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Artist Study: Robin Rhode

01 - 23 - 20

Influencing much of my second year work, Robin Rhode’s photographic series’ and their emphasis on both ‘play’ and and its presence of both ‘passed, present and future’ is still explored in my practice, not in the way it did last year however.

My regard for photography's role as a medium has shifted significantly since observing Rhodes work in year 2; much like Ballen, Rhode has a far too static approach to the framing of his photography (as dynamic as some of the subject matter is). Alongside this realisation, whilst working to complete my dissertation study on Christopher Wool, I began to critique the idea of the perfectly crafted, framed and well lit photograph over a more intentionally deskilled and raw work by Wool for example see below.

Other artists who influence this shift in mindset include photographers Martin Kippenberger and William Klein.

After researching into Rhode in my 2nd year I felt it important to contextualise Rhode’s work and its role in performance as a medium. Rhodes shares a lot with the majority of mid-late 20th century views on artistic aesthetic, that being the decision to pursue ‘elegantly composed cinematic landscapes rather than to create character or narrative’ .

In the case of my second year work I took this to mean I ought to pursue the former ‘cinematic landscape’ or, an experience driven work, not bound with a narrative like my first year work. However on reflection and coming back to Rhodes now I realise in many ways I have gone back towards conveying ‘character and narrative’ but not in the storyboard or whimsical sense that Rhodes explores. What I mean to say is my pursuit of presenting the non tangible ‘trace’ we leave on our surroundings and belongings, I am in fact presenting a narrative of sorts, an essence of character, but of character nonetheless.

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