Before my trip to the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Ori Gersht’s works had already struck me as interesting, (as made evident by my previous post about his works). Since I had already written briefly about him, I told myself that I wouldn’t use him as my inspiration for this week’s photo series homework, but I guess I just couldn’t help myself.
While I don’t have the ability to photograph literal explosions like Gersht has, one aspect of his photography that I felt I could conceivably pursue was his exciting use of still objects. Using subjects from the natural world, I set out to take a series of photos and to (hopefully) accomplish the task of showing still objects in a way that would emulate movement. Although I did not have the time or resources to set up those objects as still life portraits in the way that Gersht has done, I tried my best to photograph things so that they would appear more exciting.
Even though this series is obviously quite different from Ori Gersht’s pieces in the Museum of Photographic arts, I hope that I have succeeded in at least utilizing one or two inspiring aspects of his artistic style.
The artist that I chose to take inspiration from was Ori Gersht, an Israeli artist whose exploding flowers photo series is currently on display in the Museum of Photographic Arts as part of the “Prix Pictet: Disorder” exhibition. His pieces stood out to me during my visit probably for some of the same reasons as it would to many people – they are dramatic, larger-than-life, portrait style prints of an exploding bouquet of flowers. They are impressive, striking, and difficult to miss.
Beyond my first impression, one of the things that I found particularly interesting was the still life quality of the photographs, as they are very busy and full of drama and movement while retaining a formal, still quality reminiscent of traditional paintings. His images are both beautiful and violent, capturing sudden and volatile points in time that have obviously caused a startling interruption in an otherwise sensitive and mild moment.
His photographs may possibly be an exploration of the relationship between rapid destruction and quiet tranquility, as they seem to draw attention to a whole and unbroken moment of the recent past. The prior existence of an intact bouquet of flowers is implied, and perhaps even meant to be longed for, but a glimpse into the past when those flowers still stood is denied to the viewer and is altogether absent from the series. Although Gersht’s floral explosion is a beautiful and unique artistic vision, I feel that, in a more practical environment, most people might prefer to keep an arrangement of undamaged flowers nearby rather than a ravaged heap of green matter. While there may be beauty in the destruction of a flower bouquet, viewers may not be able to escape a lingering sense of violation present in Gersht’s images. In fact, Gersht’s infringement on traditional beauty leads me to wonder if his intention might be to question the very event captured on camera, as there seems to be a moral dilemma evident the act of destroying something so organic and lovely for the sake of art.
Regardless of whether or not any of the impressions I got from Ori Gersht’s works were actually intentional, the series is obviously engaging, thoughtful and easy to be inspired by.
MOPA Visit Proof