Thursday, November 10, 2005

Art imitates Life imitates Art?

The Culture Show had a nice piece about the work of Tom Hunter who will exhibit his work in the National Gallery next month. The collection, enticingly entitled 'Living in Hell' consists of photographs taken in Hackney, depicting scenes which have been reported in the local newspaper - but with an extra twist. He has also based the photographs on 'old masters' - well established and well known paintings displayed in the National Gallery.

It is a funny old coincidence that I have been noticing a lot lately, how not only does 'Art imitate Nature' (Mimesis, as I think the Greeks would have it), but that also in life I think we imitate art. A funny sort of circular thing.

Flickr has for example an 'Impressionist pool' here. In this group people show photographs which in some way are like Impressionist paintings.

In a slightly different vein, 'The Director of Photography' pool has work which looks as if the images are film stills. The photographers sometimes confess thatthey are trying to take shots that look like film stils; so that is art imitating art that imitates nature.

But there is also that thing where we set up our world as though it is the backdrop to the events we want to occur; Changing Rooms helps people to fulfill these ambitions - creating spaces that are often (I reckon) uninhabitable, but which look like amazing backdrops. Maybe this is what Lefebvre menat by the term 'pseudo-everyday'. There is artifice to the everyday.

Ancient architects appear to have set up grand arenas where people could strut their stuff and enjoy being a spectacle against a dramatic backdrop as here in Bologna maybe:


Goffman talked about The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, of course; we are aware of ways in which we may imitate or emulate others by adopting fashions and styles, or particular coveted items with iconic significance. But more than this I think we unconsciously orient ourselves, our behaviours in ways which reflect the narratives that endlessly are mediated and enacted around us everyday.

So .. here are the photos from Venice with elements of film; which I think show aspects ofreal life that are saturated, or at least sprinkled with, influences from Art ...



Don't Look Now

... Don't Look Now...


Anya said...

I looove the shots of the women - specially the red one! Her shoes are fab!

Lovely to see you back - can't wait to see more pics of Venice, lucky lucky lady!!! :>

Kate said...

Dr Joolz you are on top form and the red is SO enticing.
We are Artists who think alike.
Take a look at my posting today.
PS Hackney is not hell. It is heaven.

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Sheffield, South Yorks, United Kingdom
I am an academic interested in New Literacies, Digital Lifestyles, Informal Online Learning.