SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH WEEK 5 (PART 2)
In June 2019 I started my MA with Falmouth university as part of an accredited education programme.
13th November 2019
During my one on one this week Laura also recommended that I look at the work MENONOS by Jordi Ruiz Cirera who photographed a religious community in Bolivia from 2011-12, with an accompanying book. They are a community of farmers where their “isolation and the land was strongly related to their relationship to god” ( Sean, O’haggan : 2014 : The guardian : Camera shy: the religious community that shuns the limelight : https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/photography-blog/2014/sep/30/mennonites-bolivia-jordi-ruiz-cirera-photographs : First accessed 13.11.19 ) they shun cars and electronics, and their days are focused around the land and their work, rising with the sun, and working till dusk.
Image © Jordi Ruiz Cirera from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/photography-blog/2014/sep/30/mennonites-bolivia-jordi-ruiz-cirera-photographs
Jordi also won the 2012 Taylor wessing prize from one of his portraits of a woman from the community, a community who traditionally , do not have their photographs taken as it is against their religion. It is explained as ; Jordi was able to take their photographs if they were just going about their daily lives, but they weren’t supposed to pose for him . Something that I think, makes the image all the more captivating and ethereal . Yes there is a sense here that this woman is apprehensive , shy, but also brave and fearless to of looked directly into that camera. I also love the colours and tones in this image, they remind you of the earth that is so important and intrinsically to this communities lives & religion.
- This image of three children at play , is truly captivating for me as it is the kind of set up that I have been photographing at some of the homes of the families I have been visiting. Children all just hanging out together, playing, living , enjoying life in between everything else that happens in a normal day. It is the beauty of the mundane and the nothing, the things that seem so small, but are the everyday occurrences that make life so breathtakingly stunning.
Jordi Ruiz Cirera
- I found this write up on the book on Jordi’s website, and this section, is EVERYTHING
- “Los Menonos is a portrait of a community of self-styled, self-willed outsiders that have voyaged out into the wilderness of a foreign land to escape that which may yet prove to be inescapable: the inexorable encroachment of global capitalism and its implicit disdain for those that do not partake of its market-driven values. ” Jordi Ruiz Cirera : Books & Tearsheets. Los Menonons : http://jordiruizphotography.com/book/los-menonos/ First accessed 13.11.19
- AGAIN ….
- “to escape that which may yet prove to be inescapable: the inexorable encroachment of global capitalism and its implicit disdain for those that do not partake of its market-driven values.”
- It’s just absolutely perfect , and it resonates with my project so much. These families who I photograph for my project, they may not be religious , I hardly know of many who are, and even less where their religion plays a part in their decision to home educate, but this want, of trying to escape something that I think, as a society, we feel in our bones, something is wrong, and the disdain towards those who do try to escape it, is very very strong sometimes.
- Jordi has managed to do something with these images in a beautiful way ; he has captured a philosophy, a way of life, and that is what I am trying to do. Now I need to look more closely at his work, and ask, HOW has he done that. YES with colour, tone, connection, and symbolism, but I need to be able to pick out exacts and precise feelings I think, to help better inform my own work. If nothing else, hw incredibly interesting ! It’s strange to think that 6 months ago I would never of looked at these images like this, I would of just thought wow those are pretty, and I do still think this, the one of the woman at the kitchen table, and the men on the corn are stunning, aesthetically beautiful images , but it goes much further than that, much deeper, that without this background knowledge I would never of been able to understand.
- Which brings me in week 8 to another dilemma ; How do I as a lover of literature, but most definitely no Shakespeare , write for this project in a way that will capture people attention?
- First accessed 13.11.2019