The course notes document for Gesture & Meaning (like all OCA courses I presume) has an introductory section entitled ‘Before you start’, in which I’ve found enough nuggets of important information to write this preparatory blog post.
I confess that I did not do this for the Level 1 courses; I read their introductions but didn’t particularly pick out anything that I needed to capture as guiding principles for the whole module. I am however conscious of the step up from Level 1 to Level 2, academically speaking, and so feel that I should examine the ‘Before you start’ section in some detail to make sure I get off on the right foot.
A few lines from the ‘Course aims’ section caught my attention, and I will try to keep these in mind throughout the course:
- the photographic representation of the human form and condition
- the formal and informal or candid representation of individuals and groups
- the use of the body in a more creative or abstract sense
- the human body as a subject and as a commodity
- photography within a broad contextual range of subject areas such as race, gender and aesthetic criticism
- an understanding of contemporary photographic practice and the factors (historical, cultural, etc.) which have brought it about
- the portrayal of individuals, the human body and the use and intent of photographic imagery in western culture
- awareness of imagery and perception of the human body within the context of your own practice
- the visual language used around discussion of the human body and its interaction with issues such as voyeurism, illusion and spectacle within the context of a range of practice-based genres
- greater understanding and comprehension of the messages given through gesture by the human body
- meaning conveyed through explicit or implicit means
- often based on the painterly tradition
Reproduced here in full but with my own emphasis:
On successful completion of the course, you’ll be able to:
- identify and evaluate relevant and appropriate sources of information in formulating the basis of a reasoned argument for practice
- produce a body of work which demonstrates the synthesis of theory and practice
- articulate an awareness and understanding of past significant critical, theoretical and artistic shifts in visual culture and their contemporary relevance to an area of contemporary practice
- demonstrate within a chosen area of photographic practice contextual understanding and/or market awareness based on a contemporary issue, investigation or context
I’m also taking the reading list a little more seriously this time. I was pleased to see that I already had eight of the books on the list – two of the ‘essentials’ and six of the ‘further reading’ recommendations.
I had an Amazon flurry on mostly second-hand books – 10 in total, most of them very reasonably priced, thankfully (bless the marketplace sellers who sell at £0.01, seems like a strange business model but it must work for them!) and for a couple of the set texts that are available as e-books, I downloaded samples.
So I definitely have enough reading material! I’m now glad I invested in a new bookcase for Level 2…