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Final Major Project: Considering Others – Andy Wiener

‘His photographs are humorous but also challenging. The composition and style of the photographs are formal, but there is always a twist, usually an uncomfortable one. Rather than being a photographer of reality, he photographs things that are going on under the surface, behind reality.’

– Scottish National Photography Collection in (Street Level Photoworks | Andy Wiener 2012)

Andy Wiener photographed himself 20 times in order to create the expressions needed for these images from the series ‘A Rake’s Progress‘. He then printed the images life-size and trimmed them to make masks. The subjects in the photographs wore the masks. By adjusting the lighting levels, the masks appear to fit in the image and surroundings. In this way, he was able to create a 3D effect using these flat masks. (Andy Wiener 2018)


Figure 1: Andy Wiener. 1986. A Rake’s Progress 2. Childhood


Figure 2: Andy Wiener. 1986. A Rake’s Progress 8. Breakfast Scene


Wiener also has used other masks in his images. Below are 2 images from the series ‘Love Scenes‘. In this series, Wiener uses the masks he made himself of Barbie, Ken, and He-Man dolls to tell a story of love, marriage, divorce, domination, and eventually the psychological and physical destruction of Barbie by He-Man. (Andy Wiener 2018). Wiener used the masks as he wanted the identities of the subjects to be hidden whilst they acted out an imaginary story.


Figure 3: Andy Wiener. 1989. ‘Love’. From the series ‘Love Scenes’, no. 9


Figure 4: Andy Wiener. 1989. ‘Domination’. From the series ‘Love Scenes’, no. 10


Talking about his work, Wiener explains his motivations behind his work in the video below. He discusses the underlying theme of identity and how we (or others) decide who we are going to be.

Video 1: (Andy Wiener discusses the exhibition ‘Life Stories’ (Photographing Below The Surface) 2012)

Wiener’s work has made me reconsider the aims of my project. His use of himself as the subject for the masks is fascinating and one that I may explore further as I progress with this project.

REFERENCE

Andy Wiener. 2018. Andywiener.com [online]. Available at: http://www.andywiener.com/gallery_rakes_progress.html [accessed 31 March 2018].


Street Level Photoworks | Andy Wiener. 2012. Streetlevel.everyone-rs1.com [online]. Available at: http://streetlevel.everyone-rs1.com/old-site/programme/2012/andywiener/andywiener.html [accessed 31 March 2018].

IMAGE SOURCES

Figures 1 and 2: Andy Wiener. 2018. Andywiener.com [online]. Available at: http://www.andywiener.com/gallery_rakes_progress.html [accessed 31 March 2018].


Figures 3 and 4: Artworks | National Galleries of Scotland. 2018. Nationalgalleries.org [online]. Available at: https://www.nationalgalleries.org/search/artist/andy-wiener [accessed 31 March 2018].

VIDEO SOURCE

Video 1: Andy Wiener discusses the exhibition ‘Life Stories’ (Photographing Below The Surface). 2012. YouTube [online]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=936&v=gnaW0JSzOGY [accessed 31 March 2018].


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