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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Photographing Together, On the Road, Down Under

Whilst searching through online blogs suggested by this modules tutor I came across a very pertinent blog on flakphoto.com

Amy Stein and Stacy Mehrfar are two American photographers who have travelled across Australia taking pictures of people and places on their journey; there work is unusually entitled Tall Poppy Syndrome. I had to Google this to find out what if anything it meant and the definition from Wikipedia was....

To describe a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.

Being American's this naturally goes against the grain of their culture and when they discovered this term they investigated it with photographs a challenging and interesting concept, in their words......


This work is published by Decode Books (ISBN 978-0-9833942-2-8) and was exhibited in New York earlier this year at ClampArt.

The number of images shown is limited to twenty one, and these a a mixture of various sources. However a few more are available online to view via decode books [ http://www.youblisher.com/p/390554-DECODE-BOOKS-Tall-Poppy-Syndrome-by-Amy-Stein-and-Stacy-Arezou-Mehrfar/]

This work is interesting from this courses perspective as it helps in some form of guidance as to others views of capturing people and place. The images do capture an air of place and the people that use them, also the variation of how people are photographed makes for a more interesting set of images. Some are in portrait, others distant and unrecognisable.

This is a great collection of images though if I am to be honest from the limited selection I have seen I cannot relate these images to the Tall Poppy Syndrome, I am also unsure of how this could indeed be captured. There are though a couple of images that could suggest this....



In the above image it would appear to be taken of two girls at school. Their clothes suggest they are equal but their poses are very different perhaps one being uncomfortable in the others presence. This image has echo's of the Diane Arbus twins image.

The other below looks like it was taken at a WI meeting. The lady in the middle is the only one with eyes on the camera, whilst the others busy around. To me this suggests that the person in the middle, perhaps the chair, is the one that has the talent for leading and running this group but may be an outsider resented inwardly.



The above image is very clever and could almost mean anything to anyone. I do think that the images capture a sense of people and place and is one I struggle to visualise in planning. Hopefully this work will help in being able to see images of note.

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