• Andy Przybyla

Essay Rationale

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

For my essay I have decided to look at the work of two photographic artists who have appropriated work as part of a project or exhibition.

Specifically, I will be looking at the work that has been created, where it came from and what is the real meaning behind it. I will be giving my opinion of the work, looking at the execution and how it has been exhibited or shown.

The first artist will be Craig Ames, one of my university lecturers who I have a few things in common with. We both served in the military, both like photography and both have type O positive blood (I got that from his Army ID card).

Craig has done a lot of work historically about his time in the military and serving in Northern Ireland, and it sounds like his experiences are very much like those my father had and what made me decide I wanted to leave the army.

His work The Infernal Divide is a selection of images to represent the journey of Brexit and the politicians involved but using the illustrations of Dante along with London skylines and backdrops. The 3 elements are mantled with a latin descriptor over a series of Cantos or chapters.

The second artist is Penelope Umbrico and specifically her work on Everyone's Photo Any Licence, which is a collection of shots of the Moon collected from Flickr and the sister piece Suns from Sunsets, which is a similar collage of images of the Sun at sunset collected from Flickr.

These pieces raised issue over the contentious issue of ownership and can you own an image of something that is permanent and anyone can photo any day of the week. Can you be the owner of an image of the Sun or the Moon?

This also looks at collective practices and the issues raised by social sharing of images. I was close to doing this question but felt it was too open for a mere 1500 words. Penelope differs from Craig in that she has a huge CV of exhibiting and despite also working in faculty seems to prefer the role of visiting lecturer.

The essay will explore the different approaches and methods, and why this makes the creators artists rather than just photographers. It will also look at what is required to make a piece of work appropriated and not just a plagiarism.


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© 2020 by Andy Przybyla