Exercise 3.3 Phases:Life

This short series comprises self portraits where I engage in an internal dialog involving various aspects of my personal history.  They appear to be sequential, but although that might suggest pictures taken over a short period, these were separated by – for me – an uncomfortable period of time.

I have followed the trail I began at the start of this section, the one where I set out my view that Barthes was talking about psychological processes in his image repertoires.

In the series I consider several pivotal phases of life; I had decided which these were to be beforehand so that a natural ‘flow’ could be established.  The setting gives little away – there is no detectable context for the photographs, so the viewer is obliged to supply their own interpretation unaided.

Despite the lack of context, any individual of similar age and gender, prompted with a title such as ‘Phases: Life” could make a healthy stab at extracting some meaning from this.  An exchange between viewer and picture could assemble the sparse cues into a coherent reading.  There is a curious balance here, between the amount of work the pictures are doing and the amount required of the viewer.  The pictures are having to work quite hard with what they’ve got, partly because the two-word title is rather vague and lacks detail.  But even the combined efforts of pictures and text are tiny compared to the inferences, assumptions and personal resonances the viewer must supply..