Photos: Dinner for Five
by Beauchamp Art
Photos of a computer screen displaying a photograph of a social meal/dinner party featuring five participants, with a narrative which can be read across the images, split into two tonally contrasting areas, one half illuminated by white light the other by red. The photos feature close ups of the guest from the photo taken by the main host/chef [Trish Plant], who’s absent chair, can be seen in the centre of the series as they take the photograph. I am also featured in the series as the final guest, who unlike the others is not sitting smiling polity, but leaning in with a wry grin, in order to fit in the frame without obscuring the person sat behind me [Cecily Boon], and to attempt to infect the friendly scene with some unwarranted humour – self-satire is also important, as the other guests [such as the entertaining Jamie Smith]. Deliberately not fitting in is my forte, and as the only vegetarian at the table, my dish was also in contrast to everyone else’s fine meaty meal.
By re-photographing the image I attempted to take some ownership of the photograph, much as re-appropriating or paying homage to previous art works allows the artist to ‘make something their own’, much as with Duchamp’s ready-mades [especially ‘Fountain’]. This re-using of photos [group images featuring myself] is something I have done elsewhere in passing; but may apply myself to doing this more actively; not for the autobiographical purposes, but as an observation of the personal social information one can gather through one’s associates and the information available about oneself online, as well as how it may be interpreted [the original image here receive a friendly welcome, with a few positive and endearing comments, and a fair 11 ‘Likes’ including my own – one must be allowed to participate in the expect norms of modern life, or face the self-inflicted exile and sense of ostracisation the comes couple with a ‘lack’ of online presence.]
This is somewhere between a parody of my own practice of re-photographic and re-appropriation, a comment on social dynamics and their relationship to their online representation, and a tongue in the cheek of the seriousness.