Friday, March 16, 2012

Assignment 4: Writing my Essay

Two major landmarks today! First of all this is entry number 114, making this now the longest blog I have yet to produce, testament to the more involved nature of the Level 2 courses. Secondly I just completed the first draft of my Landscape essay on Andreas Gursky.

This assignment felt rather strange, no photographs, no sussing out locations, no early morning jaunts in the freezing cold. Just a large pile of books and articles to absorb and then build a concept that can be fabricated into a coherent essay. I have done a considerable amount of research, reading books, contemplating images, downloading articles from the web, and even finding a DVD that chronicled the creation of a work of art by Gursky.

Today I finally bit the bullet and took a day off from work to write the essay. Having spent weeks rehearsing in my mind what I planned to write it was time to turn ideas into prose. It took me 10 hours to compile a first draft of roughly 2,700 words, slightly over the limit, but this does include 150 words of bibliography that I do not think shoul count to the total.

My basic premise for the essay was to pose the question as to whether Rhien II was worth the $4.3M it recently captured at auction. To answer the question I traced Gursky's history as student and artist, trying to chronicle the artistic influences that brought him to his current state. I analysed the work of his early career and that of his latter years. In doing so I also looked at How he was influenced by the Bechers and how he compares to his contemporaries. I finished the essay shifting from 3rd to 1st person to provide a more opinion based piece about how his work sits alongside more established modern art and what I take from it.

I have nt written a great deal about the influence of Gursky on my own work, I feel I will write enough on this topic when I develop my imagery for assignment 5 and attempt to emulate his style. My current concern is that the essay is too biase towards hIs early work, however, I feel I need to build the picture of where he comes from to better understand who he is today.

In any case at present all I have is a first draft, I still have a few days to refine the content prior to submitting on time to meet the deadline on Monday. I could take longer, but I now want to get this out of the way and move onto some photographic work.

Speaking of photographs, here are a couple of illustrations for this blog entry, starting with my office work space in the midst of essay creation.

Essay writing 1

As it was a fine sunny day today, I waited for the sun to warm the patio and decamped to the back of the house for a few blissful hours writing in the open air. This really helped the creative process and I found that I was writing more fluidly.

Essay writing 2

Although I had been dreading getting down to some serious writing today turned out to be both fun and very satisfying, perhaps essay writing is not so bad after all. On the other hand perhaps I simply wrote a pile of crap.

We will find out when my tutor gets a chance to read it early next week.


  1. Too...

    Seriously, it's nice to get to a point when you just have to re-read it and prune it a little here, squeeze a little more in there. Have a beer to celebrate, I'm sure you'll find somewhere in Munich that will provide one.

  2. Thanks Rob, yeah I know more monitors than sense, but I keep upgrading my main photo editing unit, the others then become part of my work space. The beer was good, now waiting on feedback.