In October 2014, I was commissioned by The Fine Art Society Contemporary to photograph the installations of their up coming show ‘What Marcel Duchamp taught me’ curated by the brilliant Kate Bryan
Although a different style of show to what The Fine Arts Society Contemporary usually puts on, it was immensely enjoyable and the shoot itself was particularly exciting as there were lots of intriguing pieces to frame and capture. The show spanned all five floors of the gallery and there were a vast array of mediums on display such as sculptures, audios, paintings, photographs and videos. I particularly liked the idea of ‘readymades’ – everyday objects that are art because the artist says so – and the premise of how art can be perceived as good, bad, ugly or useless, but it can still be art.
I am used to photographing buildings without light and with very few objects inside, so when I am photographing art installations I have to adapt my style of shooting and pay a lot more attention to the positioning of the shot itself. Being aware of reflections on the artwork, artificial lighting and background movement are all considerations for me when setting up a shot. Also when I’m editing I have to be careful not to play with the colours or tone too much as this will affect how the artwork is portrayed and my primary job is to ensure that the images that I take are as true to life as possible. Within my own artwork I capture true images but I also work with colours and textures to make the buildings come to life.
It was an incredible experience getting up close and personal with some of the enigmatic installations on display and the pieces that struck me the most were a contribution from Nancy Fouts. At first I didn’t notice her pieces as I thought that the room was still being cleared of 20th Century works that had previously been on display. Upon closer inspection however I noticed a frame overlapping the corner of a wall and a torn canvas with a thread hanging out of it, seemingly in the process of being stitched up again by the seamstress featured in the painting itself. It completely fooled me and that is what I loved about the whole exhibition and about Duchamp himself.
Many of my artworks are intended to please the eye, so the Duchamp end goal was very different to mine, but his way of working and presenting reminded me that not everything has to be beautiful or even functional. Marcel Duchamp taught me that art doesn’t have to be adored!
My images from this shoot were featured alongside this great little article in The Londonist in October. To read the article and view my photographs of the installation, please click the following link ‘What Did Marcel Duchamp Teach Today’s Artists?’