Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jackie Nelson Submits Paula McCartney 09-05-10

At the museum of Contemporary Photography, Paula McCartney’s newest work Bird Watching is currently being displayed. McCartney’s idea for this project was sparked from the long walks she would take in the woods. She would always see birds in these landscapes that she would like to photograph, but she decided that they were too far away or the birds were not in the exact location for these compositions to be esthetically pleasing. So, McCartney decided that she would buy her own fabricated birds to place in nature to photograph. It is interesting that she decided to combine nature that is alive and growing and man made materials that were created to resemble nature. She makes you question what is real in her scenes and whether or not this is an important detail. Personally after reading her artist statement and then looking at the photographs, I could instantly tell that there was an artificial look to these songbirds she has so carefully positioned in the trees of her landscape photographs. Without her statement I would have questioned if they were real or not, which makes her photos successful. She gets the viewer to engage in the photographs and ask the questions that she had presented for them. I think it is important that these birds are fabricated. When looking at these photographs I feel like these are illusions that are meant to trick you. If you do not observe these scenes carefully, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the main subject is fake. It makes me realize that we are so easy deceived. I also look at these photographs and think that we make our own happiness, and that’s exactly what McCartney has done. She wanted to photograph songbirds in certain landscapes, and she made this happen.

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