PHO702 Contextual Research / MA Falmouth University
Taiyo and Nico acutely describe and visualise their intent in this interview with the Photographers Gallery through the use of cinematography and stills to tell their story of their project Eurasia.
The photo project continues on from their previous project the ‘The Great Unreal’ in which they travelled across the United States of America “dealing with their own preconceptions and the myth of the American Road trip and self created image of America, The land of the free”. (Onorato & Krebs, 2017)
The road in New Topographic photographers work Stephen Shore, Lewis Baltz and Ed Ruscha spoke about the development of the West and the altering of the natural landscape by the Industries of the West.
Onorato and Krebs use these photographic cliche’s of the banal and uncommon places in their imagery to depict the man altered landscape of Asia. At peace with the understanding of the image as a fabricated trace of reality, a bias viewpoint with which the photographer often manipulates the image in some way (framing, post production or construction) in order to ‘document’ what they see in-front of them. Ontario and Krebs effectively re create reality and tell us fabricated narratives where we can suspend our beliefs and enjoy the moment and the construction that exists before us with their use of humour and theatrics. Their statement saying “we want people to be curious in what they see and explore and thing about what it does to them”. (Onorato & Krebs, 2017)
The acknowledge the technical limitations of the analogue camera, embracing it for it’s aesthetic values but undermining it as an entirely truthful document. Using non digital processes to manipulate and construct the landscape in front of them in order to make the viewer question the reality and validity of the image as document of the truth. “Not a documentary work it is pure invention, it is a fabricated image of how we look, how we perceive, how we understand or misunderstand.” (Onorato & Krebs, 2017)
Though they do want this understanding of the fabrication and artifice of the photograph as a trace to be a record of time, places and culture and for others to have an insight of the time.
“In a 100 years giving that our civilisation and this work still exist they may compare the work to their present time. To see what vanished and what change, but also keep a sense of humor by enjoying the stupidities and nativities of the world at the time.“It hopefully becomes a preserved way of how somebody looked at the world at a certain time” (Onorato & Krebs, 2017)
The work is a cleverly formed artifice which makes us question the purpose of the document as a trace of the truth. Using the moving image they breathe life into the still image as a document of this quasi historical document. The use of cinematography and the moving image could be effective in my project a Road To Nowhere as I’d like to construct, question and use cliches in my imagery to entice my audience and effectively communicate the idea of the M25 as a circular road leading to nowhere.
The performative aspect of the work is also enjoyed and their want for people to be curious in what they see is a useful narrative to capture the attention of the viewer. Much like Joan Fontcuberta and his fictional narratives I would quite enjoy the humour and questioning of the photograph as accurate historical document.
Fig 1: Onorato, Taiyo and Krebs, Nico. Eurasia (2017) Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs Interview with the Photographers Gallery (WWW) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu-b7hjnqlY