Top - Merced River,Yosemite Valley, David Hockney

Middle - Photographing Annie Leibovitz While She Is Photographing Me, Mojave Desert, David Hockney

Bottom - Telephone Pole, David Hockney

I’ve chosen to look at David Hockney as one of the artists to evaluate who uses photomontage.  Having previously looked at his work but his etchings for a previous project they had caught my eye when I’d seen them, that a single picture wasn’t enough there had to be more, set in an order to portray the one image from more than one perspective, more than one moment in time and space.

In the 1980’s he initially created these photomontages that he’d termed joiners, using a polaroid camera and set them out in a grid to create the image then progressed to 35mm camera as the images he wanted to create became more complex, started overlapping and shooting the same subject but moving the camera so as to capture it from different perspectives.   By taking the pictures from different viewpoints and placing them in a certain way, Hockney was able to change the apparent shape of space and introduce the element of time into the work.   It creates an affinity between his work and that of Cubism, his motivation for producing them being to introduce three artistic elements which a single photograph cannot have: layered time, space, and narrative.

The images look busy, they, at least to me, create a story in the timeframe the pictures were taken that a single photo couldn’t, and capture changes in the timeframe that a normal picture alone couldn’t.  The way he has used the photos to create the image so as to not create a standard rectangle, to leave parts out, only show what he wanted to show makes me feel he has shown the most impostant bits to him, I don’t get a sense of anything being left out more he has captured specific things.  I would liken it to a memory, you remember specific things, features, smells, the order of events, there are snippets of what has happened but using his technique all the information is displayed at once and not sequentially.

I would consider using this technique to create images, possibly not printing the pictures but manipulating them with a program as would allow me to play about with other settings but could produce the same outcome.  Although I would choose to use this technique in a certain way, to document a place at various times or the day or over a certain time frame but also for the memory aspect I have likened it to but a visual one, depending on what I have to hand possibly using sound.

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