Assignment 2 – further thoughts (and some reflection on demotivation)

I see that my previous posting on Assignment 2 was made in July 2018, some six months ago, which does nothing for my intended average progress of two months per Part of this module. Partly, this is due to outside events; I am trying to retire from my ‘day job’ but the remaining open files are, by definition, the ones most difficult to conclude.  However, I have to reflect on a period of demotivation, to understand the causes and come up with strategies to avoid recurrence.

One likely cause is that there is still a disconnect between ‘the art world’ and my own views on many photographic works, which I particularly noted during the early parts of Part 2. I still cannot admire lazy work (like Parr’s sleeping Japanese commuters) or the presentation of banal images (such as Wood’s ‘Looking for Love’) as more worthy than the contents of anybody else’s shoeboxes or albums. I am not sure whether this makes me a ‘naked-emperor-spotter’ or a ‘philistine’, or whether the two terms mean the same thing depending on who is speaking. My strategy (or call it a New Year resolution), moving forward, is to be more confident in my own opinions and less reticent about calling-out work that I consider substandard. It may lead to arguments, but perhaps I should embrace them.

I am finding that the OCA course model can be isolating. That is partly my own fault but a bit of ‘pastoral care’ would be welcome. I am now three months beyond the deadline for submitting assignment 2 and I have had no contact, from tutor or admin, to chase it up or to ask if there are any problems. My strategy (or another NYR) will be to engage better with the forums and social media pages. The difficulty is one of knowing how to engage with an existing discussion without feeling an element of superfluity or “me too”.

Finally, I suspect there is an element of inferiority complex where my coursemates appear to be producing ‘deep and meaningful’ or issue-driven work. I am not going to counter that, but embrace it. What I eventually produce for assignment 2 (once I have either found out what the brief is or written my own) will be done for fun.

The idea I have germinating is to ‘do an Avedon‘ by setting up some kind of studio outdoors, but with a pictorial backdrop (Clare Strand influence). My sitters will be asked to react to the backdrop. More to follow once I have got a clear idea, myself, of what I will be doing.


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