Still life is a genre I always ran away from, be it during design studies at college or photography per se. I found it very boring and unexciting. Being confronted with something that is out of your comfort zone is not easy for the most of us but when you come face to face with it, when there is no way out but to look at it, read and study about it, experiment with it, it is quite fascinating to see and understand the thought process and workings behind it.
Foundations Photography has challenged and changed many mindsets like this and the same holds true for me. Many things that I never thought I will attempt, let alone love it, holds true as I begin Part IV – Still life, a genre I dread. My journey through Foundations so far has been full of surprises, great learning and evolution for me as a photographer. I have thoroughly enjoyed researching and learning about photographers, their styles of working and experimenting with new techniques and different genres. As I stand on the threshold of yet another new genre, I am excited again as it will be yet another new learning path to gain knowledge and experience in a new field.
The initial introduction asks us to explore the works of Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s Quiet Afternoon series and have a look at their amusing video ‘The Way Things Go’ on. We are also asked to look at Peter Fraser’s close shots of found phenomena.
Going by the sequence of research as advised in the coursebook, I found the work of Peter Fischli and David Weiss quite amusing and light. It reminded me of a lot of outdoor games that I used to play as a child, particularly one that required balancing of stones on top of one another and then hitting them with a ball. It was all about balancing the stones on top of one another as high as it would go without falling. Somehow their work which is according to them creativity coming out of boredom is so inspiring. Their work appears simple yet a great deal of experimentation and timing must have gone into it to work it to perfection till the end. It does appear that they had so much fun doing it and watching their video makes you chuckle. It’s like reliving your childhood and the whole feel of the work has a feel-good factor to it.
To find creativity in the mundane is challenging and inspiring at the same time and as I intend to move forward with this part of the coursework, I go forward with one thought – nothing is boring and the most unlikely of places or things will inspire you to create something extraordinary and unique. I also go forward with the conviction that this part of the coursework, as intimidating as the others appeared, will turn out fine just as the others did. With this confident mindset, I look forward to exploring and having fun with Still life. God help me 🙂