We each recently received our first term verbal assessment. This is where we review with one of the professors how it went for us and we discuss a bit about expectations for the new term now under way.
The feedback that I received was helpful and I feel that I am on track. We were on the same page and I am excited for the next stage.
In my first term project, I did a standard photo story in book layout format. I produced a sequence of images with text portraying a wheelchair basketball team’s season. I took the viewer through a narrative from beginning to end. It was a linear form.
He said that I essentially achieved my goal with room to grow. I also learned a lot for how I could make it better next time, which is what I had hoped for.
My first term project — Basketball Unlimited
I now want to be more creative, which is also the expectation.
Our new term assignment is called the “Rethink” project. We need to reinvent our approach, getting away from our comfort zones. My images may now be more symbolic or even abstract. I am hoping this will help me to integrate more creativity into my work later on.
During my assessment session, I received encouragement for my Rethink project idea. I will explore Jungian archetypes through photography. I am re-conceptualizing the famous exhibit by Curator Edward Steichen, “The Family of Man”, but of course on a much smaller scale. Steichen’s intention was “to prove, visually, the universality of human experience and photography’s role in its documentation”.
The Family of Man Exhibit
I may be able to expand this idea later into my final major project for graduation, depending on how it goes.
Carl Jung conceived archetypes. They are universal symbols across humanity – in every era, society, country or culture. We may see them in our dreams or know them on a conscious level. They tell us who we are as a person and as a people.
Two examples are ‘anima’ and ‘animus’, which are the feminine and masculine principles. Femininity and masculinity are in us all, regardless of our sex, gender or sexual orientation. These archetypes may take on different cross-cultural meanings and evolve over time. Imagine what it meant to be feminine in America during the 1950’s versus now and how it was and is presented in art and journalism.
Another example is the ‘mother’ archetype. Over time societies have depicted the mother symbolically in a range of ways, both tangible and abstract. There is the Virgin Mary and Mother Nature, or symbols of fertility, along with a range of other representations.
The advertising industry makes masterly use of the emotional appeal of archetypes to manipulate consumerism. Imagine a close-up of an athletic man in black on a mud-ridden motorcycle with the engine roaring, angled and ready to descend a steep and rocky mountain, as masculine branding for a dirt bike.
There are scores of archetypes. I haven’t narrowed down what I want to focus on yet. I would love to hear suggestions.
I will explore a bit with my camera and see what I find as a start. We will have a practice photo assignment soon to help us get going. I am also considering using audio and video with still photography to produce a video compilation. I am not sure how it will all come together in the end. I will decide how I will produce it as I collect the imagery.
There is room for creative exploration. I will need a lot of coaching as I go along. I expect trial and error. We have been told that the learning process is as important as the final product, if not more. I will keep you posted.