Review: After the Image 2019

Written on September 19, 2019, posted in Review, Sarajevo

Philip Blenkinsop: Daniel Schwartz in discussion with students from “After the Image 2019”. ©Philip Blenkinsop / VII

This three-day “After the Image” work­shop with VII Photo Agency’s Philip Blenkinsop and Daniel Schwartz in Sarajevo addressed the crit­i­cal peri­od between the end of a pho­to­graph­ic project and the moment when a design­er genius embarks on squeez­ing your images and vision into a book that will nei­ther make you proud nor rich, or when an artist-turned-curator hijacks them to illus­trate his agen­da. In oth­er words, the peri­od when you need to exer­cise an author’s author­i­ty but still want to lis­ten to those with expe­ri­ence in mak­ing books and exhi­bi­tions. Generally, it is a peri­od marked by men­tal exhaus­tion, self-doubt, and dis­ap­point­ment. Nothing you had envis­aged in the field seems to work on pages or walls.

This work­shop took place as a part of the VII Academy’s VII in Sarajevo: Festival of the Image in May 2019. A stu­dent review­ing the work­shop wrote, “I can def­i­nite­ly say “After the image” work­shop was like a switch in my head. I went to Sarajevo very con­fused, with a chaot­ic body of work where I was con­stant­ly get­ting lost in it. Philip and Daniel were great teachers–not telling me which is wrong or right but just giv­ing a direc­tion and push­ing myself to find my own truth.

They helped me see and think about the deep­er mean­ing of the image, not only about its pho­to­graph­ic qual­i­ties but to see it as a result of a process which have engaged my knowl­edge and under­stand­ing about the sub­ject. They helped me under­stand the great impor­tance of the sequence, to under­stand how cru­cial is to match the right pho­tographs in order to com­mu­ni­cate ideas. We were talk­ing about every­thing around bookmaking–creating dum­mies, using tex­tures and col­ors, engag­ing var­i­ous design tech­niques. Just a great expe­ri­ence!”