Thursday, 16 December 2010

Art as book

Today I learnt the next term I will be working on a project that centres around publication as a means of artistic production, run by these people at Byam Shaw, so thought I'd post a few examples from the master of the artist book, Ed Ruscha. Not sure how this fits in with my current work on the photograph as an object on the wall, but we shall see.

Monday, 13 December 2010


All photographs Jeff Wall, from top: Passerby; Untitled (Forest); Untitled (Night); The Burrow.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Le Mépris

Le Mépris - Jean-Luc Godard (1963)

French playwright Paul Javal is hired by American producer Jack Prokosch to save his ailing production of Homer's Odyssey, where filming - directed by Fritz Lang as himself - has been halted at Cinecittà studios in Rome. Upon accepting the job Javal's life starts to mirror that of the film's hero, with the pressures of commercial constraints (embodied by Prokosch) leading to him becoming slowly estranged from his wife Camille (Brigit Bardot). As well as an examination of the collapsing marriage of the lead characters, the film can be described as being essentially about cinema, with Godard critiquing the Hollywood model and employing numerous instances of reference and self-reference - Fritz Lang being cast as himself, Godard playing the part of Lang's assistant, Bardot reading a book on Fritz Lang, and of course the obvious mirroring of Ulysses' estrangement with his wife with Javal's estrangement with Camille. The opening shot in particular draws our attention to this explicitly, in which the mechanisms of cinema are laid bare and we see Godard's camera crew filming a tracking shot of Prokosch's assistant, the camera moving ever closer to the screen before directing itself directly at the viewer, thus implicating us as viewer or spectator in the film.