The Art of Pathography

The artists’ creation of a ‘true self-portrait’ is bound up in meanings of self-hood and individuation; by means of his/her practice becoming a method of developing the artists’ need for self-discovery. Through this self-exploration, the artefact becomes an attempt to reveal something of the artist, a therapeutic tool perhaps, by which the photograph is used as a form of depth psychology. A mixed methodology of autoethnography and thematic analysis is undertaken of the language of response – language generated from the viewing of purely visual data – to examine and record patterns or themes within this information that is relevant to the research question. Through this form of removed analysis - the interpretation of the photograph and not the artist - can a new internal world of the artist be revealed? Is there a particular reading that could be universalised or is this unique to me? Or is the analysis a series of projections, a more of an understanding of the readers? The concerns of this thesis are with the ways in which the production of these photographs and their reception can be incorporated into an art practice and a new self-portrait is revealed.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Concerned Photographer - The Search for an Alternative Family Album

from Private to Public
Symposium curated by Sue Andrews and Fiona Yaron-Field

The Women’s Library, 25 Old Castle Street, London E1 7NT
Symposium 3.11.11 from 10am – 6pm

‘To search for historical truth is to live out the metaphor of analyst as archaeologist and to believe, along with Freud, that pieces of the past lie buried somewhere in the persons unconscious’ (Spence. D. 1987)

Spencer Rowell, PHD student at the Cass, artist/photographer

The Search for an Alternative Family Album
The obscured information of significance in a photograph is as revealing as the overt message that the photograph communicates. Recent critical discourse on photography has addressed the notion of the ‘concerned photographer’, where such practitioners’ key role is to witness the ‘truth’, documenting what is visible in the external world. However, many photographers are engaging with what is closer to home: social interactions, inter-personal relationships and representations of the inner world. The ‘concerned’ photographer now turns the camera inward.
Through my self-portraiture and study of psychoanalytical theory, I will discuss my practice and its impact on access to self-identity, relationships and interaction with the external world.

Spencer Rowell 2012

With contributions from Emmanuelle Dirix, Lecturer in Critical Studies at the Royal College of Art, Winchester School of Art, Central Saint Martins and Antwerp Fashion Academy in Belgium. Laura Hynd, Artist, Lesley McIntyre, Photographer, Eti Wade, Mother-Artist, Senior Lecturer in Photography University of West London, Ian Robertson, Artist / Subject Leader in Fine Art at The Cass, LMU and Susan Andrews, Artist / photographer/MA Photography Course Leader at The Cass, LMU.

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