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Joseph cultice, the garden (edit)2
 

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    Joseph cultice, the garden (edit)2 Joseph cultice, the garden (edit)2 Document Transcript

    • Joseph  Cultice  –  The  Garden    Conceptual  Practice  The  images  in  this  body  of  work  depict  adults  caught  between  what  he  calls:  “Contradicting  desires  for  limitless  debauchery  and  domestic  bliss,  as  a  messy  domestic  life  interspersed  with  seemingly  wild  liberation”.  Cultice  was  trying  to  portray  this  issue  with  a  series  of  staged-­‐narrative  images,  depicting  the  issue  as  he  saw  it.  He  forces  the  question:  “is  the  nuclear  family  still  a  relevant  dream  for  contemporary  society?”  on  the  audience,  as  although  many  people  are  very  happy  with  their  domesticated  lifestyle,  there  are  still  underlying  desires  for  self-­‐indulgence,  rebellion  and  living  for  today.  Although  this  is  a  common  issue  about  a  certain  section  of  society,  he  has  used  only  himself  and  his  own  family  members  in  these  photographs;  a  technique  that  would  indicate  the  purpose  and  meaning  of  this  body  of  work,  and  is  an  issue  he  feels  is  personal  to  him.      A  garden  has  been  used  in  each  of  these  photographs,  as  Joseph  Cultice  believes  that  the  Garden  of  Eden,  stands  at  the  very  centre  of  these  contrasting  desires  and  symbolises  the  very  issue  he  is  trying  to  convey.  He  believes  that  biblically,  although  Adam  and  Eve  were  bound  by  domestic  responsibilities,  despite  being  in  happiness,  there  was  still  an  element  of  rebellion,  self  indulgence  and  freedom,  and  example  of  this  would  be  Eve  taking  an  apple  from  the  tree,  despite  the  fact  that  God  had  explicitly  told  her  not  to.        Withdrawal  of  concept  through  2  images  Image  1       • This  image  shows  Joseph  sitting  on  the  sofa  watching  television;  the  mise-­‐ en  scene  depicts  props  that  have  been  placed  around  him  such  as  a  bong,   several  bottles  of  alcohol,  these  items  have  connotations  of  recklessness   and  partying,  which  links  back  to  Cultice’s  concept  of  desires  for  limitless   debauchery.     •  
    • • It  also  shows  that  he  has  a  lot  of  time  on  his  hands,  as  he  is  able  to  sit   there  for  hours  doing  nothing  but  watching  television,  and  consume   drugs,  alcohol  and  take-­‐away  food.  As  a  result  of  this,  the  room  is  a   complete  mess,  almost  like  he  is  trying  to  rebel  or  escape  from  the   domestic  conditions  that  he  currently  lives  in,  in  order  to  feed  his  other   desires  for  debauchery.   • The  room  doesn’t  look  like  it  would  always  be  messy,  as  the  props  on  the   floor  and  table  look  recent,  and  don’t  look  very  old.  E.g.  I  doubt  that  he   would  be  able  to  survive  for  a  long  period  of  time  with  2  packets  of  crisps   and  a  pizza.  His  family  must  be  out  of  town,  as  there  is  an  ‘Okay’   magazine,  which  is  aimed  at  women,  so  it  is  doubtful  that  it  is  his,  there  is   also  a  pair  of  children’s  girl  shoes  on  the  floor,  so  there  is  still  an  element   of  family  and  domestic  lifestyle  within  the  image,  despite  it  being  minute.   • He  looks  like  he  has  most  likely  sat  there  all  through  the  night,  because   the  two  lamps  in  the  corner  of  the  room  are  still  on,  and  assuming  that  he   only  needs  them  in  the  dark,  he  may  have  turned  them  on  at  night,  and   because  of  the  laziness  of  this  character  at  this  time,  has  yet  to  turn  them   off.     • The  garden  is  in  the  background  of  the  image,  and  can  be  seen  through   the  window,  and  the  sunlight  that  is  shining  through  the  window  could   symbolise  the  conflict  between  the  two  desires  that  Cultice  mentions.   (Light  +  Dark  =  Domesticity  +  Debauchery)   • He  looks  like  he  hasn’t  showered  yet  either,  as  he  is  sitting  in  his  pyjamas,   slouching  on  the  couch.        Image  2      
    • • The  subject  of  the  photograph  is  lying  down  on  a  towel  in  her  back  garden   wearing  only  her  underwear  whilst  she  reads  a  book.  This  sort  of  clothing   in  such  an  open  area  has  connotations  of  freedom  and  rebellion  to  the   social  norm  of  wearing  clothes  in  such  an  open  area.   • On  the  flip  side  of  this  rebellion,  there  are  children  toys,  and  a  washing   line  in  the  background,  which  suggests  that  despite  this  desire  to  do  what   she  wants  when  she  wants,  she  still  has  domestic  responsibilities  to  deal   with.   • There  is  also  a  noticeable  difference  in  the  lighting  between  the  primary   subject  and  the  props  in  the  background.  The  subject  in  the  centre  of  the   photograph  seems  to  be  illuminated  slightly  more  than  the  props  in  the   background,  and  the  photographer  has  more  than  likely  done  this  with   artificial  light  sources  to  make  a  distinct  separation  between  the  sections   of  the  image  which  both  symbolise  different  desires  -­‐  Almost  a  metaphor   for  light  versus  dark.   • The  soft  lighting  of  this  image  also  has  connotations  of  normality  and   innocence,  and  may  suggest  that  she  thinks  that  there  is  nothing  wrong   with  her  self-­‐indulgence  and  ignorance  of  her  domestic  responsibilities,   and  she  seems  to  be  escaping  from  those  domestic  conditions  to  do  what   she  wants  to  do.   • The  body  language  of  the  subject  also  suggests  that  she  is  rather   comfortable  sitting  down  in  the  garden,  wearing  only  underwear,  with   not  a  care  for  the  child  that  she  obviously  has,  and  has  perhaps  left  it  up  to   the  responsibility  of  the  child’s  father,  while  she  relaxes.        Identification  of  Genre  conventions        The  genre  that  Joseph  Cultice  had  chosen  to  shoot  this  body  of  work  in  was  staged  narrative,  and  it  is  clear  that  his  body  of  work  is  a  depiction  of  how  he  
    • sees  this  problem,  this  is  also  supported  by  the  fact  that  in  many  of  the  photographs  he  uses  his  own  family,  making  it  ever  more  personal  to  him.    This  image  is  a  good  illustration  of  the  conventions  of  a  staged  narrative  genre,  the  first  and  foremost  distinctive  feature  of  a  staged  narrative  photograph  is  an  ‘enigma  code’,  and  this  image  leaves  the  viewers  asking  multiple  questions  about  the  image,  each  of  these  questions  born  from  the  ‘Mise  en  scene’  that  has  been  carefully  constructed  within  the  image.    She  is  wearing  a  nice,  outgoing  top,  which  somebody  would  probably  wear  if  going  to  a  party  or  a  nightclub,  so  it  forces  the  question  and  places  the  enigma  code:  where  is  she  going  and  why  does  she  look  like  that.  Another  thought  provoking  asset  to  this  image,  is  why  the  subject  is  not  wearing  anything  on  the  lower  half  of  her  body,  other  than  her  silver  shoes.  This  again  could  soon  relate  to  the  rebellion  and  devil  may  care  attitude  that  the  subject  is  desperately  trying  to  hang  onto  whilst  simultaneously  trying  to  maintain  a  domestic  lifestyle  with  her  family.    The  main  subject  is  also  paying  more  attention  to  what  appears  to  be  a  mobile  phone,  than  her  child  beside  her  who  appears  to  be  sleeping  on  the  floor.    There  is  another  enigma  code  here  as  the  positioning  of  the  child  on  the  floor  looks  like  he  may  have  either  fell  down  or  have  been  dropped  whilst  sleeping  as  the  position  of  his  leg  pointed  slightly  upwards  suggests  that  he  may  have  moved  to  that  position  by  other  means  than  attempting  to  sleep  there  intentionally.    The  light  is  also  on  in  the  house,  coming  through  the  window  so  suggests  that  somebody  else  is  in,  and  knowledge  from  looking  at  the  other  photographs  that  are  similar  to  this  photo  suggest  that  it  is  her  husband  who  is  in.  This  leads  to  ask  the  question:  what  is  he  doing?  And  where  is  his  involvement  in  the  caretaking  of  the  child,  is  he  just  as  bad  as  the  mother  in  giving  into  these  rebellious  desires  for  immediate  and  selfish  pleasures?      Another  convention  of  the  staged  narrative  genre  is  that  the  images  are  ‘staged’  and  a  scene  is  set  up,  with  the  photographer’s  specifications  in  mind,  it  is  the  complete  opposite  approach  to  photography  in  comparison  to  documentary.  This  image  clearly  has  been  set  up,  as  although  the  photographer  is  the  husband  of  the  subject,  in  a  scenario  where  this  was  documentary,  the  subject  would  not/  would  be  very  unlikely  to  stand  bottom  half  naked  for  a  photographer,  and  it  is  also  unlikely  that  the  child  on  the  pavement  would  be  sleeping  there  if  there  was  a  warm  bed  inside.                    
    •      Photographer  Technique  Analysis  (Father  +  Son  under  umbrella)      Camera  Tech     • This  photograph  has  a  very  deep  depth  of  field,  as  the  toy/ball  in  the   foreground  is  in  pretty  good  focus,  and  the  focus  is  good  all  the  way   through  the  image,  but  falls  out  of  focus  slightly  towards  the  background,   as  is  evident  with  the  children  toy  in  the  back  right  of  the  shot.  I  think  that   Cultice  would  have  used  an  aperture  setting  of  around  f/18,  as  this  allows   for  sufficient  depth  of  field  without  sacrificing  too  much  light  such  as  an   aperture  like  f/32  might.   • Because  the  lens  has  been  set  with  a  very  small  aperture  you  would   imagine  that  the  shutter  speed  has  been  set  to  a  long  exposure,  however,   because  of  the  high  amount  of  light  within  the  scene  from  the  sun  (and   possibly  reflectors),  this  wasn’t  necessary.  Instead  of  a  slow  shutter   speed,  which  would  compensate  for  the  limited  light  being  allowed  into   the  camera’s  sensor,  because  of  the  small  aperture,  a  relatively  quick   shutter  speed,  has  been  used,  as  is  evident  with  the  lack  of  motion  blur  on   the  small  child’s  hand.  However,  the  shutter  speed  wouldn’t  necessarily   be  that  fast  as  the  genre  of  this  image  is  staged-­‐narrative  and  so  the   actors,  including  and  perhaps  especially  the  child,  may  have  been  asked   for  stay  still  for  a  brief  moment  of  time  so  the  photographer  could  get  the   correct  exposure.  I  would  say  that  the  photographer  may  have  used  an   exposure  time/shutter  speed  of  around  1/20s  give  or  take  1/10s.  
    • • As  far  as  I  can  tell  there  isn’t  any  noise  within  this  image,  and  the  other   two  exposure  settings  in  conjunction  with  the  good  quantity  of  light  from   the  sun,  would  probably  produce  a  decent  exposure  setting  anyway.  So  I   think  that  Cultice  has  used  an  I.S.O  setting  of  100  or  perhaps  200,  as  I  see   no  conceptual  reason  for  there  to  be  any  grain/noise,  and  the  previous   exposure  settings  would  have  been  sufficient  for  a  good  exposure.      Consideration  of  Lighting     • For  this  image,  the  photographer  doesn’t  appear  to  have  used  any   artificial  lighting  as  the  main  light  source  appears  to  be  the  sun,  which  is  a   natural  light.   • Although  it  produces  hard  lighting,  which  would  give  connotations  of   drama,  and  perhaps  mystery,  the  photographer  has  used  high  key   lighting,  and  a  natural  white  balance,  which  helps  to  reduce  the   dynamic/dramatic  feel  to  the  image,  creating  a  photograph  that  looks  a   lot  more  natural  despite  the  hard  lighting.   • It  is  also  possible  that  he  has  used  a  reflector  to  reduce  the  contrast   between  the  highlights  and  shadows  on  the  subject’s  faces,  other  than   that  the  only  other  way  that  Cultice  may  have  reduced  this  contrast,  was   his  clever  use  of  location,  because  the  large  light  coloured  wall,  may  have   acted  as  a  large  reflector  to  bounce  the  light  back  onto  the  other  sides  of   the  subject’s  faces,  reducing  the  harshness  of  the  transition  from  light  to   dark  on  the  subjects’  faces.    Composition     • The  rule  of  thirds  has  been  used  in  this  image,  as  the  man  on  the  left  hand   side  of  the  photograph  falls  across  the  bottom  left  intersection  on  the  rule   of  thirds  grid.  The  woman  on  the  right  hand  side  is  also  positioned  close   to  the  top  right  intersection  of  the  grid.  This  is  done  as  these  are  the  two   main  subjects  that  he  is  trying  to  depict  as  having  contradicting  desires,   the  small  child  may  not  have  been  placed  in  a  similar  spot,  as  the   photographer  wanted  to  metaphorically  place  him,  caught  between  their   contradicting  desires.   • The  texture/pattern  of  both  the  exterior  house  walls/  patio  provide   plenty  of  natural  lines,  which  help  lead  the  audience’s  eyes  into  the  shot   and  towards  the  subjects,  helping  to  direct  focus  on  the  most  important   area  of  the  shot.    Vantage  Point     • Joseph  Cultice  has  used  an  eye  level  vantage  point  +  camera  angle  as  he   has  attempted  to  keep  this  photograph  as  natural  looking  as  possible,  so   that  the  photo  will  look  less  posed  and  thus  more  realistic,  an  asset  of  a   photograph  that  he  wants  to  keep,  to  be  able  to  highlight  that  this  is  a   real  issue,  and  not  just  a  point  of  view,  which  would  have  been  imposed   with  a  different  camera  angle.  
    •        Framing/Shot  type,  CU,  ECU,  MS,  LS,  ELS     • The  shot  type  of  this  image  is  a  long  shot,  and  this  shot  type  was  chosen   because  it  allows  the  photographer  to  show  each  of  the  family  members,   and  what  they  are  doing/how  they  are  feeling,  (judging  by  facial   expression  &  body  language)  whilst  at  the  same  time  it  keeps  the  location   in  focus  as  well,  which  would  highlight  that  this  is  a  very  domestic/family   orientated  location.  This  allows  the  audience  to  make  a  link  between  the   location/domestic  conditions  and  how  the  subjects  are  feeling,  and  make   that  distinction  that  there  must  be  something  wrong,  (in  particular  with   the  woman)  despite  having  a  family  to  love  and  a  house  to  live.