Wednesday, 4 April 2012

McCullin v Norfolk

Looking to the future and where I want to be...

Life can get very boring very quickly especially if you're like me and don't settle very well. Having served in the Marines I've found it quite hard to settle into civilian life, it's not all fun and games while serving but when you get a chance to do your job, what you're actually trained for, there's no bigger buzz.
Looking to the future I intend to bring together all I have learnt from the two jobs I am most passionate about, soldiering and photography. Since starting my degree I have often struggled with the concept of war imagery being shown as art in it's purest form. I have huge respect for the likes of McCullin and Capa, who both served with and alongside frontline troops, without them I don't think the real impact of war would have been shown, people when reading papers/magazines generally tend to read the images in-front of them first rather than the text, which is why I feel it's so important to document the plight of others in any conflict, wherever it may be.

Recently I was shown the work of Simon Norfolk who I would say is more concerned with 'aftermath' rather than frontline action, this for me is more about photography as an art form rather than photojournalism. It doesn't immediately become apparent what you are viewing with Norfolk's work and needs explicit narrative. Don't get me wrong, I admire his work and understand his concept but the work of McCullin and Norfolk are worlds apart.

Recently when I expressed my intentions to get to Afghanistan to an an art critic, when they viewed a piece of my work (see toast on previous blog) they asked me what the two had to do with each other, 'photography' I replied. For me the camera is a tool, nothing more, nothing less, and you should be able to use it for whatever reason you see fit.

With this venture it's another case of 'if you don't shake the tree you don't get any apples' what I mean by this is I will have to bang on a lot of doors, cut a lot of red tape and ask a lot of questions to get where I want to be. My intensions are to capture troops pulling out of Afghanistan in 2014 and involve this with my last years B.A work. This I know is generic at the moment I will take a fair amount of planning...but it's what I do well!
Kabul Simon Norfolk

Shellshocked Soldier Don McCullin 1968

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