Sticking with Ed Burtynsky, you’re now set the task of researching and establishing the context factors relating to Burtynsky’s work. This entails you researching Burtynsky and his work and identifying what drives it, what drives him to make the work and what kind of work it is?
‘Operational context’ This involves you discovering through research the type of work that Burtynsky does. We’ve discussed previously that photography can be seen to exist in 3 different domains…
· Amateur Photography 99% of the photography you see on Google images.
· Professional commissioned photography.
· Art Photography – personal work where the photographer has almost 100% control over every aspect of the process and the work and how it is sold/marketed/distributed.
What domain does Burtynsky’s work exist in – present your evidence to support your case.
‘Historical context’ – This involves you researching and discovering whether Burtynsky refers to other artists or photographers as an influence, who are they and can you see the connection – use images and quotes.
Read reviews and interviews relating to Burtynsky. Do reviewers and critics make connections with other artists/photographers – again use images and quotes and comment on whether you agree with what they say – why?
Zeitgeist Modern contextual factors – what is happening around the world – political, social, environmental that Burtynsky might be reacting to, what evidence can you find – use quotes. Explain and illustrate these connections.
How to put it together…
(1). Find an image – one that links to the word “Labyrinthine” and use as your Key image. Collect a number of associated images and any images linked to photographers/artists whose work influences Burtynsky’s.
(2). Write your initial response to the images saying what you think they’re about and what it is they are trying to convey to the audience – what is the message? Title this section ‘My initial response’.
(3). Then research Burtynsky and his work using the guidance above; produce your response based on your research/reading identifying and analysing the contextual factors.
You are strongly advised to use books and evidence the use of books in your bibliography.
The Photograph as Contemporary Art – Charlotte Cotton, Thames and Hudson.
Photography the Whole Story – Juliet Hacking and David Campany, Thames and Hudson