152mc Working with Light: Short presentation on Adam Fuss – Group Task 1

adam_fuss_portraitAs part of the new project we will be working in groups. This is something I have been looking forward to as it gives me a chance to engage with others and learn from their academic practices.

In order to facilitate the group activity we will be using an internet based technology called Google Drive. This is basically a web based word document that we can each access and add information to. This way we are able to communicate with each other and exchange knowledge even when we are not together. This should be an effective method of group working and should allow us to work efficiently.

Adam Fuss

Our first task was to make a short presentation on a nominated artist. We were assigned Adam Fuss a British born photographer that now lives in New York. In order to accomplish this task we agreed roles and responsibilities between us and set deadlines for work to be produced.

The group members and the roles for this task are listed below

Silver – Brief Bio and image processess

Meg  – Project Snake

Amy – Project invocation

Lee – Create a presentation and deliver on the day.

As I would like at least a day to absorb and understand the information and to collate it into an easy to deliver presentation I did not want to be working on it last minute so we all agreed to complete the other tasks by Wednesday evening. This would allow me most of Thursday to prepare. As it happens everyone in the group produced all the work by Wednesday afternoon providing detailed write ups on their own sections and putting them on google drive, from this I was able to make the presentation by Wednesday evening.

I decided to use powerpoint as I am familiar with it so I extracted the information provided to me through Google Drive and created the presentation below.

Adam Fuss – Summary

Adam Fuss was a British Born artist that now lives in New York. He began experimenting with pinhole photography in the early 1980’s his worked and his potential was quickly identified and he had started to exhibit by 1985. Fuss had become disillusioned with the sterility of working with cameras and wanted to become more involved in the physical creative process. He worked using Daguerreotypes for a while before finding his preferred medium of Photograms. In our presentation we looked at two of his projects, Snake and Innvocation. The snake project was drawn from childhood experiences where he had spent many hours watching a snake swim in a pond. He was fascinated by its grace and movement and wanted to recreate this in his work.

Adam Fuss - Snake

In order to freeze the motion, including the ripples he had to use flash. Placing the snake in water in direct contact with photosensitive paper he was able to create this silhouette.

Adam Fuss - Snake

Fuss was able to bring vivid and striking colours to his images using a Cibachrome dye process but Fuss was fascinated with the duality of the serpents image and went deeper into greek mythology and the Medusa legend.

Medusa was a woman, cursed by breaking her vows of fidelity when she married Poseidon and Fuss recreated this by making a photogram of a wedding dress full of snakes.

Adam Fuss - Medusa, part of the snakes project.

For his next project Fuss went in search of more ethereal concepts. For Innvocation he employed similar techniques but he substituted the snakes for babies. He used the same flash system to freeze the action and used the Cibachrome process to recreate the striking colours.

Adam Fuss - Innvocation

Adam Fuss - Innvocation

Fuss wanted the viewer to focus on the non-corporeal aspects of the image, such as Birth, Life, Love and Death rather than just seeing a baby in the water. Whichever way you see it the image is fascinating and holds the mesmeric qualities that keep you staring at it for hours.

For 30 years Adam Fuss has been bringing us stunning camera-less creations and is a master of his craft. His work can stand alongside past artisans such as Man Ray and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and contemporary adepts such as Susan Derges.

Drawing upon childhood memories and combining them with mythological or abstract spiritual concepts means his work is imbued with a haunting enigmatic quality that beguiles those that encounter its captivating essence.

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