Sunday, 3 April 2016

Working with Children

I do bang on a lot about the client photographer relationship and this new portrait of Jeremy Irons shot during a voice recording at the BBC is another example of that empathy, trust and support. An image that I perceive is successful is read purely emotionally in the moment and equally further down the line with some objectivity. I consider my work in hindsight as if it is not mine, the longer the gap between the energy of the shoot the better in judging a work's value. I allow my emotions to shape the reality I am in in the moment so my perception in this state cannot not be trusted, I am possessed and this energy leads to the creation of the work that represents me. I don't apologise for the composition that I always find my way back too, those of you that know me , understand this is connected to my adopted experience and it is a genuine and therapeutic affinity, which began in my original relationship with Jan Van Eyke's Arnolfini Marriage and later with the objectivist Dusseldorf school.

This image (as with all work I consider most successful) is taken between one certainty and another, in the literal and creative journey from one space to another. I see this new space and demand that the subject place themselves within it, and I am consumed by a need and this is a dangerous moment for anyone who might be in my path, I am not sure what I would do if anyone said no to me in these moments; burn their house down, hire a Ukrainian hit squad or throw a massive tantrum like a 6 year old (which I have done to the bemusement of all around me). Mostly though everyone can feel the molecules in the air change and go with me. Mr Irons included. In these moments the subject is less complicit, the process is now less collaborative as I begin to shape all the elements to satiate my deep emotional needs in the moment. This is not a negotiation or discussion, the assistants are prepared for these moments as these are the times, the narrow windows, the brief glimpses of success surrounded by failure when something can happen and they must be ready.

Digital is really helpful for this, I can now roll the spliff and smoke it in the moment whereas in the old film days I had to wait hours if not days to know if I would get stoned.

I often feel an image works in the moment but afterwards I am consumed with self-doubt and a sense of complete failure, convinced I have seduced myself into a image that actually lacks any of the intense emotions I felt in its creation in the moment, so then I must just leave it and it sits on a hard drive for months or years until something happens to remind me to return to it and re-evaluate. This image was shot in November 2015, I went see the film adaptation of J.G.Ballad's High Rise and Batman vs Superman this week and felt Mr Irons was worth considering again. This image feels like it is working now, its value is in its authenticity, it is an autobiographical record of a moment that happens to include Jeremy Irons, a curtain, a fridge and a trolly; they possess equal spacial value. It is essential that an image possess some of the chaos of life; tidy and conventional notions of beauty don't represent my experience or anybody else that I know. Thanks as always to all those who help to facilitate these opportunities and support my work, I know I'm a child.

Jeremy Irons © Richard Ansett 2015

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