Essay questions: Photography and the Home
Please answer one of the following questions in no fewer than 2000 words (and no more than 3000):
1. With reference to at least two bodies of photographic work, analyse the ways in which the domestic space is constructed. What kinds of ideas do such representations – ‘stories about the home’ - support and reproduce?
2. The literal translation of the German word unheimlich is to ‘not be at home’. This is linked to the English word ‘uncanny’. With reference to Freud’s text, The Uncanny, what do you understand by the term and how do you understand it in the sense of ‘not being at home’? Please make sure that in answering the question, you are analysing a body of images (still and/or moving) that specifically address ideas of the uncanny.
3. With reference to at least two examples, critically consider how ideas of ‘family’ are constituted using photography?
4. In what ways do you think that digital technologies, including digital photography, home computers and the emergence of web 2.0, have changed the nature of amateur photography, its practices, uses and meanings? In answering this question you must refer to at least two course texts.
6. Gaston Bachelard writes in The Poetics of Space that “a house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space.” Analyse visual examples to explore what you understand by the distinction made between ‘inhabited’ and ‘geometrical’ space. You should consider this in relationship to the differences between ‘space’ and ‘place’ and the home.
7. In Evocative Objects; Things weThink With, Sherry Turkle states, "we think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with." Explain what you understand by the term’ evocative object’ and, using specific visual examples, analyse how familiar objects can act as emotional and intellectual catalysts that can anchor memory?
7. What do you understand by the term ‘homeland’? With reference to at least one example, consider the role that visual media (photography, film, TV, internet, print etc.) have played – and continue to play - in constructing and sustaining the idea of a national home. In answering this question you may wish to consider the following: how socially inclusive does the ‘vision’ of a national home tend to be, and how inclusive do you think it needs to be?
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