Laura Letinsky: Photo analysis

Laura Letinsky

The visual elements of the photo include fruit, a spoon, seeds of cherries x3 and small dish with a slightly indistinguishable substance that looks like it could be jam, another smallish plate, a table top that is slanted and another slightly indistinguishable object in front of the fruit. The design is a clean off white look and the background could be paper or cloth and has a somewhat mottled effect to it. Spatially the picture is very open.

The design of the composition used mainly the right side of the frame and then the lower quarter. The back drop marks the end of the frame in the sense of a background although its limits are not entirely perceivable. There is a sort of ambiguity in the image. The composition has various points of normal reference thrown out of sync such as the angle of the table top and the position of the fruit. This leads to an interesting experience when viewing. One has certain expectations to see things regular and ordered and the photo makes one a bit uncomfortable with this fact.

The image seems side lit as the light although soft is hitting more the right side of the frame.

The image seems side lit as the light although soft is hitting more the right side of the frame.

The dimensionality within the space shows limits to the vertical and horizontal planes throughout the picture with the wall behind and the ground beneath. However, there is some visual ambiguity as mentioned already as to where is exactly the objects are placed in relation to one another.

The connotations are around the area of placement of perception and having the normal mode challenged. The scene has movement and stillness but the angles are weird and throw ones normal mode of perception. For me the image is one of you can’t rely on how you perceive things or that the normal mode is somehow a functional mode which fits into a safe way of operating in the world. We look for a false sense of security in the known and this kind of image challenges us to see things anew. Much of what we experience and know comes through representation. We can see that our perception of an object can be misconstrued for example when walking in the forest and you see a piece of rope or a branch that appears to be a snake. One’s immediate perception and cognitive process deduces ‘Snake’! but there is really a piece of wood or rope. The mind can be deluded by forms and appearances in the sense that we start to interpret a things based upon our initial perception at non thinking level.

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