So I started taking pictures of my brother, and I had a vague idea of the book I wanted to write. What happens next? I took more photography courses and classes about refining my vision.
I found that I had to filter through advice about composing a photographic memoir and make some decisions. For example, I was asked early in my process whether the goal of my project was to look through a window or into a mirror; in other words, is my book about me or my brother? Based on the answer to this question, other questions crop up: How will the book progress? What are the themes?
Most importantly, once one knows what the story is about, one can identify photographs that are needed to fill in the story. One example of this is the photograph from yesterday: the somewhat invasive picture of my brother in the shower. This was a necessary shot if my goal was to show a day in his life.
A statement of purpose by the artist is a way to introduce a project in grant applications, gallery proposals, as well as a way to structure the project itself. Below are some of my thoughts early in this project development process:
Greek chorus iteration
What about the story is profound? – This will be the guiding principle of the project…
Story should be about Michael in the context of the family.
Different physical tracks in the book.
Family pictures and family in response to Michael is the Greek chorus… placement at the bottom track.
Top track: pictures of Mike. Question – what is the progression? Young -> Old: chronology, baby pictures to old man pictures; baby pictures with Mike appearing to be aware, to pictures of him in a fog.
Bottom track: 1) Willowbrook; 2) narrative; 3) Greek chorus.
Once a framework is established, missing elements can be supplied.
It can be frustrating, though.
Your project sounds fascinating. I wish you luck and look forward to further posts.
Thank you Ishaiya. I appreciate your comment. I’ll keep the posts coming!
As a Classical Studies minor at U Penn, I studied Latin & Greek. Interesting, your springboarding off the Greek chorus.
The intention was to offer commentary about Michael. However, unlike a Greek chorus, there isn’t a unified voice in response to his influence on the family. Perhaps this was. Of the way to go. What do you think, brining to bear your background in Greek literature?
I think the family tracks could be an artistic rendition of the Chorus.
I have to think about whether a chorus is an appropriate device. Isn’t a chorus a stanza that is repeated after a number of verses? If I could find something unchanged, throughout the narrative, I could use that as a chorus, or reference point. Thanks for that!