How is photograms related to C. G. Jung’s ”Collective Unconscious”? After the famous psychoanalytic passed away, there had been more and more people grouping into the organisations that supported the Jungian view to the World and us in it. C. G. Jung Centre has been created where they time from time create exhibitions that support the Jungian thinking. This is when I have read an article about the exhibition in this centre which rolled around the topic of the Buddhist approach to photography. Miksang (translated from Tibetian means ”good eye”) is the main idea for this type of photography.
Miksang has to do with photography. “Has to do” because it is called “contemplative photography,” an approach to seeing with perception unfettered by informed context, without bias, filters, or formulas.
The main idea of photography is to be open-minded in order to see and snap images that have a deep symbolic meaning. C. G. Jung believed in open-mindedness:
Jung reminds us that all scripture is archaic symbolic truth; that is, it is the expression of the psyche itself, needing only an open mind and a way to translate it. If you bring an open mind, I’ll bring a primer in the techniques of symbolic reading as well as an opportunity to plumb this ancient and powerful text for meaning at a collective as well as a personal level.
So how photograms relate to what has been explained before about photography and he relation of open-mind? I will talk about Man Ray’s and my personal work in the following paragraphs. If we take a look at the photograms we can see that they capture the moment of the perfect lighting, shade of grey, white or black and composition while communicating the symbols behind each of the images.
More information from: http://artvoice.com/issues/v12n30/art_scene/got_miksang and http://www.cgjungny.org/continuinged.2013s.html
Photogram experimentations was my third type of experimentations for the FMP project. During my first year of the course in illustration we have been taught on how to do photograms. Back then I believe I have came up with a pretty good experimental piece using a glass with water, some straws and glass pebbles – I loved the final outcome as the effect of light coming through all of these different object turned out all different. For my FMP I have decided to come back to this type of experimental work as I believe it gave me loads of ideas for inspirations. One of my biggest inspirations was well-known artist Man Ray (artwork shown below).
There are two different types of photograms that can be created: 1. using objects put straight on the photo paper; 2. putting negatives of photographs printed on tracing paper in order to create few different layers. Man Ray has a special place in my memory – he is the first person I can think of when talking about photograms. I love the way he experimented with different object – he used paper in many of his work which allowed him to create these strange light reflections on photo paper. Not only the compositions look strangely unique, imagery create it’s own narratives that catch your eyes.
For this technique I have chosen to work in the first technique of putting object straight onto the photo paper. A day before the dark room workshop – that I have set for myself – I have decided to look through the work that I have already done before and create sets- that will allow me to save time in the dark room. I have started cutting out shapes in paper that reflected my automatic workshop drawings. As I was interested in testing different types of mediums I have decided to use some unusual to art – cream foundation, black eyelash mascara, dry flower petals and similar. Some have been put between tracing paper, some between acetate which was stuck together in a pattern, some have been created by sticking tissue paper onto the cut-out paper spaces and similar. After looking at the final outcomes we can see that: cream foundation between patterned acetate turned out to look like light flashes – dreamy; mascara on acetate – watery like; tissue paper on cut-outs – transparent, however paper grain texture reflected onto the photo paper as well, dry flower petals in a bag of a shape of a cat – foggy, as if under water patterns or reminding of some sort of strange insects/animals/nature. Would I continue working in this technique? I must say I have enjoyed making the sets and the photograms a lot and could have definitely create a whole project around in this style, however, as from the start of working in this technique I have decided to use those images only for my inspiration. However, I will am looking forward in working on photograms for my FMP project but this time I will be working on the second type – negatives of photographs printed on tracing paper. But this will be for the future, after I have created my final compositions. Here are the pieces I came up in the end with for this technique: