Sunday, 15 May 2011

Exhibition Layout for Photo Synthesis Coventry

My work will be exhibited as part of the Photo Synthesis degree show (see the website here), which will have two showings – one in London and one in Coventry (see the events page here).

For the Coventry exhibition I have decided on the following selection and layout of work. Three prints from the two-way mirror work – the third a contact sheet of selected images from the shoot, and alongside these will be the two-way mirror video camera delay installation (click to enlarge). See also the photograph in the 1:15 scale model gallery.

Note that this is primarily just a display of the work relating to the two-way mirror project, rather than showing all aspects of the Self-indulgence of Gorgeous George project. The reason for this, is because for this particular show I feel it is better to deliver less with greater clarity, rather than more with the higher chance of incoherence. Also there is an issue of limited space in the Coventry gallery. In London at the Rag Factory there will be more space, but also that exhibition (with the inclusion of other artists and photographers) will have wider range of work, and I think be more accepting of a 'mixed' showcase. And hence I will be able to physically exhibit the Pixel Portraits and Gorgeous Georgeo videos in that space, as well as the Two-way Mirror images – in other words, the complete project. 

Above is a pencil sketch of the full exhibition (how my work will appear in London). Note that the two-way mirror work is essentially the centre piece of the show, with the pixel portraits and video blog adding depth to the two issues of mirror-image and self-indulgence, respectively.

Final Edit Decisions

The selection process with the two way mirror work for this exhibition, was very challenging. The best approach was a step by step one. I knew I wanted the faces to appear oversize – to give impact to the impression they would have on the viewer – I arrived at a size close to A0, about 46 inches wide by 30 inches high. With the available wall space this meant I could have three prints. I felt that the best way to utilise these three and still deliver the meaning of my work, would be to have two as individuals – to give the 'big hit', and one as a mix of several images from the shoot – to give a description of the variety of poses and expressions produced. 

For this mix print I had to decide carefully about the number of images to use – too many and it would become a large pattern and be awkward to read individual images, too few and it would fail to highlight the rich variety of the facial performances. After much testing and imagining with dummy prints, I decided on a 5 by 5 grid. I also decided on no white borders and no frames, as I wish to display the photographs as directly as possible – I feel that there should be more emphasis on the content of the image, than the prestige of the print. 

To then choose these 25 for the mix print, I had to start and edit down from the 100 or so that made up the whole shoot, this was a simple case of whittling down those that were similar, those that were a bit placid etc. I was also keen to include some of the more varied poses (inclusion of arms, twisted faces etc.) in order to break from the repeat view of straight-on head and shoulders, and keep the overall image 'fresher' on the eyes. Following this was then the matter of choosing the two images to be printed as individuals at full size. The emphasis I placed on this decision was balance – I wanted a pair which suggested both humour and extremism, and which were different enough whilst still remaining related.

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