Thursday, 10 December 2009

Core Unit: Critical Contexts

Where does the artist stand in the wider society? The artist is always influenced by the environment of practice, however, not always aware of the field or work of the other artists. Critical context session has helped me understand the importance of the world around them.

My practice is always changing, even though there is a commonality which connects various projects I have designed and carried out. It has started at my GCSE Art classes, enrolling at a journalist college, working as a political policy researcher, photojournalist, photography teacher, cultural studies and an arts student, and I continue to learn from my social environment. For example, my BA dissertation on the Berlin Wall and its influences it had on Berliners’ perceptions was based on my interests in the Cold War and supported by my political research background as well my experiences as a photojournalist. I am aware of the political and social context of Berlin and Germany which has just celebrated 20 years of the opening of the Berlin Wall.

I have not been familiar with the process of using any kinds of models to position my practice, and my observation on the course is that it is not always necessary. This is not to say that there is little or no point in finding out other artists and their work, but some artists I have exchanged ideas have been tied up in the labelling of their work (in my opinion).

As of my own practice, I have become critically aware of my angle and positions. My background as a political policy researcher gave me an interest and an in-depth knowledge of the Cold War cultures and perceptions, and my experiences as a photojournalist influences my work to be based in the more-traditional photography with little or no manipulation and editing.

What I intend to do on this course, however, is exploring and expanding my self-awareness of work. I vision myself changing my styles and developing into a new practice, where it is beyond photojournalism and being expressive and active. All these changes I plan to introduce is built on top of my current practice, and is not a subject entirely new. And for that reason, I valued the opportunity to have a critical eye.