Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Exercise: People Surveys - Daniel Meadows

In this exercise we are to Listen to Daniel Meadows talking about his work at and then to read Guy Lane's essay ‘The Photographer as Recorder’

In past modules of the OCA course I have covered Daniel Meadows at some length and have most likely listened to this video recording before. Sadly it is no longer available at Vimeo. In previous modules I was also very interested in Meadows story telling videos, constructed of still images that moved using panning techniques in video editing software. Many of these videos were about his work on Green Street and the Photobus Tour. I even made contact with Daniel Meadows via email and he encouraged me to make my own story telling video for the course, which I did.

Lane's essay was interesting and took me on a slant that was unexpected. Rather than concentrate on the work of Meadows he looked at how Meadows presented his work, canvased for funds and the image he wanted to give about his photographic project. This interpretation I found a little presumptuous and some of the conclusions far reaching.

For a student in his early twenties I never drew these conclusions from my observations. Lane's vision was that of someone who wanted to present himself as a photojournalist recording facts with images of a society and a time, namely the working class of Northern England. I understand and agree with this principal. Lane extracts words from the leaflet Meadows published to indicate his intentions  of this but I wonder if these words were soley fir this purpose of raising funds? In the early 1970's this would have been an appropriate thing to do. Likewise the comments on the accompanying photograph of Meadows and the bus was quite business like, in full portraiture and formal and "an appropriate practioner". Whilst this may have been the intention I know that Meadows is extremely tall and the full portrait with a narrow tall bus just works well in a proportion showing off a similar build of photographer and bus.On first seeing this image some while ago I though he was mimicking a bus conductor. Interestingly enough on Meadows website specific to the Photobus he has a much more casual image taken from the same period, likewise in the book published in 2011, "The Bus" he has again a much more casual image in the first few pages of the illustration. This leads me to believe that it was not intentional for commerce but part of the creation of art in photography.

The Bus - Daniel Meadows 1973 -2001

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