Power, Narrative and Presentation

Yusuke Yamatani © 2014

I have seen rather a few exhibitions this summer and not just photography but sculpture, video, performance, writing, sound and painting; I just could not get enough. What I found interesting though with all these shows, is just how controlling photographic narrative can be through certain forms of production and presentation.

Found Paintings and Sculptures

Bryan 5

I started noticing things on the street that looked like art. The first ‘piece’ was by a bus stop where someone had folded dozens of crisp packets and wedged them into fence. I liked the absurdity of the act. I also thought it looked good. Soon after I noticed that graffiti is sometimes painted out with hard edged geometric shapes. All of this was grist to my mill and I started keeping an eye out for what I called ‘found paintings and sculptures’.

Her Master’s Voice

The Studio of the Painter, a Real Allegory, 1855 (oil on canvas) (detail of 19190)

The ethics of asking people to work with you or for you without pay are fraught but often these are the jobs that turn out to be the most rewarding, and with care it is possible to glean some amazing experiences from working in this way.

To Read or Not to Read…


‘Which should I do? Read, or write?… There’s not much of a record, in the memoirs of writers, about the tension I have just described, the silent competition between reading and writing. I don’t know if many writers feel it. I do know some writers seem to resent reading, to resent literature even – as if it were unfair competition.’