Accepted Paper:

improvisation through collaboration - two photographic projects: Pictures of Linda and Country Girls  


Anna Fox (University For The Creative Arts)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the role of the author/s through collaborative experimental photographic practice. The two portrait projects, Pictures of Linda and Country Girls examine and question authorship in documentary photography by subverting the power relation between photographer and subject, giving power to the subject through co-authorship.

Paper long abstract:

Pictures of Linda and Country Girls, two photographic projects, started in the mid 1980's and continuing today, explore the relationship between photographer and subject through collaboration, performance and improvisation. The two projects involve the photographer (myself) working with Linda Lunus (Pictures of Linda - 1983 - to present) and Alison Goldfrapp (Country Girls, 1996 - 2002) to create a series of photographs that comment on and/or record our joint responses to being young and then mature women growing up and then existing within rural communities in the UK. In each work there is a level of improvisation and experimentation in terms of both form and content; we work together, subject and photographer as authors, on ideas and intend to subvert existing representation of women in the rural environment. Using stories and personal knowledge, as reference, these vividly coloured, fictitious portraits undermine popular representations of the rural and challenge the notion of authorship in photography. The work is made both with and without knowledge of artistic practice and refer to both known and naïve forms of arts practices. The paper is illustrated with works from the projects that intend to provoke discussion.

Panel P33
The art of improvisation