Reinterpreting the photographic translation of objects within conceptual and sculptural art practices.
Research Project Summary:
The research situates itself around the study of selected artists who have formulated a dialogue between photography and sculpture, and where the photograph functions beyond that of a straightforward document.
The research will be in the form of an extended body of work, which will be presented as a critical analysis of my own practice and as a translation of the works and ideas to be discussed throughout the thesis.
The practice then aims to develop new readings of the works discussed, through their interpretation as photographic products.
Within Graham’s personal practice he produces a series of cast objects as appropriations of found components. The original objects are discarded, and their containers are then re-cast and remain as positive forms. In sculptural terms the resulting forms are negative spaces made solid; and are currently chosen from pre-moulded polystyrene packaging. The cast objects are taken from a negative template, which like an analogous negative enables the possibility of multiple positive reproductions. (Frohne, 2014:79)
The objects are then photographed from prescribed vantage points with minimal distortions. They are as close a representation of the object as possible, an objective view, originally intended as documents of sculpture. The resulting photographs, in my opinion, recontextualise the objects through a series of perspective studies subsequently obscuring the distinction between image and object.
Earlier works originally conceived as installations have incorporated multiple cast objects organised in site specific floor arrangements which are suggestive of a panoramic or aerial view. When documented and presented as photographs the works convey a stronger sensation of a panoramic or distanced vantage point existing somewhere between the imagined and the real.
It is here the research locates itself in that it aims to test the effectiveness of the photographic translation from object to photograph.
As an original contribution to knowledge Graham aims to evaluate the propositions raised by his own practice and measures these against a series of case studies. The questions raised concern the intersection between the physical object and its photographic transposition. The intention is to propose new ways of working with sculpturally appropriated objects, to be arranged for the camera. The resulting photo-works will create possibilities for demonstrating that new sculptural objects can be generated photographically and in two dimensions.
The research then asks how the photographs communicate as visual phenomena and more specifically asks how photographs mediate our encounter with objects and at what level we obliquely identify material objects as, or within a photograph? (Flusser,1983)
Born in East London Graham Seaton graduated with a first degree in fine art sculpture from University of East London (1996) and went on to study for an MA in site specific sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art graduating in 2000. Since then Graham has been exhibiting my work in various UK venues including the Chisenhale Gallery, Hales Gallery, the Economist Building, and more recently the Towner Art Gallery and Gloucester Cathedral. He has also been teaching in various colleges and Universities, including the City Lit (Holborn) London Metropolitan University. I am currently based in the South West living and working near Exeter.