media Semiotics: An Introduction (Manchester University Press) Ways of Seeing (various: Penguin) Photography: A Critical Introduction (London: Routledge) Core Curriculum: Writings on Photography (Aperture) How to use Eyes (London: Routledge) Visual Thinking (London: University of California) Structuralism and Poststructuralism for Beginners (London & New York: Readers and Writers) and


Author Philips, S Crary, J

Dat e 201 0 199 0 200 2 199 7 199 1 200 5

Title & publication details Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera (London: Tate) Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge & London: MIT Press) Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation (London: Phaidon) Representation – Cultural Representation & Signifying Practice (London: Sage) The Shock of the New (London: Thames & Hudson) A Basic Critical Theory for Photographers (Amsterdam/Focal Press)

Gombrich, E Hall, S (ed) Hughes, R La Grange, A

Study Skills are available through the library Suggested further reading: (It is not expected that you will read all these texts; they are provided to provide research guides and paths for your further research and the production of your essay) Lecture 1. Photography as Picture or Document: Victorian photography as paradigm Baudelaire, Charles (1981) 'The Salon of 1859' in Photography in Print: Writings from 1816 to the Present, University of New Mexico, Alberquerque Sekula, Allan (1986) 'The Body and the Archive' in October, no.39, Smith, Lindsay (1998) The Politics of Focus: Women, Children and Nineteenth Century Photography, Manchester University Press Taylor, Roger (2002) 'All in the Golden Afternoon: The Photographs of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson' in Lewis Carroll, Photography: The Princeton University Library Albums, Princeton University Press Hamilton, Peter and Hargreaves, Roger (2001) The Beautiful and the Damned: The Creation of Identity in Nineteenth Century Photography, National Portrait Gallery

Lecture 2. Documentary Strategies: Examples from an American context Tractenberg, Alan (1989) Reading American Photographs: Images as History – Matthew Brady to Walker Evans, Noonday Press Arbus, Diane (2003) Diane Arbus: Revelations, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Frank, Robert (1993) The Americans, Cornerhouse Goldin, Nan (1986) The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, Aperture Evans, Walker and Agee, James (1988) Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Picador Guimond, James (1991) American Photography and the American Dream, University of North Carolina Press Lecture 3. Objectivity and Deadpan: Examples from a German context Sander, August (1986) August Sander: Citizens of the Twentieth Century - Portrait Photographs, MIT Press Becher, Bernd & Hilla (2002) Industrial Landscapes, MIT Press Baker, George (1996) 'Photography Between Narrativity and Stasis: August Sander, Degeneration, and the Decay of the Portrait', October, vol.76, Struth, Thomas (2002) Thomas Struth 1977-2002, Dallas Museum of Art Galassi, Peter (2001) Andreas Gursky, Museum of Modern Art Kruger, Michael (2002) Candida Höfer: A Monograph, Thames and Hudson Winzen, Matthias (2001)Thomas Ruff, 1979 to the Present, Walter Konig, Cologne, 2001 Lecture 4. Sequence and the Page: Fashion Stories Brookes, Rosetta (1992) 'The Double Page Spread; Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Deborah Turbeville' in Chic Thrills; A Fashion Reader, University of California Press, Newton, Helmut (1998) Pages from the glossies: facsimiles, 1956-

1998, Scalo Harrison, Martin (1990) Appearances: fashion photography since 1945, Cape Lehmann, Ulrich (2002) Chic clicks: creativity and commerce in contemporary fashion photography, ICA Boston . Cotton, Charlotte (2000) Imperfect beauty, Victoria and Albert Museum. Lecture 5. Educating Vision: Avant-garde experiments in European photography Edwards, Steve (2004) 'Profane Illumination: photography and photomontage in the USSR and Germany' in Art of the AvantGardes, Yale University Press in association with the Open University Buchloh, Benjamin (1999) 'From Faktura to Factography' in Richard Bolton (ed.), The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography, MIT Press Krauss, Rosalind and Livingston, Jane (1986) L’Amour Fou: Photography and Surrealism, Hayward Gallery Mundy, Jennifer (2001) Surrealism: Desire Unbound, Tate Publishing Lecture 6. A Question of Beauty Beech, Dave, ed. (2009) Beauty, Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press Scarry, Elaine (2001) On Beauty and Being Just, Durkbacks Eco, Umberto (2004) On Beauty, Secker and Warburg Pacteau, Francette (1994) The Symptom of Beauty, Reaktion Donoghue, Denis (2003) Speaking of Beauty, Yale University Lecture 7. Locating the Digital: Construction or Velocity? Gere, Charlie (2002) Digital Culture, Reaktion Manovich, Lev (2001)The Language of New Media, MIT Press

Sutton, Damion et al (2007) The State of the Real: Aesthetics in the Digital Age, I.B.Taurus Gane, Nicholas and Beer, David (2008) New Media: The Key Concepts, Berg

ESSAY PARTICULARS *Make sure you answer the question! *Make sure you adhere to the word count as you will be penalised for going significantly under or over. *Always reference your sources when quoting. This is essential. Use Harvard style of referencing. *At the end of your essay produce a bibliography; a list of all the books you have read to produce the essay (even if you haven’t quoted from them). This is essential. Neither footnotes / endnotes nor bibliography count towards the final word count. *Be aware of plagiarism – please refer to myUCA for guidance on this issue. When using pictures make sure you include their producer (artist / photographer), their title and their date. If they are of a specific material or size, include this also (i.e., marble, 24 foot high etc.). Also make sure it is clear to what pictures you are referring to in the text when using images in your essay. It may be useful to label them numerically, i.e. fig.1. (If doing this, also be sure to still include photographer, title, date with the image itself) ESSAY TIPS: Compare and contrast specific images – ‘read’ these images carefully, in terms of your responses to them and also in terms of other writing on the photographer’s work. Look at the photographer’s photographs, not their life stories. A good essay is an analysis of the work and its many contexts (from the personal to the historical) not just that of biography. Try to avoid producing lists of life events (for example: they were born in X, then went to college in Y etc.) and if using life events – make them intersect with your argument. What do you want to say about their work? Look at how photographers use technique as a visual language – examine visual strategies, look at perspectives, camera position, composition, the use of certain styles and motifs. Look at the use of details, textures, colour and contrast. Be sure to describe the images you use.

Locate their work within a context – who are they associated with, what ideas do they use? What other photographic histories does their work interact with? Locate a central idea in the essay and read around it – don’t rely solely on catalogue essays, look around the issues you find. The more adventurous your research the more interesting the essay will be. Follow your gut instinct, but be sure to back it up with the relevant research – Remember, an essay consists mostly of research. The better and more focused the research the more creative you can be with your arguments… Be sure to structure your essay – provide an introduction and conclusion. In your arguments try to stay focussed and don’t wander all over the place.

FINAL TIPS: Always have a good starting point: If given a choice of questions, try and choose the one that either ‘speaks to you’ or that you think presents the real challenge (i.e. gets you worked up about the issues). If asked to write on a subject of your choice – pick a topic that you really want to cover, not one that you think is relevant but a little dull. Don’t be afraid of the obscure and the personal – they are often rewarding starting points… Always do the research: Trying to write a presentation or essay on the night before deadline is a recipe for stress ulcers and heart attacks. Any essay is always 90% research with 10% of the time spent writing up the research into an essay. (This is obviously an exaggeration – time should be left to write and rewrite the piece!) Always PLAN the research: A very simple point, but if you can structure the research well, the essay can easily mirror it, thus telling the story of your research (the interesting bits at least). Think about opposing positions, about nonagreeing photographers / writers, about using many different sources that you can pull together into a grand plan, an argument that takes us through the story of the research. Always use an introduction and a conclusion: The introduction and the conclusion bookend the work – with one mirroring the other. You should state your intended ‘journey plan’ in the introduction, i.e. that you will be looking at the birth of the portrait through the work of Frank and Gursky – looking at this + that aspect of the work (insert topic here, i.e. deadpan, subjectivity vs. objectivity, historical context, etc.). The body of the text follows through this procedure. The conclusion then mirrors this – reminding the reader of the ‘journey taken’. ALWAYS USE GOOD HOUSEKEEPING Always use spell-check. Re-read the work before handing it in! Use Harvard method for quoted sources and for your bibliography Reference your sources + title your pictures! Always save your work as you write!!! KEEP A BACK-UP!

Keep your own copy of your work.

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