Monday, May 12, 2008

Cara Phillips had a very interesting post today about typologies in photography. Here's a definition of typology for those who are not familiar with the term:

The study or systematic classification of types that have characteristics or traits in common.

The perfect example in photography is the Bechers' work where they photographed silos, water towers, and other industrial buildings over and over again with similar distance and framing in every image. Cara referenced the Bechers as the founders of this aesthetic in photography. This is a well used technique these days and is an easy way to talk about how similar or different or prevalent things are. It made me think about the two portrait series that I have been working on. Each consist of many photographs of the same person but with different locations or situations in each image. After reading Cara's post I kind of feel like my portrait projects are a reaction to the typology aesthetic. Instead of photographing different things many times to show how similar they are, I photographed the same person many times and in different situations to show how varied and rich one personality can be. Instead of condensing our world into small manageable themes that anyone can understand, I tried to show the complexities and contradictory nature of my subjects. Well at least that's how I see it right now at 11pm Monday night. Warning: these ideas about my work may change, nothing is written in stone!

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