A portrait always presents a dilemma, the thing that is searching for is probably unattainable. The desire to define a person in a single image is an unreachable chimera, human beings are tridimensional and always changing, subject to the flux of existence, they are not the arrest of time that is present in a photograph, the photographic view being a bidimensional representation of the world, nevertheless the portraitist resembling Sisyphus, pushes the rock up the slope, once and again in an unyielding action, fascinated by the chimera, his own pipe-dream in the wish to reveal, describe, suggest, define, talk, romanticize and realize a person.
We will take this idea as a point of departure, seizing it in a critical stance and using it as a springboard to put into motion creative strategies for doing portraits.
During this workshop we will study a diverse group of photographic projects which make use of a dialogue stablished in the relationship between images more than a single image for itself, in order to do a sort of compound portrait, a deepening in the labor of representation of a human being or a group of human beings, a complication that presents itself when we merge together different elements in order to find a single structure, a narrative thread, a system, a constellation of images sequenced together for the pleasure of seeing the humanity that lies within the genre of portraiture.
20 hours. 2 weekly classes for 5 weeks.
The workshop will be divided in two parts, the first one consisting more of a theoretical background with readings and class conversations and then practical exercises given by the teacher for students to do and bring to class for formal discussion and crit. For the second part of the workshop, students will build up a photographic essay mainly of portraits, with the possibility of using other genres of images in order to have the possibility of strengthening their point of view and intentions.
Length: 20 hours
Maximum number of participants: 10
Taught by: Ricardo Peña