Practicing the unremarkable
: the photograph as performance

  • Cara Brostrom

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Arts


The Performance:
A teapot, a stranger, a very clean house; diary of the unremarkable is a participatory enquiry into photography as both time-based medium and phenomenological encounter. Prior to the installation, 15 participants were invited to contribute short texts based on a series of images. The artist then created an image in response to each text. The process culminated in a series of photographic works inspired by everyday narratives which were anything but unremarkable. The project constituted a curious collaboration between everyday objects, participants, language, artist, technology, image and spectator. The installation was divided into two parts: The first room contained a collection of
artifacts, assembled to evidence the process which scored the photographic practice. The audience was invited to peruse, contribute, lift the lid or open the cover and peek inside. The inner room held the series of images created in response to each participant’s contribution, as well as the artist herself. There was also an audio component to this part of the installation. These audio guides were distributed at the entrance to the inner room.

The Commentary:
Much like describing a photograph of oneself, Practicing the Unremarkable: the
Photograph as Performance attempts to describe the creation of diary of the
unremarkable from both inside and outside the process, making use of theory and personal observation. A narrative account of the creative process is interwoven with both photographic and performance theory concerning construction of identity, concepts of time, and the tension between truth and fiction in photographic documentation. These elements serve to compel the reader towards an understanding of the ultimate aims of the creative project;
those of addressing an engaged viewer in the final installation. A reflection on a process guided by intuition, as well as the specific curatorial choices made for the installation, further situate the photograph itself as the site of performance for both photographer and viewer. The commentary goes one step further in considering the life of the photograph beyond its role in this performance
Date of Award2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorRichard Gough (Supervisor)

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