Phonar: Task Three

 

Looking over my assignment set by Julie Winokur I was happy as this is an artist which I had no idea about. I hadn’t heard of Winokur so researching into her work was an eyeopener as it’s something I would never have thought to look into.

It was quite difficult to search about Winokur’s work as she produces a lot of videos. I looked into her film she made about her family life. The Sandwich Generation, which captures a personal interaction between herself and her father, Herbie. The film exposes her personal life as she tells the story of her journey caring for her father. Her video was so touching which I recommend anyone to watch. It shows a wonderful bond of family and the hardship of getting older gracefully.

After researching into her work, I was quite nervous but excited. I don’t often share my personal life in the way that Winokur has done, so this is going to be challenging for me.

Step One :

Read your Playbook assignment very thoroughly. Think about how you could summarise it to someone who hasn’t read it (it may be helpful to think about how you would explain it to another photographer). Then tweet a synopsis of the assignment that focuses on the key elements that are guiding the assignment.Think about how your interpretation could allow that person who hasn’t read it to understand it, and even complete it! Be creative with your words, and keep your synopsis under three tweets.


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I have tweeted a synopsis as to what I believe my assignment is asking me to do. From looking into The Sandwich Generation, I began to realise that this assignment is asking me to photograph someone who I may look after. This is quite scary to photograph, as I don’t know if anyone would want to be a part of this collaboration. However, I am excited to get started.

Step Two:

Conduct an investigation into the author of your task. Be thorough. Immerse yourself in learning as much as you can about their life and career. This investigation will be realised with an Instagram post that shares a visual portrait of the author, with some key statements that will enable a reading audience to get some sense of who they are, and what you have discovered about them.

From looking into Julia Winokur, it wasn’t what I imagined and I have grown to love her. Here are a few initial facts that I came across while researching into her life:

  • Winokur is a writer and documentary film producer
  • She is the Executive Director of Talking Eyes Media.
  • Married to Ed Kashi
  • Her documentary film making drove her to film her own family life, which turned into The Sandwich Project. 
  • She cares for her two Children and Father Herbie.
  • Studied at University of Michigan
  • Very heartfelt – very into her family life
  • Walm character

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Capturing a visual portrait of Julie Winokur was challanging. I considered to include all of her work and what she produces in this picture however, I know she has a variety of different films portraying many different messages, such as The Sandwich Generation focusses on her own personal family life, whereas her latest work, “Bring It To The Table’ is an interactive web series which highlight different people beliefs politically. Although her work is varied, I thought her work from The Sandwich Generation fits to what she is like as a person, instead of a film producer/director. Winokur has a heart of gold, her love for her family reflects through this film, which represents what Winokur stands for and what she is going through.

I took this image to as a representation of who Winokur is. This is a photograph from my home which I thought would relate to her Sandwich Generation film. Winokur has a strong heart, I used warm colours to highlight a sense of comfort. I also included a pair of glasses in the picture, to represent how she looks after her elderly father, as well as still being a filmmaker and a Mother of two. I didn’t edit this picture at all. I didn’t feel it was appropriate to as Winokurs style of working is very straight forward. Her work doesn’t force you to feel or think a certain way, it shows it as it is. Getting a sense of who Julie Winokur is has made me think about how I can include my personal life into my image making, which I am considering to do so in the future.

 

Step Three:

Conduct an investigation into the author of your task. Be thorough. Immerse yourself in learning as much as you can about their life and career. This investigation will be realised with an Instagram post that shares a visual portrait of the author, with some key statements that will enable a reading audience to get some sense of who they are, and what you have discovered about them.

I found this step quite easy. I knew that Julie was very much into her family and the interactions she has with her Father Herbie. Her video exposes so much about her life that I feel guilty watching, it was as if her diary was played to me and I had no way of telling her what my own family life is like. Working in the style of Winokur was very simple, as in some ways she is a lot like me. She looks after her Father as well being a Mother to two children. Although I don’t have children, I feel as if I mother my younger sister, as my parents are deaf and are not capable of doing some activities. This is where the name ‘The Sandwich Generation’ came from. Researching into her own photography and filmography, I come to understand the meaning behind her assignment set in the photographers playbook. By capturing under her instructions, it focuses me to capture a situation that is personal to me, as she has done with her imagery. As my Grandfather suffered from the same illness as Herbie, I looked at my family album to highlight how my Grandfather showed his illness over time. Relating this style of photography back to Winokur’s film. I picked out three images of my Grandfather who recently passed away. He suffered with dementia and in some ways, this came through in his body language.

 

Step Four:

Complete the assignment!!!

Through looking into Winokurs work, I wanted to reveal how she would approach this task herself. I decided to dig into my family achieve to find the instructions in Winokurs assignment. The situation I chose was how I interact with my Grandparents. It’s mostly common that the generations in family and outside family are separate. When I was younger, I would go to my Grandparents house and leave my Mother to talk to my Grandparents, while I would play in the garden with my siblings, without getting involved in conversation with my Grandparents. Then while growing up, I have become more considerate and got myself involved in conversation. I have chosen images that show how I interacted with my Grandparent when I was little as well as now as a young adult. Showing the difference between play when I was younger and as an adult. A lot like Winokurs Sandwich Project, later on in my life, I would have to nurture and be more aware of my Grandparents.

‘Photograph a scene with multiple images, capturing – the situation, characters, interaction, a detail which seems surprising, detail that seems obvious, and a view from the outside’

I made these image look quite dark in black and white. This is because it shows the age of the photographs as well as bringing a narrative to them.

Showing Narrative through my final images: 

  • Black and white – making the images look dated. Make the audience feel upset and nervous. I made the black and white intense, to highlight the skin of the people in the photos.
  • The dark images represent people that are no longer living. Giving my audience a sense knowing that the images are sad and upsetting.

 

Who is my audience:

  • Myself
  • My own family members
  • Other artists who want to be inspired by family photography
  • My Grandparents
  • People who are interested in relationships through photography
  • Portraiture photographers

What do I want my audience to feel:

  • Humour, as some images rely on humour.
  • Content, making them realise that growing older can be a struggle for people around you.
  • Make my audience think about the people in their lives – Grandparents, Parents etc.

What do I want my audience to know:

  • The people who mean most to you may no longer be with you.

 

Step five: Critical Rational

Julie Winokurs “The Sandwich Project” really got me thinking about the situations that happen in my life that I may not get in the far future. Doing a project on my Grandparents has always been an aim of mine. I love how photographs can give a feeling or a sense of warmth by its mood and contents. In some ways, Winnower has completed her own assignment by making The Sandwich Project. Which got me thinking about if Winokur lived my life, what situation would she decide to photograph.

My response to Winokur’s assignment was very personal to me. Maybe, this body of work only works for me as the main viewer. The connection I have to the images may not be the same to a viewer who does not know my life and the people in the photographs. This is something I would work to, to allow my audience to receive the exact same feeling I get from these images.

After collecting the images, I decided to put them in black and white. I feel as if this helps the images show it’s meaning. Colour doesn’t distract the audience, and makes them think more into the details of the photograph. I researched into different artists who photograph the elderly and the main one that stood out was Lee Jeffries. Jeffries photographs portraits in black and white to be brutally honest with the audience. Showing every detail on the face, allowing age to show in the participant. This effect has worked well with my images, as you can really see the age in my subjects.

I have really enjoyed this project. I only collected just a handful of images from a wider range of photographs. I believe that this project could go further and portray a better understanding. I feel this project would be perfect as a photobook publication.

 

Step six: Communication to Julie Winokur

I decided to write a letter to Winokur. I made the letter personal, as Winokur exposes herself personally with her film. I can picture Winokur sitting down and reading this completely. I just hope she gets to know me as much as I got to know her through this task.

 

 

 

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