Analysis of Image: Constructing the exotic

Visual analysis of Michael Buhler-rose photo from constructing the exotic

In this photo the gestures are warm and amiable. There is an air of friendship between the women.
In the foreground they are engaged in conversation, attentive to one another. In the background looking towards the camera.

The gestures of the women are all casual. They express a free time and leisure. They are secure in themselves and comfortable with each other. The image depicts in the gestures a sense of ease.
The women in the foreground is slightly more animated in conversation, looking attentively at one of the other women in the group. She looks back with a slight surprise in her gaze.

The clothing is flamboyant and colourful, representing asiatic culture. The women are adorned with jewellery and their clothing is neatly arranged and exotic.

The location is a garden with what appears to be a shed like temporary building. It is one level and somewhat immersed in the growth of the garden. It appears to be a sort of forest cabin.
Is the cabin where they live? If so it might contradict their dress. The cabin building is white and has a simple stair case leading to the door of the building.

With the womens’ dress I associate Indian women which could in theory be of various different casts. They have the look of more middle class Indian women as their gestures and the paleness of the skin suggests ‘good breeding’ and high status. Also I associate the dress with women that are performers or dancers. The costume is designed to attract attention. It appears almost theatrical.

There is something about the setting that is out of place. The building seems to be contemporary and rather low key compared to the dress of the women. ‘Out of place’ in the sense that the women are of a higher status and one would expect to see a building reflecting that status that has a more similar exotic feel. The setting initially I found somewhat confusing to look at in relation to the costumer of the women. The building is the main juxtaposing element. It is not really of the scene in the same way as the rest of the images.

The visual signs in the image are the costume, make up, jewellery and the gestures of the the women. They are indeed exotic. They transmit a sense of wealth and confidence. The make up suggest also wealth. The scene could be ancient or contemporary within the traditional context of a country such as India as many aspects of that culture are timeless and have not changed for centuries. In this scene there is more of a sense of ancient when juxtaposed with the dress and arrangement of the women. It is like weighing up two different eras of time as the building is clearly of contemporary and not ancient construction.

The photo is most certainly posed. In terms of its likeness to painting or other photographers it has a little in common with fashion and glamour photographer Nick Night. His images tend to the exotic and outlandish. Strong visual images that depict sometimes surreal scenes.

The women in the photos in terms of their dress do not look contemporary. This is more to do with the staged nature of the image and the fact that the women are arranged in such a way as to appear of another time and culture. Their poses are convincing, up to a point. They seem as already mentioned at ease and relaxed. A time of leisure is depicted in the poses. They seem to be attentive in their poses but a little over staged at the same time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s