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Image of a nude figure, blurred from the waist up, and surrounded by darkness.

Liora Goldstein – A response to Realism and Representation


  • Student Journal
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  • Photography


At the beginning of this year (my second year), I produced a body of work in response to our unit brief, Realism and Representation.

Previously, subjects I have worked with have involved the female nude. My interest in this developed during A-Levels, when I came across the works of Bill Brandt and Man Ray. My curiosity towards the human form was sparked and I delved into research on it, desperately trying to find historic depictions of the nude created through a female gaze. I looked into depictions of the nude from the beginning of photography up until the present day, specifically thinking about the politics and the gaze behind the historic nude.

I experimented with the body in movement and with long exposures. I had always found expression through moving my own body through dance or walking and through music, and the ability to represent the body in movement within an image created that same feeling of expression for me. I felt connected to the images I was creating – they felt autobiographical.

I began to link the images with my state of mind and the works became a means of expression. As well as the autobiographical lens, I was fascinated by the idea of what the body – within this context of the images I was making – could represent. As I now zoom out and look at these works created over the span of A-Levels and my first year on this course, I see a progression in style and in the way of photographing the body, circling back to my response to the unit Realism and Representation. I used mirrors to distort the body and the surroundings, making them almost merge to form a fluid whole.

The work explores the relationship between the body and space, looking into the experience of existence and being in this world and how it feels to be alive. The process of developing film and darkroom printing influenced this work by its nature – I enjoy that I control (to some extent) this existence of the image on the page. Watching the make-up of grain form on the page to compose the image of a body in expressive movement led me to consider the human condition and how we fit into the environment around us. Additionally, the grain within the image acts as the atomic construction of the body within the image.

Experimenting with cutting around some of the prints, following the curves of the distorted scene, the prints became tangible and almost multi-dimensional when mounted on the wall. I see this project as an ongoing exploration into my practice, and have continued to explore historic and contemporary art and theories that influence the work.

Something to think about

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