Presenter Information

Kristen Nassif, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Lovejoy 102

Start Date

1-5-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 10:30 AM

Project Type

Presentation

Description

Staring into the distance, fully clothed, British artist David Hockney casually lounges, while an unidentified, partially nude male sits across from him, his back to the viewer. Upon first glance, Duane Michals David Hockney with Friend, photographed in 1975, depicts a candid scene of two men in bed. However, an in-depth analysis of this work and consideration of the careers of Duane Michals and David Hockney, as well as of the medium of photography, reveal the complexities of this apparently simple image. Michals compels us to look closely and observe subtle details, including composition, setting, and body language. By staging, manipulating, and writing on his photographs, Michals not only forces the viewers to question the nature of the scene portrayed, but to extend their inquiry to general issues involving time, death, desire, and the unknown. With this work, Michals challenges the commonly accepted idea that to photograph is to capture reality. In so doing, he also examines the roles of the artist, subject, and model, the interplay between word and image, and the ephemeral yet permanent qualities of photography. By identifying what Michals views as the inherent limitations of photography in capturing a 'true' reality, the viewer begins to understand Michals claim that to 'photograph reality is to photograph nothing'.

Faculty Sponsor

Gary Green

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Art Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Humanities

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

36

Share

COinS
 
May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 10:30 AM

Duane Michals: 'Photographing Nothing'

Lovejoy 102

Staring into the distance, fully clothed, British artist David Hockney casually lounges, while an unidentified, partially nude male sits across from him, his back to the viewer. Upon first glance, Duane Michals David Hockney with Friend, photographed in 1975, depicts a candid scene of two men in bed. However, an in-depth analysis of this work and consideration of the careers of Duane Michals and David Hockney, as well as of the medium of photography, reveal the complexities of this apparently simple image. Michals compels us to look closely and observe subtle details, including composition, setting, and body language. By staging, manipulating, and writing on his photographs, Michals not only forces the viewers to question the nature of the scene portrayed, but to extend their inquiry to general issues involving time, death, desire, and the unknown. With this work, Michals challenges the commonly accepted idea that to photograph is to capture reality. In so doing, he also examines the roles of the artist, subject, and model, the interplay between word and image, and the ephemeral yet permanent qualities of photography. By identifying what Michals views as the inherent limitations of photography in capturing a 'true' reality, the viewer begins to understand Michals claim that to 'photograph reality is to photograph nothing'.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/237