IC - week 2 - Contextual research

Robert Cumming

Michelle Sank, my course tutor, recommended me the works of Robert Cumming recently. I started sketching out my concept of the 'impossible places' and this reference is just brilliant. I recognise some of the Cumming's works (probably from some collective publications) but never really look closer at his unique and influencial work.

Robert Cumming ,  Theatre for Two - Easy Analogies , 1978

Robert CummingTheatre for Two - Easy Analogies, 1978

Cumming arranged the common objects in an unusual way, experimented with light and vantage point. He begun as a sculptor but at some point realised that a nature of photographs gives him the ability to play with perception, light and other site specific ephemeral elements. His works exist in a space between photography, sculpture, installation.

I found an interesting essey written by David Company about Cumming. Here is what he says about the way Cumming used to produce his works:

"Each of Cumming’s images would begin with an idea (and it’s best not to ask where that came from). The idea would be translated into a meticulous drawing on paper. In the process of drawing, Cumming would be thinking through the practicalities. Then he would turn to making the necessary props and sets. When everything was ready, he would light the scene, set up the camera, and make the image." David Camapny, Domestic Disorder: Re-viewing the Photographs of Robert Cumming

I'd like to adopt similar stages to my production processes. It is interesting that when dealing with painting I usually, if not always, had some sketches of the concept. I have never done that for my photographic works. I like the experimental and spontaneous nature of my images and that way of working gives me so much freedom but I will try to incorporate the sketching phase at least to make sure that it doesn't work.