My proposal stemmed from the idea of looking at eating disorders , or more specifically, body images that can, as a result , lead to disordered eating. I wanted to explore the way in which the perfect body is represented in modern society and also look at how this has changed throughout history.
Reading the set texts for this assignment I found that Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, seemed to support my argument that photographic images can have a part to play in reinforcing negative body image. Pictures of impossibly thin women in magazines that have been altered using programmes such as photo-shop have punctum for women who have negative body images and low self esteem. These pictures hold their gaze and portray an unachievable vision of perfection. These photos have meaning for the viewer that rises above the studium of such images, with some women seeing them as evidence that this is what physical perfection should be.
Further to looking at manipulated image, I knew that I wanted to create a series of images that go against the trend for perfection and manipulation. I researched artists who have done the same. Artists who allow women to reclaim their bodies, no longer dictated to about how they should look. Artists such as Jenny Saville, Bill Brandt, Man Ray and Matt Blum.
I also asked real women how they feel about the way in which bodily perfection is represented in the media and how it affects the way in which their own body and recorded their responses but also tried to respond to their feeling through my imagery.
The final series of photographs have been printed in a small 18cm x 18cm book with the images being printed on black pages in a small square format. This method of presentation works well as it allows the image to almost blend into the background, to retain and air of vulnerability and preciousness, using selected quotes to back up the images presented.
I feel that the finished artefact fulfils the brief. I have taken inspiration from the writings or Barthes to relate my images to the text. My aim was to produce images that other women could relate to and I feel that I have achieved this in a creative and thoughtful way.