Typology sees to raise its head in every module I have studied so far and you can see much of what I think about it and about practitioners like Bernd and Hilla Beecher who I have studied in detail in the blogs of my past modules. I must confess I had not associated Typology with Landscape until this point, though I don’t really understand why as the link is clear and in fact, much of the work I looked at was a landscape in one form or another.
In general, I would say I am rather keen on typology and I love to make a nine by nine panel of typological similies which I have done on several occasions in the course of my degree. As an Engineer turned artist I do like the idea or order and of sorting things into classes and types, I am a really big fan of Hans Eijkelboom’s work people of the Twenty-First Century which is an enormous collection of typologies of people.
To move into the Landscape topic I decided to take a look at the work of Robert Adams. Initially, they made me react like a slug finding the salt as they seemed to me to be of the vernacular type I loathe, but I saw a Youtube clip on the New Typologies:
In this film, he talks about Adams and points out the way his images are split in two with one part being a classic nature landscape reminiscent of the work of Ansel Adams and the other half contains buildings, mobile homes and other modern (in the 1970’s) constructions. I started to really look at Adams work and saw this contrast in many of the images he made and found myself starting to like the whole concept. what for me had originally looked like something taken straight from my Mums Kodak Instamatic now takes on a richer and deeper meaning the images have far more depth and feeling than those old family snaps.
I am finding that I started this degree with some strange photographic prejudice and that the layers of this are slowly being peeled back to reveal a deeper understanding of the subject matter, I guess I am starting to see my own ignorance for what it is/was and have begun to throw it out in favour of a more enlightened understanding. I assume this is an indicator that the course is working and I am learning something. It does make me realise that I should challenge every fixed idea I have and look beneath the surface for the real answers. This was a strangely provocative exercise, I am not certain it was designed that way but it was very effective in making me look inward and see the need for change.