Picturing Aftermath - a visual response to the broken faces of the First World War

Conference paper


Shepherdson, K. 2015. Picturing Aftermath - a visual response to the broken faces of the First World War.
AuthorsShepherdson, K.
TypeConference paper
Description

This paper seeks to provide insight into contemporary creative practice-based research, exploring themes of human ruin, (re)membering and remembrance. In doing so, the research specifically examines and contextualises the photographic series Aftermath (Shepherdson, 2014) which was commissioned to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. Aftermath, in re-appropriating the found images of Ernst Friedrich’s 1924 Krieg dem Kriege, examines ‘ruination’ relating to the human form, a form all too vulnerable to mechanical warfare. In addition the paper will discuss how physical vulnerabilities might be translated forcefully, yet simultaneously tenderly, through images of the damaged human face.

The presentation will demonstrate Aftermath’s use of the esoteric photographic technique of emulsion lifting, whereby the photographic emulsion - similar to that of a fine layer of skin - is lifted away, re-echoing the fragility of the face and the utter devastation at its loss. As Sally Minogue comments “The damaged face was one of the most difficult disfigurements for a surviving combatant to bear because of the public response of disgust and rejection, as well as the sufferer’s own deep loss of confidence and sense of identity. In facing Shepherdson’s photographs we take on a responsibility to face up to what modern warfare means” (2014:23).

A characteristic of emulsion lifts are tears and creases which subsequently require slow, gentle teasing and stroking out by hand using soft natural bristle brushes. This act of stroking and easing the face back into shape is of course in sharp distinction to the moment of facial destruction. The specificity of this process also limits scale and thus distills each work into a unique artifact with consequent ‘flaws’ accepted and welcomed. In considering photography’s potential to connote human fragility and ruin, the paper will draw upon the salient writings of Derrida, Sontag and Berger.

Year2015
Conference1914FACES2014 Les Gueules cassées: disfigurement and its legacies
Related URLhttp://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/modernlanguages/research/conferences/1914faces/
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Mar 2015
Permalink -

https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/87444/picturing-aftermath-a-visual-response-to-the-broken-faces-of-the-first-world-war

  • 2
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Seaside photographed
Williams, V. and Shepherdson, K. 2019. Seaside photographed. Thames and Hudson.
Between the tides: The coastal communities of Walpole Bay
Shepherdson, K., Ball, R. and Vincent, S. 2017. Between the tides: The coastal communities of Walpole Bay.
As I lay dying
Shepherdson, K. 2017. As I lay dying. Photography & Culture. 10 (1), pp. 73-75. https://doi.org/10.1080/17514517.2017.1295712
Hostile waters: the beach photographer as endangered species
Shepherdson, K. 2015. Hostile waters: the beach photographer as endangered species.
Beyond the view: reframing early commercial seaside photography
Shepherdson, K. 2015. Beyond the view: reframing early commercial seaside photography. AHRC Website 2015
Seabathers: reflections & responses
Shepherdson, K. 2015. Seabathers: reflections & responses. Turner Contemporary (Foyle Rooms) & Walpole Bay Tidal Pool 24 May 2015
At the jetty: rumination on time and space
Shepherdson, K. and Ball, R. 2015. At the jetty: rumination on time and space. Old Lookout Gallery, Broadstairs 09 - 10 May 2015
Alternative processes & contemporary commissions at the Old Lookout Gallery
Shepherdson, K. and Ball, R. 2015. Alternative processes & contemporary commissions at the Old Lookout Gallery.
Life on film
Jones, T. and Shepherdson, K. 2009. Life on film.
Seaside / Sexuality / Architecture
Shepherdson, K., Dermott, N. and Causer, S. 2015. Seaside / Sexuality / Architecture.
In conversation with Martin Parr
Shepherdson, K. 2014. In conversation with Martin Parr. Martin Parr at PhotoHastings Film Festival. Palace Theatre, Hastings 11 Dec 2014
Remembrance and (Re)membering: contrasting perspectives on the Sunbeam Photographic Collection
Shepherdson, K. 2014. Remembrance and (Re)membering: contrasting perspectives on the Sunbeam Photographic Collection.
Aftermath I & II
Shepherdson, K. 2014. Aftermath I & II. Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury 11 Nov - 17 Dec 2014
Walking to work
Shepherdson, K. 2014. Walking to work.
Beyond the view: new perspectives on seaside photography
Ball, R. and Shepherdson, K. Ball, R. and Shepherdson, K. (ed.) 2014. Beyond the view: new perspectives on seaside photography. EBS Italy Burton Press.
Beyond the view: reframing the Sunbeam Photographic Collection
Shepherdson, K. and Ball, R. 2014. Beyond the view: reframing the Sunbeam Photographic Collection. Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury 11 Jul - 23 Aug 2014
From Smudger to Sunbeamer: informal professionalism in commercial seaside portraiture
Shepherdson, K. 2014. From Smudger to Sunbeamer: informal professionalism in commercial seaside portraiture.
Yurtworks...or pulling out the plug
Shepherdson, K. 2014. Yurtworks...or pulling out the plug.
Beyond the view: reframing the early commercial seaside photograph
Shepherdson, K. 2014. Beyond the view: reframing the early commercial seaside photograph.
Punctum
Shepherdson, K. 2011. Punctum.
Close to home
Shepherdson, K. 2013. Close to home. Burton Gallery, Broadstairs
The collected
Stone, H., Jones, S. and Shepherdson, K. 2013. The collected. Sidney Cooper Gallery 10 - 27 Apr 2013
Close to home
Shepherdson, K., Ball, R. and Minogue, S. 2013. Close to home. Broadstairs Burton Press.
Pastiche
Shepherdson, K. 2000. Pastiche. in: Pearson, R. and Simpson, P. (ed.) Critical Dictionary of Film and Television Theory London Routledge. pp. 127-128
Unremarkable stories
Ball, R. and Shepherdson, K. 2012. Unremarkable stories. Burton Press.
Get a shot: New visions: Promoting Progression in Photography
Shepherdson, K. 2009. Get a shot: New visions: Promoting Progression in Photography. Creative Way.
Channel 4’s Dockers: a move beyond the rhetoric of participation?
Shepherdson, K. 2007. Channel 4’s Dockers: a move beyond the rhetoric of participation?
Pragmatic radicalism: trans-atlantic experiences and influences in the work of Tony Garnett
Shepherdson, K. 2007. Pragmatic radicalism: trans-atlantic experiences and influences in the work of Tony Garnett. Critical Studies in Television: Scholarly Studies in Small Screen Fictions. 2 (2), pp. 113-125.