Friday, 6 July 2012

Flat Iron Photography Projects

Yesterday 5th July Christina, Jens and myself ran 2 photography projects in Flat Iron Square as part of the Union Press, a temporary print space in Flat Iron Square.
In many ways the project pulled together a whole bunch of important strands around my photography practice and is the most exciting art project I’ve been involved in for ages.

Coming from a musical background collaboration is something I've missed in photography. Working with Christina and Jens seemed like we were more than the sum of three people working together -

We had 2 quite different ideas - but they complimented each other in an interesting sense - theirs punned on ironing in Flat Iron Square. First we explored and photographed the empty square early (7am) on a Sunday morning - the link with printing also in the printing of the photographs onto little canvas squares with the iron. Mine was all about filling the square with people - and as well as providing a document of the day hour by hour it also required some action, we had to drum up enthusiasm, call people over and make each photograph happen. One photograph was taken each hour on an instant camera, the photograph in effect printing itself there and then. I had toyed with the idea of taking the photograph on digital - getting much higher quality, but it wasn't about that, seeing the instant print appear still holds it's magic, people photographed the print on their phones so they could send to friends.

Connections and communication
Often I end up finding photography to be a singular, isolating activity. The photographer on the outside of events, wandering around and endlessly watching, waiting for something deemed worthy of capturing. Bringing nothing to the situation - it's all about a delayed gratification, and one for the photographer and their selected audience alone.
This felt the complete opposite - we were catalysts in bringing groups of people together, together stepping into a moment of drama and often comedy. I talked to more strangers on the street than I have in ages. And I loved the drama of acting the part of the photographer on the street - and in the total transparency of the project - you can see the picture immediately, and we also scanned some large on the photocopier and pasted them up on the kiosk. People even came back later in the day to see their pictures. It seemed like the act of photographing had become an encourager of dialogues and link ups, non-threatening and  amusing.
This weekend we'll be laying out 2 books for some speedy printing on Monday ready for the end of press showing of all the publications on Tuesday 10th 6pm

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