So just waiting for my prints to arrive after presenting the project pictures in class. We then had the announcement of the project for term 3 – Dreams/Reality. Now, for this project I want/need to demonstrate more of the research side of things as well as the finished product. So of course I have been thinking in general terms how I want to tackle this. My initial thoughts are to look at this from a magical realism and/or surrealist perspective as this might provide some fertile ground for creativity. However, I will not limit myself to just these two strands and will look for inspiration and ideas from other areas and media.

Literary inspiration: Magical Realism and other sources

For the magical realism, as a starting point I will re-read One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marques to see what I can draw from the novel. I really enjoyed the book the first time around, so I am looking forward to reading it again with a more defined purpose this time around.

I am also thinking of re-reading American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis – now that novel is not magical realism, and I doubt it would be considered surrealist either, but the story does raise the question of the state of mind and therefore the assumed dream state/reality of the main protagonist, Patrick Bateman. Does he commit those acts described in the book or is this all in his head?

Finally having discussed this topic with a friend of mine, he recommended reading some of the work of Haruki Murakami – so although I no longer that much of a book reader these days, I’ll get back into this to see what these texts throw up in terms of inspiration, be that direct or indirect.

Film inspiration: 

I am also intending on drawing on film as another medium for inspiration in how to approach this project. One film which I will want to see again is Biutiful, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and starring Javier Bardem – There are scenes in that film where Bardem is in a dream like trance, foreseeing but not understanding his imminent death.

Surrealism – art, drawing, photography

For my initial surrealist research I headed off to wiki to get some open source background – which appeared to be quite comprehensive

In addition I have already purchased a book to immerse myself more in the area – Surrealism (The World’s Greatest Art) by Michael Robinson  I am waiting for that to arrive to further the creative juices.

The wiki research lead me to the work of Alberto Giacometti, who was  sculptor, painter, draughtsman and printmaker and notably, not a photographer. Along the way I looked at Man Ray (in particular the solarisation technique) which has also been taken up by Mariah Robertson in some of her work, Paul Klee and Kansuke Yamamoto. Of course there are many others and I will refer to them in due course during the project research.

However, some of Alberto Giacometti’s sketches caught my eye, in particular the ones below – what this reminds me of the is the blurring that can occur when you take multiple exposures of the same subject and for me that is reminiscent of level of clarity that I sometimes reach when I am dreaming.


© Alberto Giacometti


© Alberto Giacometti


© Alberto Giacometti

This technique has unsurprisingly already been done in photographic terms by the likes of Idris Khan, Frank Malchalowski and Carla De La Matta – who have done this in terms of buildings and architecture – see below. However, I am thinking of using a person instead of a building or a landscape  – to be more in tune with Giacometti’s sketches. At this point I am thinking more of a headshot and thinking about an appropriate background – maybe not black or white this time, but a more striking colour? Alternatively, I may decide on taking all the pictures in black and white … decisions for another day. Another initial idea is to use a veil or other type of semi-transparent cloth to obscure and blur – coming back to the idea of a loss of clarity when in a dream like state – but that might be too a literal interpretation of dreams for me … we’ll have to see.


© Carla De La Matta


© Frank Malchalowski


© Idris Khan

At this stage I am thinking about a series of 5-7 photographs that moves from the dream state to reality…. how I going to conceptualise that, I am not sure and this idea may well change as I continue with this project, but one thing is sure: I am really going to enjoy this project!!!

This blog post covers assessment criteria references for Unit 2: 1.1