• Ruta Saksens


For this week’s activity we were asked to explore a photographic strategy that we hadn’t used before. I find rephotography to be quite a challenging strategy, therefore I chose to try it out in practice. It will not be a strategy that I will use in the ongoing research about human-canine bond, however I feel there’s a lot to learn from it. It was surprising to me how difficult it is to hold an existing photograph in my hand and try to fit it into the real scene so that thing would all fall in the right places. It’s quite difficult to find the exact spot from which a particular scene was photographed before.

Furthermore, in the video you can see how a magazine is being edited and existing photographs are being replaced with my own. I edited a Financial Times newspaper from June 1, 2021. I would certainly never buy this newspaper if it wasn’t for this task. While editing the text, I did take into account the existing images in the magazine. For example, in the picture where a man is wearing an orange helmet, I left the word ‘orange’ in the text, so that it would make sense in relation with the picture. The next image is of a man who is being interviewed, therefore I left the article in a form of an interview. In the third image there’s a house with a person inside in a quiet surroundings. The edited article is about rat power in Africa, therefore the edited text corresponds well with the image.

It wasn’t easy to edit the text, it seemed like the edited articles weren’t as interesting as they could be, a lot of the edited text doesn’t make any sense either. However, some parts turned out to be very entertaining and hilarious. My favourite part is probably the one about orange: ‘art-up: wear orange to stop lice’.

If the existing text is completely deleted, what is left is a lot of scenes of industrialization, emphasizing the technological development. In the first page there's a nature landscape with human technology (windmills) juxtaposed with a typical industrial city environment and another engine image at the bottom. Perhaps indicating that there's room for technological "improvement" (is it actually an improvement, that's another question). In the next image there's a poor house on one side and a desert like image on the other page with portraits of three people and an airport scene at the bottom. It doesn't make much sense, but one can create endless stories out of any images put together. Perhaps it's a house that is located in a desert environment, and the three people living in it, have all gone to the airport to fly away to find a better place. No matter what story I can up with, there's one thing in common in the pattern of how I read the images as a group, and that is reading from left to right, and from the top to bottom, just like reading a text. Of course, that is due to my Western background. Someone from Middle East would perceive this arrangement differently.

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