Bed Check from the series Insomnia – Hotel Noir photograph copyright of Douglas Stockdale
Again, another comment by Anita regarding the development of this series and an observation about the cinematic feeling she is getting. Cinematic is just not a term that I casually drop into a conversation. So my first reaction was that this is an industry term of hers, working with the film studios in LA.
But subliminally, that term kept banging around and until it dawned on me, what was the big difference in this series that was so vague and lurking in the background, but yet because I was so close to the work that I was doing, that I was missing. (Okay, one of those Duh! in the middle of taking a shower things, when I usually let my mind aimlessly wonder and free associate)
Egads, Anita was right, I was developing a kinda Cinematic storyline. Rather than photographing what was, e.g. a Robert Frank or Friedlander series and the such, I was trying to photograph the experience it felt like, in a kinda Cindy Sherman sort of way. No wonder I was having such issues with this series, this was totally outside of what I thought I was doing, but in retrospect, exactly what I was in fact doing. I was not thinking cinematic story in 2006 when I started this.
This is one of those Aha! moments. You know when you may be thinking you are photographing the urban landscape, but then you figure out it is metaphorically about your personal relationship with your Grandmother kinda of thing. (No, that is not what the urban landscape is about for me, just an example of what could be a weird Aha! moment)
So how did this come about, eh? Going from natural landscape photography to a cinematic story is a pretty big conceptual leap. But recall, when I started working on Insomnia, I was already into my series In Passing, the urban/rural landscapes series with the roadside memorials, which was becoming an introspective look at my own mortality.
I started the Insomnia series, trying to photograph places, events and people that were doing something that actualized my own feelings at the time. Really thinking a Robert Frank type of series, in line with my other urban landscape work. Since I am not a people person photographer, or at least I sure was not at the time, I was very uncomfortable photographing someone doing something. So I defaulted to the next best thing, a patient model who could understand my silly directions & intent, I could photograph myself doing stuff. In retrospect, that was the Cindy Sherman moment. And it seems one thing lead to another, where I eventually started pushing and pulling furniture, to help create the “scene” to be photographed. I would get an idea about a feeling or emotion, then I would kinda act it out for the camera. Yesheee.
Well at least I have found a missing conceptual link, that is at least starting to make this series easier for me to understand. About time, eh?
Thank you Anita, for your continuing feedback and comments on this series. I hope you now understand how valuable I feel your participation is.
Best regards, Doug