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Viewing a life from a new angle.

There are many ways of looking at a person’s life: photographs, anecdotes, stories, videos, film, objects collected and left behind.

I raise these questions because I want to refer to one of the most interesting photography books I have seen recently: In almost every picture #7.

It is very unusual. It reveals, in chronological order, how Ria van Dijk , from Holland, has for almost every year from 1936,  gone to a fairground shooting gallery and taken a photo of herself – the camera taking a picture when her shot hits the target.

The progression- which excludes the war years ( a metaphor in itself) could be a most astonishing piece of performance art if performed by an established artist. It is, regardless, an astonishing example of personal biography and sheer fun. As the work progresses we not only see the changes in photographic style from a sepia style to black and white and colour ( it still seems that polaroids are used and not digital). The work  shows fashion, the changing manner of people, Ria van Dijk as she ages, and obscure yet possible references to friends, children and the eventual growth of the work into a fan club and media event ( note the camera towards the end ) and of course the release of the body of work as a book, website, exhibition, etc.

What a fun and unusual way to represent one’s life. In this particularly limited form ( not family photos, etc) we still get to read Ria van Dijk’s life.

The work is now rare and nostalgic and has become an art event – the self consciousness of the event far different from the no doubt fun and private approach of the early years.

I raise this body of work because it is most unusual and could raise many interesting ideas in a training session. Participants could look at photos and report back. What other unusual ways could one choose to represent a life?

What a fun lady. Vale Ria.





About inclued

I am a teacher/trainer, writer and photographer, with teaching experience in Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Special Needs and Staff Development.


2 thoughts on “Viewing a life from a new angle.

  1. That’s cool. I recently saw some folks online who had taken photo’s of themselves every day for like 8 years and it was fascinating to see the change – and in some cases – seemingly none – in them. I wonder how that would go when discussing change in our work life, or in our organisations attempts to adjust to the demands of the market. Cool insight. Cheers, Pete

    Posted by Peter Smith | July 4, 2011, 2:39 pm
    • A lot to reflect upon here Pete – thanks – how organisations and people can be seen to change. I think of 1950s magazines and how, when we look through them, we can see all manner of changes in the market and organisations; slow changes to the present day.

      Posted by inclued | July 5, 2011, 8:29 am

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