Photography tutor Katy White discusses the final phase of her MA (work in progress). Working with old processes, “After the Race” (working title) is a body of work that explores the anthropocentric gaze and animal as ‘other’.
While developing an interest towards greyhound in the racing industry, Katy questions the burden of the animal representation, and the objectification of these greyhounds who were already retired from the racing industry. She noted how humans perceive animals, noting the categories of Anthropomorphism, Anthropodenial & Anthropocentrism. Her extensive self-directed research includes the history of the greyhound racing industry, the objectification of a subject since the colonial times (the colonial gaze, the “Other” and the Exotic), and draws comparison to her subjects as “how humans were dehumanised or to be treated like animals”. She uses tintype, a wet plate process to produce her works.
Take away: Thought Processes
Ideas and concepts are the first stage of development to begin a project brief. For this lecture, I was more intrigued by Katy’s thought processes and how she derived to her final product work. Influenced by Steve Baker’s “The burden of Animal representation”, She noted the key difference between objectification and objectivity. The challenges she faced during pre-production and test shoots had been extremely crucial, as she uses wet plate process. She has to check lighting, props and constantly experimenting the processes such as poses and portrait crop.
One point stood out for me during her sharing of her shoot, as she was quite particular about her code of ethics prior to her photo shoot and had many considerations towards the mental state of the greyhound who were being photographed.