I have had a rather lovely few days. Really liked Pride (for once) and spent it with really lovely people and discovered the joys of staying in one place for most of the day, rather than spending all day surrounded by noise and trying to trudge through people.
Bumped into quite a few friends and then went onto a party and then passed out! This time at home rather than on someone's sofa so I think I am getting better! On Sunday E and I spent the day together and we walked around Brick Lane, ended up doing a bit of shopping and then had an ice cream and went to see the LGSO play in the evening. It was great fun, and lovely to see a couple of friends performing too. The night also had unexpected entertainment when the conductor managed to fall off the stage!
There was also a tenor singing with a choir and was singing with plenty of innuendo. Well unintentionally of course, but hearing him sing about the King's four fingers was enough to bring out the giggling schoolboy lurking inside of me. Ooops.
I try to be well behaved when on a cultural outing, honestly I do. It seems sometimes wherever I go, something dodgy seems to follow me, and no I wasn't referring to E on this occasion!
There has been something else I have noticed this week. My end of year project got published by The Most Cake and for the most part people who have seen it have understood it, as did the people who came to my end of year show and the people in my University. What I wasn't prepared for was following it going up on the Most Cake, that someone has put a link of it to live journal and now there are a few people who seem to want to be offended by my project when in fact I didn't see as anything I was making was set out to be offensive.
Still people of the blogosphere seem to be a bit offended by my work. Here is a link to what I am talking about.
Now on reading some comments I do feel that some of my work hasn't been understood, which has given me some good food for thought in terms of how I am going to approach phase two of the project as I want people to be represented correctly as well as show what their opinions are. My project was intended as a slightly tongue in cheek look exploring femme identified people and their relationships - particularly looking at what their attraction to masculinity - in whichever form that might take.
A common misconception that is coming up is that I don't see Transmen as real men which I think is a pile of crap! Seriously, I'm transitioning for fucks sake and masculinity comes in many varied forms. I'm confused and I am sure a whole load of other people are too.
Still it has made me start to think about as to why people could be offended and also I accept that some people might have misinterpreted what I have made and are happily going on a rant based on reading something someone before them wrote or because they haven't realised what the intention of the project was based on seeing a fragmented link of it. Audience and way something is presented to a viewer shall be key as otherwise people do get offended it seems or start picking at things for the sake of it.
I do know and respect that anything to do with identities and particularly where gender and representation start to come into things that by and large people get offended very easily and sometimes it's hard to know why. But it's a fact that they do.
This also kind of explains (to me anyway) why there is a dearth of work where these areas are concerned as for every group of people that will understand the work and will enjoy it there will always be a percentage of people who will be offended by what has been made.
Another thing to consider when having anything online is that there will be a further population (on a much smaller scale) that will troll around slightly. Woe betide that person you offended 2 years ago - on things like this there is the risk of something or someone popping up and having a bile fuelled typing vendetta with a few furious keystrokes and the hiding behind an online identity.
The age of the avatar is upon us after all. I still find it scary that people can immerse themselves solely in online worlds when there is a massive world right in front of us. Still we are all different and diversity is what makes the world a far more interesting place.
But the main thing I am acutely aware of is that with anything creative, be it writing, art, photograohy, film - you name it that there will always be a percentage of people that won't like what you create or understand what it is you are making. That is the way of the world and is what makes us people. Human beings are tricky creatures to please. Unlike our animal counterparts that just eat, sleep, mate and roll around. They check each other out by sniffing each others backside's and from that they decide whether or not they can be friends. It seems that humans constantly need to find stimulation and satisfaction and most of all a sense of empowerment. Given we are most driven by our ego's that is why there are people who create work, and that is why they have admirers who understand the work and feel in some ways a connection in which their ego is satisfied.
Give something to someone in which it displeases the ego and then that's where the trouble starts, there will be no friendly bum sniffing or affiliation - it will be hissing and knives out. Repel the type who offends the territory and doesn't appeal to the intellectual propaganda being created by the surroundings of the people around them. Instead it is either thumbs up or thumbs down in what feels like a return to the Roman times.
Still as a photographer I know that not everyone will like my work a lot of the time. But I will still continue to make work, especially about topics I care about. If you don't make work or create anything then that to me signifies someone who isn't trying. I also don't want to photograph topics that have been done to death or photographed so many times that there doesn't seem to be much else to say on the matter.
I also can't help but feel that in someways art is viewed in a very subjective and black and white manner. Generally it does get viewed as either 'good' or 'bad' which is a shame as there are many interpretations as to what does or doesn't visually please us.
Still it's always interesting to find out what people think and how people react to images too.