Theory assignments 1, 2 & 3
Assignment #1
When I was 13 years old I had to take arts classes in high school. We went to
museums quite often, but mostly to see projects related to what we were creating
at school. Like clay sculptures or still life drawings and paintings. I remember one
time we travelled to the Lakenhal in leiden. Which is a beautiful old building with
the most amazing paintings. But actually the only thing I vividly remember seeing
was a giant picture that Erwin Olaf took of the liberty of Leiden. I could hardly
believe that it was a picture and that it was such a giant production team and a
huge group of people who worked to take only one picture. Before this
photography was never a real art form for me. I always saw it as a way of
capturing moments on holiday. How I remember it is that I was standing in front of
this huge work and everyone walking by but I had to take in everything that
happend in the picture.
Assignment #2
I think I was 14 or 15 years old when in art class we started talking about
photography and the use of photoshop. I had never seen pictures that had been
edited, or so I thought. It was a picture of Erwin Olaf, yet again that caught my
attention. I had recently taken an interest in lady Diana and the conspiracy
theories about her death. I immediately recognized that the picture was about
her. I remember the start of my life as a feminist because Lady Di made a
statement about refusing to “obey” her husband in marriage.
The photographer (Erwin Olaf) made a series called Royal Blood, which is made up
of high key portraits, mostly white with a clear pop of red. They all show famous
royals who were killed or died with their cause of death. Although it is clearly
photoshopped the spectator can understand and believe the pictures because it
is in a way still realistic. For the model this must have been vastly different because
without the use of photoshop the portraits are quite average.
Lat year during a big exhibition of Erwin Olaf I finally saw the picture as it is
supposed to be seen, huge and printed on glass.
Assignment #3

My response to Paul Strand’s photograph from 1916 “Photograph - New York”
Right off the bat seeing the picture and knowing no context whatsoever, it makes
me think of a story in the bible about people being leper (melaats in dutch). They
had to live in different parts of the city, and they warned people about their illness
via boards or shouting. It marks them to show people to stay away and to not talk
to them.
The sign of “blind” makes me kind of sad because it communicates as a warning
sign to not talk with this woman. The sign objectifies her and makes her less of a
human being.
There is also a possibility that the sign was a way to warn people in a nicer way so
that they can help the woman.
The picture is very direct with little information regarding to surroundings or period
in time. The photographer probably took the picture to show the world how blind
people are treated. If the model even knew that she was photographed I think she
either disliked it because she didn’t have power over it or she liked that the
message was speaking about how she was treated.
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