Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Given that I re-married last Saturday its a wonder that I'm able to post at all from last week to this. However as we don't leave for Barcelona until Thursday I have a moment or two to reflect on the week past. Our lecturer for the week was artist, photographer and lecturer, Wiebke Leister. It may be just my prejudice at work but her talk was substantially based on her work for a practice based PhD, how we came up with this as an academic community I can't entirely remember (though I was there at the time!), but I have considerable reservations about it as a generator of worthwhile outcomes in terms of aesthetic product. I say this despite being a reasonably experienced supervisor myself - and I do know of quite a few practitioners who have negotiated this tricky business, including (or so I'd like to think) several of my own students. Wiebke's project 'Unjoyful Laughter and the Non-Likeness of Photographic Portraiture' was of interest to me given my own project but I found it hard to move beyond the theoretical construct she had devised and into the images themselves. Not that these were uninteresting (or that the theory didn't have some merit) but just that I struggled to fully engage. So much so that I unintentionally unnerved our speaker by my quizzical looks! I was simply trying hard to focus on the theoretical construct and marry it to the images presented. A good deal of the construct centred around the grimace as the further shore of the laugh...and this image was used to 'anchor' the others selected. I think she was on to something with this but I confess that I couldn't concentrate sufficiently on the work visually to take me beyond my initial prejudice.