As planned in my Final Project Proposal, I signed up for the Folio Friday at The Photographers Gallery. I have so little opportunities to speak face to face with someone eager to listen about my project who could give me some professional opinion about the project state/direction that the Folio Friday seemed a really good opportunity for that kind of contact.
I prepared my portfolio consisting of the original silver gelatin prints secured by the crystal clear sleeves bought from Silverprint, and also the C-type prints of some of the works I consider to be part of the final body of work.
I did not have any expectations really and I tried to imagine the worse scenarios to not feel too frustrated and disappointed after. The worse scenario would be to get into the state of fear and total black out which I know very well from the webinars…When I feel like that I can’t think, focus, I don’t remember what people say because in panic I search for the right words and can’t find them… and everything is getting worse with every second.
Nothing like that happened and I enjoyed talking about the project and the most characteristic to my practice methods and techniques.
The Folio Friday is run by Steve McLeod, the photographer, educator and also owner of the, rather well known, print company Metro. I had some specific questions to Steve which I of course forgot to ask, or perhaps I should say I did not really have a time to ask. The chat was rather short and mainly about my experimental/alternative camera-less techniques. After this and the previous chats with other photographers taking part in the event, I realised how much their perception of my works change when the methods and processes are explained.
I expected that knowing how much my understanding and attitude towards the experimental photography changed since I experiment with analogue methods, but I realised how distant and difficult to grasp the explanation may sound for someone not interested in darkroom magic. It is rather big mental effort to understand the idea behind my works, not just regarding the methods but also the context. This make me really think about how to improve the way I disseminate my works.
Steve asked me how I am going to explain to potential spectators the exciting story which stands behind my images. My answer was that the photobook is probably the best platform for this. His suggestion was to keep the explanation separate from the images so the works can be perceived for its visual qualities first.
All photographs by Rita Rodner