Special Problems in Photography

Post your comments, reviews and critiques below. As stated in the course syllabus, reviews should be at least one paragraph in length (approx 250 words) and follow the general guidelines presented in course handouts, including: Talking and Writing about Art.

Again, this format is informal and the comments should be brief and concise. This is not a space for lengthy discourse or academic writing. I expect you to write as you would speak in class and elaborate beyond “I like…” or “, (the work) is awesome”. Be descriptive and specific in response to both the formal and conceptual elements of the work(s).

Keith

 

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23 Responses to Special Problems in Photography

  1. Jenn Consoli says:

    The exhibition at the orchestra was interesting. Aside from the incident, the artwork was acceptable. It was very “art school”. A lot of the work was of still lives, nudes, or landscapes. It was all very “safe” and traditional. I felt that the environment for the event was pretty swanky so that was kind of nice. It was a special event for the artists and that was cool. I don’t think any of the work stood out to me as special or spectacular. It was all very neutral and not very bold. I think this was because it wasn’t a gallery or other art setting, it was an event that wasn’t meant to be competitive or anything. This wasn’t a bad this, it was a nice relaxing setting to view artwork of college students. I do think the logistics and organization of the show were poor since they claimed to not have enough room for all of the pieces. However the presentation and the venue were nice, considering the Kimmel Center is pretty swanky. It was a little disappointing that it was less about the artwork and more about the event itself. It was sort of just a ritzy occasion to display students’ works while also eating desserts and drinking cucumber water. Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It was nice to show people work, at no charge, in an interesting setting. All I’m saying is that it was different from being in a juried exhibition or in a gallery.

  2. Jenn Consoli says:

    The PPAC College Photo Major Party was pretty awesome. It was a different experience than going to see a show of various artists’ work who are at different stages in their career. In this case, we could all compare and contrast our work to other students working in the area in our medium. This was a unique and enlightening experience to see the portfolios of our peers. It felt good to be from Rowan at this event because, as a whole, we all had solid, profession, representations of photography work. It was interesting to note the trends that would flow through some of the students from the same school’s work. For instance I kept seeing pictures of houses in urban decay. They weren’t like Robin’s though, they would just be full frontal portraits of some house, that at first you’d look at it and be like, “Oh wow, this place has a story, how interesting!”. But then once you saw it in five other people’s portfolios you’d think, “Okay, the magic is gone here”. So on that note, there were certain things that flowed through people’s works that was very similar, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. We are all students, anyway, and it’s hard to establish a sense of self as a young artist, that takes years (or so we are told). I found that some of our peers were doing some extremely beautiful things, such as that guy who photographed the fish, and the girl who was taking pictures of the clothes without the bodies inside. There were others that were exploring portraiture as a means of conveying an idea (such as myself) like that one artist who was documenting her mother’s illness. Overall this was an interesting experience, seeing the photographs of other students’ in the Philly area. It was eye opening, comforting, and motivating.

  3. Jenn Consoli says:

    The show we saw as a class at the Perkins center was extremely confusing for me. First of all, I am not a fan of the gallery space because it is in, what seems to be, an old house that is now a gallery space. It’s sort of eerie and just for me personally, it made me feel uncomfortable walking around. Anyway, the pieces selected for this exhibition were sort of all over the place. Some of them were commercial looking, some were landscapes, portraits, you name it. And in addition to this, the skill level varied immensely from image to image. Some were unimpressive, but others were much more interesting. It was difficult to view all of the works since they were separated by many rooms in the building and some were even along the stairs, which I didn’t like, because that made them hard to view. There were pieces that did stick out to me, two of them being large photographs of ginger-like organic forms that, if I remember correctly, were done by some chemical process. Those large pieces were very intriguing. They were more creative and were more like something I would consider fine art than some of the other works. There were some other things in that show that were quite beautiful, such as a painterly photograph of a traditional looking still life and a beautiful fashion photo. However, with that being said, the show was pretty non-cohesive since none of the works seemed to have any factor that was similar to one another. They ranged all across the board. I wasn’t a fan.

  4. Jenn Consoli says:

    The Willie Cole show at Rowan was probably one of the best shows I’ve seen at the Rowan gallery since I’ve been at Rowan. All of the work was very cohesive to the themes in Cole’s work and also visually intriguing. I found his printmaking work to be my favourite aspect of the show. There were two printmaking pieces that were my favourites, one was called “Hearth and Home” and the other one I can’t remember the title, but was another piece composed using the repetitive hairdryer theme. “Heart of Home” used the iron motif to create a composition that was reminiscent of the female body and reproductive system. I found the use of color to be vibrant in this piece and the subject matter was clear but the viewer still needs to use some thinking to figure out what the piece is about.
    The other print resembled a transformer-like object that was made of hairdryers in greens and blues. It was designed really well using pattern to suggest something other than hairdryers.
    I found the thing that was most pleasing about Cole’s work was that it was composed beautifully in addition to having a lot of conceptual reference. They had a good marriage of composition and concept. Overall I was really impressed by the entire presentation of the show. As a body of works from over the years, Cole’s artwork is innovative in technique and subject and beautiful in composition.

  5. Robin Jerome says:

    1. This year, I was not too impressed by Project Basho’s gallery. I feel as though their space could have been used in a much better way: They included some photos up front, around their developing/work station area, which was separated from the rest of the show and didn’t feel as though they were part of the show. I was not impressed by the selection of photographs as well. One artist in particular had two photographs submitted to the show. Both were low-light settings of houses, and located in the hallway. However, both the photos were too dark to really tell what they were all about, and I spent nearly the whole time I was there wondering why the two were included in the show.

    2. I attended Samuel Guerrero’s “The Pixel Made Me Do It!: show in the student art gallery in Westby. I was stunned by the amount of talent this artist has. Some of his works actually looked like photographs to me. I was amazed by each of his pieces, and wondered where he gets his inspiration from. His set up was clean and simple, which I felt worked very well for him. His pieces were already incredible and full of detail, so his choice to not overwhelm the guests with his work was a great one.

    3. At the PPAC I couldn’t help but notice their exhibit “Silent Existence” by Tetsugo Hyakutake. The first thing that drew my attention to it was the way it was displayed, which I felt was a pretty terrible display. The photographs were unframed and not matted, and they hung on the walls right next to a doorway in-between the lobby and the hallway. All of the pictures were clumped together, making it feel tight and like they just didn’t have the space for the display. I feel as though a lot of the images, if not all of them, would have been much more powerful displayed in a more proper manner. Many of the images were quite breathtaking, though. I found the amount of devastation caused by the tsunami and earthquake really amazing, and Hyakutake managed to capture the feeling of devastation perfectly.

    4. The movie “The Hunger Games” definitely surpassed my expectations. As with every film adaptation, some things from the novel had to be left out. In this case, there were actually several changes, and several things which went unexplained. The film sort of expected you read the book before watching the movie. I wasn’t very pleased with the action scenes. They were very fast paced, and I feel like they could have been filmed better. Even though I had read the books and knew where the scenes were going, I had a hard time following the action. Nonetheless, the adaptation was very good, understanding that a lot of the information in the book was difficult to get across, considering it was almost all in the main character’s head (what she was thinking, or feeling, ect).

    5. I attended a “Rammstein” concert a few weeks back. “Rammstein” is a German metal band who understand that even though they’ve built an empire of loyal fans worldwide, not everyone speaks German, or understands their lyrics. They certainly didn’t let the language barrier drag down their show, though. They put on a quite show, bringing lots of fire, explosions, props, and a fantastic atmosphere with them. As a fan of the band, I was so awestruck by their performance I could almost guarantee someone who’s never heard of them would have the time of their lives at a “Rammstein” concert.

  6. Kevin Owens says:

    Just last week I watch on of the most misleading movies of all time. I saw Cabin in the Woods. After watching the trailers on T.V. I felt like this film was going to be another hack and slasher film with teenagers in the woods. Well I was only partly correct. The plot is kind of like the government controlling the entire environment where the cabin is. While the high school kids are there the government makes them secretly choose their own death by either picking up an old journal and reading it or messing around with other objects in the house. In the end all but two die and they wined up finding the facility where the government is controlling everything. Long story short they release all of the creatures that were intended to kill them on the government agents. If this seems really confusing then I won’t go and spoil the twisted ending which will have you saying what the f*#k. Definitely go and see this movie even though it seems like a stupid film, it does however provide lots of laugh and entertainment.

  7. Kevin Owens says:

    A few weeks ago I went to the Project Basho show in Philadelphia. From the outside I thought the show was going to be extremely small, but once I entered and saw the opened up space and the show itself I was pleasantly surprised. I liked how the all of the pieces were framed in the same white border making the show tie together. I wish all the images were together instead of some being in the front room with all the chemicals. One of the images that I enjoyed was the one that looked like a large Polaroid in which the image looked to be damage by the peeling of the film. This gave the piece kind of an obstructive view of the image. As for the other images there weren’t any I hated or disliked. All of the others I just didn’t seem as interested in.

  8. Kevin Owens says:

    Earlier in the semester I attended the Perkins center art gallery. The show as a whole was ok. There was good pieces and some bad pieces. The fact that the show was in an actual house was a little strange. I felt weird going up stairs and going into the bedrooms to see works of art. One of my favorite pieces was side-by-side picture of a modern building and a picture of tree bark. Both images look very similar at a glance and forces the viewer to study both images further. Some of the pieces that I wasn’t so found of were the images that were extremely blurry for no reason. I didn’t really see the point in them nor did I care for what their meaning was. As I said before the show as a whole was ok.

  9. Mike Magee says:

    I recently watched the movie The Sitter. The main character in this movie was played by Jonah Hill. In this movie Hill’s character is charged with babysitting three kids, so his mother could have a night out on the town. The night starts off slow, but that changes as Hill’s “girlfriend” want him to pick her up some “candy”; which turned out to be cocaine. The night starts to go crazy when the drug dealer realizes that one of the kids had stolen a large amount of his product. The movie then takes you on their adventures through New York City as the group tries to survive the night. While the movie did have its moments of where you were laughing uncontrollably for the most part it was very boring. This was because it had a similar plot to some recent popular movies. Based upon my experience with this film I would not recommend it to others.

  10. Mike Magee says:

    I recently watched the movie The Five-Year Engagement. This movie was about a couple who planned to get married, but career opportunities and other life challenges delay the process. I found this movie to be extremely funny. This because the writers of the movie took real life situations and had a something outlandish occur making causing the viewer to laugh. The writers of the film also used adult humor, as well as, slapstick comedy to get laughs out of the viewers. I would recommend this movie to anyone; since it had me laughing from the very beginning and I didn’t stop until I walked out of the theater.

  11. Mike Magee says:

    Last week I went and viewed the graphic design show that being displayed in Westby Hall. I saw a piece that was created by Ralph Koehler that really intrigued me. This is because it was depicting the recidivism rates of convicted criminals in the United States. I found this to be interesting because I am a law and justice major, and this piece relates to the subject that I have been studying. I also was drawn to this piece because not only does it display recidivism rate of criminals in the United States, it also has a man looking like he is posing for a mug shot. The combination of these two things were captivating and informative.

  12. Mike Magee says:

    Another piece that caught my attention while I was in the graphic design show was done by Judah Eisenhart. The work that was created by Eisenhart also dealt with recidivism of criminals in the United States. This design laid the information showing data for the different type of crimes and the recidivism rates of their offenders. The image also displayed the average time an offender was free from prison before being arrested for another crime. I found this to be an interesting piece of art, because I never thought images that had educational information on them would be a type of art. Although my views on this have changed on this believe after taking this class. This is because the class introduced me to all different types of art that I never even thought existed.

  13. Mike Magee says:

    After I toured the Willie Cole exhibition that was displayed at Rowan earlier this year and viewing all his works the piece that I liked the most was the Wind Mask East. I really liked how he took an item that most people take for granted and believe it can be nothing more and transformed it into something completely different with his creativity. I was surprised by how Cole was able to take the hair dryers and put them together in such a way that once completed had many characteristics that made it resemble a face or a mask. I found myself liking this piece more than his others that were displayed in the exhibition, because I really understood what Cole was trying to do with this piece compared to the others in the exhibition.

  14. Kevin Owens says:

    A couple of weeks ago I went to see someone’s in the student gallery. I think the kids name was Sam, but anyway his work was awesome. His show was presented very well and all of his work followed the same theme. Sams work was like nothing I’ve seen before. He creates these pieces of art using a 3d program and then uses Photoshop to color it. It is unbelievable how realistic his pieces are. My absolute favorite is the one where a male snake is looking at a female snake. Part of the reason for me liking this piece is the actual expressions on both snakes faces, the female who is looking seductive and the male who is looking goggly eyed. All of Sams other work was just as enjoyable and equally impressive.

  15. Kevin Owens says:

    The film Act of Valor was ground breaking film that gave the audience an inside look at what it’s like to be a Navy Seal. This film was amazing with its intense firefight scenes and good story. The only thing that was lacking in the film was the acting, which I didn’t really care about cause they used active duty members in it. So I didn’t expect any of them to win an oscar. The real reason why I went to see this movie was the use of the Canon 5D Mark II. Being a user of DSLR cameras I knew video capabilities of the cameras and was astonished to see the quality of the images on screen. The cinematography of this movie was amazing due to the use of the 5D. Shots such as using a helmet cam gave the film a different look to it and made the audience feel that they were right in the action. I would recommend this film to anyone because as an American the film gives you a whole new appreciation for the armed forces and the sacrifices they make.

  16. Matt Froonjian says:

    High Low Density is a show featuring architectural paintings and photography. On the wall, there are several interesting photos of buildings. My favorite is a triptych by Mark Campbell called The Seven Gables Series: Urban Mosh, Commune, Gated Community. On the bottom it shows a plain house with a lawn. Then above it there is picture of the same house, but with a wild, overgrown garden on the lawn and the house is painted many flamboyant colors. Then above It the house appears again, but this time it is in the ghetto, with old car parts on the laws and an inner city feel in the background.
    Other interesting pictures along this wall are Blaise Tobia’s Alpha and Omega and David McQueen’s Mountain Town. Both feature several individual photographs that are pieced together to make one large panorama. Alpha and Omega show large, grassy mountains and Mountain Town features a Mexican town built into a mountain.
    However, the most interesting feature is behind a black curtain. In otherwise total darkness there is a white model of a town with lights shining on it making patterns. These patterns include green, plant-like projections with an aquatic sound playing over the speakers and light colored stones with the sound of birds chirping.
    High Low Density is an interesting show featuring architecture. It has many aspects to it. It has several interesting photographs, paintings, and sculptures. I would highly recommend to someone in Westby to take time to check it out.

  17. Matt Froonjian says:

    The BA Project BFA Application works in the Student Art Gallery feature several magnificent pieces that were made by students. On the front wall there are several interesting black and white prints. My favorite is “Black Hole” by Stephanie Hufford. She uses dots to create a picture of two people, with one person trying to hold off the other one from touching her. Also, the picture with 15 faces has an interesting composition. Each face is well placed across the canvass. Also, the blue background adds an interesting element to it.
    The other piece I really liked is in the corner. There is a charcoal drawing with two wooden armchairs on a porch with a tree in the background. Like the one with the faces, the background is colored and the main subject is black and white. But unlike the one with the faces, the colored subjects are objects. Furthermore, the flowerbed in the foreground is also colored. It gives an interesting contrast where the plants are colored but most of the man-made structures are not.

  18. Matt Froonjian says:

    Monk is a hilarious comedy about a detective who has to cope with OCD and many phobias. Despite his mental problems, he has an eye for finding evidence that others don’t see. He is very well respected by his colleagues, but they are often frustrated by him. The show brilliantly combines comedy with the intense drama of a crime show.
    Adrian Monk is a detective in San Francisco. Despite his crime scene brilliance, he has a number of phobias that hinder his ability. He has been known let criminals get away because of his compulsions, particularly his germ phobia. For example, in Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike he purposely incorrectly rules the sanitation commissioner’s death a suicide so that the two sides will get back to the bargaining table. However, he eventually retracts and finds the killer.
    His brilliance and phobias have led to mixed reactions from his colleagues. His aides Sharona and Natalie are exceptionally annoyed by him. Captain Stottlemeyer often shows his frustration towards Monk whenever Monk commits a blunder. However, they also listen to Monk. Monk often finds clues that higher functioning people overlook. Captian Stottlemeyer referred to him as “Our top detective” in one episode. In another episode, Monk asks Stottlemeyer, “Have I ever been wrong?” to which Stottlemeyer replies “No.” And in the end, Monk always gets it right.
    Monk is a brilliant combination of comedy and drama. Adrian Monk’s many phobias provide for excellent entertainment. When this is combined with the entertainment and drama of a crime show it creates a highly entertaining show.

  19. Matt Froonjian says:

    Tower Heist is a hilarious movie about workers rebelling against white-collar crime. Just when it seems like their lives are going to be ruined by a boss who stole their pension fund, they played his own game and got their revenge. I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants a good laugh.
    Josh Kovacs is a building manager at a high-rise apartment in New York City. He gets along with a wealthy businessman Arthur Shaw and trusts him to take care of their pension. But Shaw steals their pension. After Shaw is placed on house-arrest until the trial, Kovacs takes a crowbar to Shaw’s prized possession; a vintage car once owned by Steve McQueen. Then when it seems like Shaw is about to get off, Kovacs and several other tenant workers enlist the help of a thief called Slide to find his safety net; a stash of money probably hidden in a safe in one of his walls. Despite getting constantly tricked by Slide, they stick with him in hopes of getting their revenge. The result is a hilarious comedy that is a must-see for anyone who wants a good laugh.

  20. LISA Skala says:

    In history of photo today, we walked downstairs into the black room to see Ariana’s show. Her show was based on the ideas of motion and energy, which she worked into two separate mediums. She had five large paintings on the walls. Within these paintings, she incorporated paint that can be seen when using a black light. We first viewed these paintings with the lights on, then turned them off for a completely different experience. The paint that can be seen with the black light captured the motion of the paintings. She also showed us a video of the reception, which was complete with a DJ, strobe lights, glow sticks, and the guests of the show, which were dancing, all contributing to the idea of motion. I think she did a great job putting this show together, from her concept, to physically putting the show together.

  21. Lisa Skala says:

    Last Thursday, I went with Dr. Adelson’s class to see the Cindy Sherman exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. Cindy Sherman’s style is one that i’ve always admired, so I was excited to get the chance to see the exhibit and needless to say, it didn’t let me down. Sherman’s black and white images have always been some of my favorite, and upon entering the exhibit, these were the first images to view. I think I spent the most time in this room. I love the way she uses herself to portray different roles of the female figure. I enjoy her black and white images the most because they are more dramatic and serious. They evoke emotions of the viewer.
    As I continued to walk through into the next room, her work changed to color. I had never had the chance to view her color images or film stills before. I found them to be much different from her black and white work. Besides being in color and much larger, many of these images are humorous, or gruesome. The feeling they give from the size of them bring about different emotions from the viewer. I felt as though I looked at each of these images much longer than the black and whites, but I also think that I walked through these rooms quicker than the first room.
    I enjoyed the progression of her work, in the way that it was displayed. The first room starting with the black and white images, moving into color images and film stills, and ending with a video piece.

  22. Jenn Consoli says:

    A few weeks ago I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to attend the exhibition Zoe Strauss: 10 years. I had been really excited to see this exhibition because it has received a lot of hype and I’ve heard positive things from other people. This exhibition features Strauss’ photographs from the past 10 years in which she had annual photo exhibitions underneath I-95 in Philadelphia. These images include many depictions of urban environment, such as Camden, Philadelphia, and other communities, and the people who inhabit them. All of these images had a really raw quality and they all felt really gritty. The interesting thing I found about all of Strauss’ work was that even though there are photographs of various subject matter including signage, portraits, and landscapes, they all seem to feel the same to me and I read the same thing in each. All of these photographs felt like intimate views of areas that outsiders choose to ignore. Her work revealed a truthful depiction of life in communities that are probably forgotten. It forces the viewer to confront the realities that people in these cities experience. The other thing that was incredibly awesome was that Strauss has an eye for seeing pattern and composition in buildings, signs, and people. The way the photographs were composed was exciting because a lot of them seemed to photographed in a deliberate way to emphasize lines and pattern in the image. I can’t even name all of the images in this show that impacted me emotionally. But some of them include an image of a landscape covered in snow with a truck (it is much cooler that it sounds), an image of a girl on a Native American reservation in her cluttered room jumping on her bed, an infected belly button piercing, and women working in convenience stores. Not only is this show awesome because of the work, but it also feels close to home. While watching people look at the photographs, I overheard people excitedly say “I know where this is!” and even my boyfriend pointed out an image of half a house (literally) and said, “My friend lives there.” If you haven’t seen this show, I suggest you do because it is really great photography work that leaves an emotional impact.

    • Matt Froonjian says:

      The movie J. Edgar is a fascinating movie chronicling J. Edgar Hoover’s career at the head of the FBI. Hoover transformed the FBI from a small, underfunded organization that was not getting much respect from Americans into an institution that is now one of the top government agencies. It shows every aspect of Hoover; from his leadership skill to his corruption to his romantic relationship with Clyde Tolson.

      J. Edgar covers does not leave much of J. Edgar Hoover’s life out. It shows his intelligence in promoting forensic science such as fingerprinting on crime scenes. However, it does not ignore his corruption. He ordered a lot of illegal wiretapping, threatened Martin Luther King, Jr. when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and showed how he lied under oath during several hearings about his practices. It also showed him struggling to conceal his homosexuality in a time where Americans were not as accepting of gays as they are today. J. Edgar is an interesting movie and I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in politics.

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