Monday, 19 May 2014

Thijs Wassink

The most recent guest lecture was from Thijs Wassink, who is half of the photographic due Wassink Lundgren.
Wassink came in to talk about the past and recent series that they have produced. One of the earliest body of work that they produced was call 'Empty Bottle'. The project came to be by pure coincidence. They were photographing a scene with a 5x4 camera, but the image the produced, they personally did not like, and felt that there needed to be something else within the photograph to make it. They went back to the same spot and photographed it again, but this time they placed an empty plastic bottle that one of the two had just finished with in the middle of the exposure. But instead of just getting the bottle in the picture, they also captured a person picking it up. The two photographs had made this happen, so they decided to try this technique again in a different place. The same happened again. They were creating reality. They were physically making the image. 

One series of theirs that I particularly like is the series 'Don't Smile Now, Save It For Later'. 
The photographs were simply taken using a photobooth that you would usually find in supermarkets and shopping districts. They then used a mirror to reflect what was outside the booth. So very simple, and yet the fascinating thing is that they were the first to do it. It makes you think about what other possibilities you could go down with photography that have never been tried before.

Another series that I liked, was purely for its tongue in cheek approach. Ruben Lundgren, the other half of the duo was the main focus of the series. Lundgren is quite a tall man, and where he travel (usually around the orient) the people are a bit smaller, so he is always picked up on his hight. People wanting photographs with him, as a kind of souvenir saying maybe 'I went to the city and saw a tall white man'. He got asked about his hight so much that they thought it would be a good idea to make a series about it. Documenting him, a tall man, in small (hight wise) countries. They even made him clothes were it says exactly how tall he is, so they don't have to ask. 200cm exactly, or 6ft 6 inches in the UK measuring system.  

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