February 8, 2010

Georges Rousse

Traditional notions of photography acknowledge the spontaneous act of capturing a moment in time and space. This approach suggests a lack of artistic premeditation. Contrary to traditional beliefs, many contemporary art photographers construct elaborate sets that ultimately portray a concept presented by a photograph as the work of art. This process deconstructs traditional restrictions of producing art within one artistic medium. Such is the case for French artist and photographer Georges Rousse.
Georges Rousse’s photography explores the concept of representing the interplay between reality’s three-dimensional space and the photograph’s two-dimensional medium. By nature of the photograph, this shift in dimensions is constant. However, Rousse exaggerates the concept through extensive manipulation of his three-dimensional space. In doing so, Rousse questions the relationship between time and space both in reality and in his photographs.
Rousse portrays his theme by altering abandoned or ruined architectural sites. After tedious decisions on composition, angle, lighting, and cropping of a particular point in the chosen space, Rousse carefully constructs a painted and plastered design. The unified pictorial design is only visible from one vantage point. This illusion of a hovering ‘geometric wash of colour’ appears as if added digitally after capturing the photograph. While Rousse’s ultimate product is a photograph, the entire process is his work of art. He constructs an illusionary three-dimensional world that is only geometrically visible on a two-dimensional picture plane.

February 2, 2010

Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky was one of my favourite photographers for a very long time.
He is a Canadian Industrial Landscape photographer.
I wrote a final essay in University on his Rock of Ages #1 photograph. We were allowed to pick any piece of contemporary art or photography and analyze the creativity out of it. The instant I saw Burtynsky's photography, I was hooked. After pages and pages of critiquing and over-analyzing the meaning and form of every line, shape and contrast, I still missed little details. His photographs are chaotic and exciting. They show the deconstruction of earth for the construction our world. He beautifies the unbeautiful. He makes the unnatural seem only natural. I am attracted to the machinery's movements, but repelled by what they represent. Every line and contour in Burtynsky's landscapes is created by humans. A beautiful silky black stream running along the shores at the shipyards is oil seeping into the seas. The repetitive, perfect geometrical details of his photographs draw me into the aesthetics of the artwork. Only after the overwhelming sensation subsides, do I realize that these beautifully crafted lines are machines, quarry cuts into the earth, mountains of tires or recycled metals, and intricate layers of oil refinery pipes connecting the work in harmonious repetition.