For my curation project some while back, I worked individually examining images from different photographers, to find out the meaning which is behind those certain photos. Finding out why the image was taken, where they were taken, what the size is, information about the printing process and what paper the image was printed on. All these answers needed to be answered, so that I could understand more about the photographers work and their idea behind it. I did some research about curators and came to learn that they help photographers put their chosen images together by placing them into sets. Curators also make sure that the photographers images are labelled with a title and also the current date, with other important information along with it. Curators are then left to introduce the photographers work with a written statement about the image. The statement would include information about the work for eg, how it was put together and what the photographers intentions were when taking that photograph. The whole aim that curators have is to give the viewer as much information about that certain photograph as possible, so that they leave the exhibition with a lot of knowledge about it.
I was mostly fascinated by the work of Paul graham and so I looked further into a series of his work called ‘Beyond Caring’, which had my attention. The images were taken between 1984-85. In these series of images, Paul photographs the carelessness of humanity in this world throughout cities, hospitals and work places. The careless attitude that we have all seen before in people where-ever we go. This curation project was all about noticing whether the ‘Text’ (title) matched the ‘Image’. Most certainly in this set of work from Paul Graham. The viewer can see the expression on the peoples faces in the images, they show carelessness, tiredness, that giving up face, which is what Paul is trying to show, and his Title definitely matches his photographs.
Looking at the images of Paul Graham, I started to ponder on the thought that maybe he is expressing something he himself experienced in his past life, sharing it with the audience of today who are experiencing the same thing. What I mean by this is the carless attitude that is seen everywhere in todays society. People don’t talk about it, but when you see an unhappy face it instantly puts you in a bad mood and others around you. This left me with a question such as, ”Was Paul Graham fed up with seeing this, wanting to emphasise how much negativity is actually around in the world today, and so he decided to photograph various locations showing the same emotion from people to demonstrate this?”. This is the idea that I got from examining his images, it was the most obvious thing that I noticed.
Photographs were taken from- http://paulgrahamarchive.com
Beyond Caring. Bristol: Grey Editions, 1985.
Empty Heaven. Zurich: Scalo, 1995.
A Shimmer of Possibility. Göttingen: SteidlMack, 2009.