destroy this memory.
Richard Misrach decided to photograph in New Orleans in Katrina because he had been watching for a month as the whole drama unfolding as he mentions himself in the video. He decided to focus on graffiti in the aftermath of Katrina because he believed that the words he was seeing on the walls, houses, car, partially anything, in the streets filled with no people needed to be heard and shared with other people in the world. The messages ranged from hope, sorrow, fear, to pure anger. One message graffiti that stood out to me the most was “destroy this memory” because destroy is such a strong word and memory is such a precious word, when both of those words are put together in a phrase it hits hard. Katrina must have been that unbarable and horrific that someone wanted to just erase it and forget it all. Even so, there were also people who were hopeful and wrote “keep the faith” while others were more focus on releasing their anger by writing cuss words and blaming their misery on things such as insurance or politics. Misrach described the messages as a “complete narrative happening in Katarina in their words, not the photographer’s words or the editorial words, but their own”. You can hardly ever really imagine what it is like to be in a situation like Katrina unless you have experienced it yourself. These words are the closest to understanding and help give us a deeper insight of how the victims of Katrina felt after the disaster.
Andreas Gursky grew up with photography, both his grandfathers and father were photographers. Even so, they weren’t art photographers because back then photography was not considered to be art. Gursky became to devote himself to landscapes after a couple years into photography. Gursky’s landscape photographs were fairly different from others. Format was very important in his approach to photography because it was in the way that he decided to capture the picture that made him stand out from the rest. Rather than taking photos of landscape with people in clear view, Gursky preferred to be “less of the representation of the landscape and the people in the photo and more the manner in style of how he photographic the people within the landscape”. He keeps his distance to a point where you would not even see people in the photo at first glance unless you take a second to look carefully. He often avoided people who stood out and looked at the camera; he preferred to focus on the group. A photograph that I found intriguing was the sea side photograph he showed in the video. Gursky explains how people are there to enjoy and relax at the sea side but completely ignore it while they are fully immersed in their activities. If the photograph was taken in a different format, a different message would be captured. The distanced format that Gursky approaches in his photographs is full visuals of how the human race is living in the world. It’s hard to see what really surrounds us when we don’t take a minute to look at the whole picture.
Uta Barthe’s photographs are different from what you normally expect in photography; hers makes you really think about perception in relation to what is seen in front of you. Rather than focus on the actual image taken, her photography makes you question what more is there to just the subject and the content. Barthe explains herself that her intention in her photography is to “make the viewer become aware of their own perceptual process in relationship to what is hanging on the wall and to become immersed and fully invested in their perception”. Bathe’s current three part project is using light as a medium. Since this is not your usual kind of photography, it makes you think about what Barthe wants you to see in her photographs. She says in the video people “walk out of the gallery seeing differently; they pay attention to different kinds of things, they become attuned to life”. This questions what we see versus what is shown on the wall in a gallery. It really makes you try to think like the photographer and try to decipher what their thoughts were when they captured images like these. Barthe says that she is more than just the photographer when she captures her images, she is the participant capturing what she sees. By being more aware of what she is capturing, she is hoping that we as viewers will take a second more to observe her photography and really see & think differently about it rather than the obvious picture of what it actually is.