A DAY IN BRIXTON

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RESEARCH FINDINGS/IMAP

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Research findings

Corinne Day gained her heroin chic documentary photography naturally through influence from documentary film maker husband Mark, rock band Pusherman, anti-glamour grunge, her dad and possibly Nan Goldin.

Georgina, Brixton is a documentary style fashion image, typical of heroin chic thats influence is still resonant in fashion images today. The likes of Vice magazine and website are continually fixed on this style.

Corinne tried to bridge the gap between glamour and everyday people.

Corinne tried to incorporate imperfection into the relentless perfect beauty of fashion images of the 80s.

Corinne enjoyed documentary photography.

The different phases of her life are portrayed truthfully through her images.

References

– Corinne Day, Diary, November 2000, Kruse Verlag

–  ‘I’m a photogaphy junkie’ Interview with the Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2000/sep/03/features.review7, 9/2002

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Written by chrisbennettgrantcmp

November 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Bibliography

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http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/photography/photographerframe.php?photographerid=ph016 (24 september)

– corinnedaydiary, Kruse Verlag, 11/2000

-http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ArtistWorks?cgroupid=999999961&artistid=2649&page=1 Nan one month after being battered, Nan Goldin, accessed 28/11/2010

http://www.larryclark.us/    -Tulsa (1971), accessed 28/11/2010

http://www.photonet.org.uk/index.php?pxid=158 photographers gallery, accessed 28/11/2010

– Corinne Day, Diary, November 2000, Kruse Verlag

–  Photography: a cultural history, Mary Warner Marien, pg7-107, enter fashion, 2002,laurencekingpublishers, accessed 28/11/2010

– Fashion, desire and anxiety: image and morality in the 20th century, Rebecca Arnold, Heroin chic pg48, 2001, accessed 28/11/2010

– Heroin chic, urbandictionary, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=heroin%20chic, 28/11/2010

– Grunge, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Grunge+rock, accessed 28/11/2010

– Corinne Day, Douglas Martin, New York Times / September 6, 2010, New york times

– Kurt Cobain image, http://www.smh.com.au/news/music/cobain-is-the-new-elvis/2006/10/25/1161699375968.html, October 25, 2006, accessed 28/11/2010

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/a-smack-in-the-face-for-the-gurus-of-heroin-chic-1262928.html Tamsin Blanchard, Friday, 23 May 1997, (accessed 28/11/2010)

Chandler, D (2002), Semiotics: The Basics, Routledge, pp194-205 and at: http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/sem09.html, accessed 28/11/2010

– Bignell, J. (2002), Media Semiotics (2nd ed.), Manchester University Press , p44

– Branston, G. & Stafford, R. (2006), The Media Student’s Book (4th ed.), Routledge, chapter 3

– Gillespie, M. & Toynbee, J. (2006), Analysing Media Texts, Open University Press , pp55-64

http://nymag.com/fashion/models/kmoss/katemoss/#, (accessed 28/11/2010)

– Corinne Day, Fashion and documentary photographer,Jennie Ambrose, http://www.redcmarketing.net/we-like/corinne-day-fashion-documentary-photographer/September 27th, 2010

http://racked.com/archives/2010/08/28/breaking-unconfirmed-corinne-day-british-fashion-photographer.php, Saturday, August 28, 2010, by Danica Lo

<img class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-67″ title=”corrine” src=”https://chrisbennettgrantcmp.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/corrine.png?w=232″ alt=”” width=”23 (accessed 28/11/2010)

http://991.com/Buy/ProductInformation.aspx?StockNumber=509575

– IFQ, Mai Meksawan – IFQ StaffExclusive interview with filmmaker Mark Szaszy and photographer Corinne Day

– ‘I’m a photogaphy junkie’ Interview with the Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2000/sep/03/features.review7, 9/2002, accessed 28/11/2010

http://www.fashionmodeldirectory.com/models/georgina_cooper/, (accessed 28/11/2010)

http://www.corinneday.co.uk/exhibitions.php?action=zoo, accessed 28/11/2010

– m&id=162&exhibition_id=1, National Portrait Gallery, 15-02-2007, CORINNE DAY, accessed 28/11/2010

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/confidential/abbey-lee-kershaw-career-mushrooms/story-e6frf96o-1225780184039 27/9, 2009, Abbey Lee, accessed 28/11/2010

– Cover of Vogue, Modelinia, http://www.modelinia.com/slideshows/covers–cindy-crawford/107#/3, January 1990, accessed 28/11/2010

A DAY IN BRIXTON

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Grunge/Heroin Chic

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Grunge

n. Slang

  1. Filth; dirt.
  2. A style of rock music that incorporates elements of punk rock and heavy metal, popularized in the early 1990s and often marked by lyrics exhibiting nihilism, dissatisfaction, or apathy.

The grunge culture beginning in the late 80s early 90s coming to prominence with bands such as Sonic Youth, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. The music was a combination of various genres including rock, metal and punk. The image was to appear scruffy , down and out and usually associated with drug use. Grunge culture began as a sub-culture although can be considered a key movement that some would say reflects the decade. Kurt Cobain

Heroin chic

The look that was popular in the 90s and is coming back now. Being waif skinny, pale, tired and sickly looking, using cigarette smoke as perfume, lanky, and wearing clothes that hang off your emaciated body will give you the ‘heroin chic’ look. you are supposed to look like you have been up for the past week partying and you are worn out (but in a cool way). There was a lot of public outcry about this look saying it encouraged children to try drugs and saying drugs were cool. Urban dictionary

‘There were two defining moments along the way, both involving Moss. The first was in 1990, when some of the first published fashion photographs of Moss, taken by Ms. Day, appeared in the British magazine The Face. One showed Moss topless; another suggested she was naked. She wore a mix of designer and secondhand clothes and no makeup over her freckles, and her expression was sincere. The photos seemed to usher in a new age of antifashion style. Artlessness became art. Some called it “grunge.’’
The second moment, in 1993, was a shoot for British Vogue that featured a pale and skinny Moss in mismatched underwear. A public outcry ensued, as some claimed that Moss’s waifish figure seemed to imply she was suffering from an eating disorder or drug addiction.
The grunge aesthetic took hold for several years in designer imagery of the 1990s, most visibly in Calvin Klein’s influential fragrance and jeans campaigns, and also in street fashion, with the throwaway style of flannel shirts and distressed jeans, as popularized by Kurt Cobain and the Seattle music scene.’
Douglas Martin, New York Times / September 6, 2010

The look they pioneered began to take off, christened ‘waif’ at first, then merging seamlessly with the US grunge scene. At the Paris shows, Day would laugh to see the second-hand clothes shey’d shot six months before being imitated on the catwalk.
Guardian interview

Photography: a cultural history, Mary Warner Marien, pg7-107, enter fashion, 2002,laurencekingpublishers, accessed 28/11/2010

Fashion, desire and anxiety: image and morality in the 20th century, Rebecca Arnold, Heroin chic pg48, 2001, accessed 28/11/2010

Heroin chic, urbandictionary, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=heroin%20chic, 28/11/2010

Grunge, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Grunge+rock, accessed 28/11/2010

Corinne Day, Douglas Martin, New York Times / September 6, 2010, New york times

Kurt Cobain image, http://www.smh.com.au/news/music/cobain-is-the-new-elvis/2006/10/25/1161699375968.html, October 25, 2006

Written by chrisbennettgrantcmp

November 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Critical Review

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Critical Review

Georgina, Brixton

In a press conference in May 1997 American President Bill Clinton drew attention to what he saw a major problem of contemporary fashion. ‘’The glorification of heroin is not creative it’s destructive. It’s not beautiful it is ugly. It’s not about art it is about life and death. And glorifying death is not good for any society.’’

Georgina, Brixton is an image shot in 1995 by fashion and documentary photographer Corinne Day. It is extremely representational of her work in this part of her life. In her diary she writes about her dad being a bank robber and in other interviews she states how he was obsessed by money but the truth of the coldness and lack of love and intimacy when she visited his house.  Coupled with the feeling of social unrest and unemployment in the 80s due to the Thatcher austerity measures could of unveiled the falseness of glamour and fashion photography to Corinne. In the late 80s Corinne became a model herself and it wasn’t long after she was introduced to a camera by future husband Mark Szarszy. Her subjects were other struggling models, photographed in their own clothes in the seedy hostels where they lived. ‘I started to realise that it was ambiguous, the life. Even though you’re surrounded by all this glamour, there was a lot of sadness. We couldn’t buy the clothes that we were photographed in, couldn’t afford to go out and do the things we would have liked to do as teenagers.’ No one was as perfect as Naomi Campbell or Christy Turlington. Enthused by this new found view of anti-glamour, Corinne began to shoot skinnier ‘waifish’ models such as Kate Moss causing controversy with the Heroin Chic label attached to her natural, untouched photographic style.

Corinne Day’s ‘Diary’ is reminiscent of Nan Goldin’ book ‘The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency’ as it has a similar honest aura and authenticity. Corinne’s argument is that she was attempting to bridge the gap between fashion and the everyday person. Corinne and husband Mark spent a lot of time with the band Pusherman leading up to the time when Georgina, Brixton was taken. ‘It was a great time of music, festivals, drugs, parties, music’, Corinne says about this period. Her photographs before meeting Pusherman were more focused on the natural beauty and frankness of untouched fashion photographs, like the cover of the FACE in 1990. The Pusherman influence seemed to add a dimension of drug use and darkness to her photographs as is obvious in Georgina, Brixton, which probably resembled the company she kept around this time.

Corinne Day criticised Clinton’s statement claiming that the images introduced reality to contemporary fashion images. Her argument was that hers and similar fashion images attempted to move away from the traditional representations of impossible beauty. Day was instrumental in pushing away from relentless perfection.

Having researched Corinne Day, the era in which the images were taken and past and contemporary fashion images I have begun to understand Georgina, Brixton in the context of its release and the author. ‘I think fashion photography has gone full circle. Grunge has become glamorous’

The image ‘Georgina, Brixton’ denotes heroin chic qualities. The skinny model, the unsettling environment, the unusual body position creates an idea of the undesirable counter culture that exists within the youth. Rock and Roll music for years has been regarded as ‘cool’ especially by the young in society. Their lifestyles usually involve sex, drugs and excessive alcohol. For decades younger generations have been imitating rock stars in terms of clothing. There is always an undesirable counter culture that abuse drugs or hold strong socially wrong views on subjects. Fashion seems to focus on younger cultures since the post-war era after World War II and subsequent years of experimentation and creativity. Therefore the increase in heroin use by young people and famous people for example Kurt Cobain from Nirvana contributed to the new style.

Corinne Day could be considered to have been in a fortunate position at the start of the 90s. A reputable photographer/film director teaching her how to use a camera, the experience of being a model, being surrounded by models and meeting supermodel Kate Moss who has now graced a record 30 front covers of British Vogue, her feelings of anti-glamour were resonant with much of society in this period. The time she had available being a model and on the doll. The grunge culture integrating into British culture along with touring with Pusherman. No one person can criticise Corinne for her role in the rise of Heroin Chic fashion. The era was presenting some of these new controversial structures and signals to youth culture and fashion.

Are Supermodels any better for the nation in fashion photography? Flicking through the pages of vogue you obtain a sense of jealousy, desire and unfairness. For some it may be pertaining to the sheer attraction to the images in the magazine, but for the majority it is the familiar feeling of inferiority to the incredibly perfect models. The beautiful models can make any item look desirable causing the onlooker to buy into the myth.

I think Bill Clinton is right to raise the issue in attempt to stop the use of heroin use. However I think the issue is or was far deeper entrenched than fashion which is the last stage and easiest cultural text to read.

At heart it is obvious Corinne Day enjoys documenting. Her images resemble the different influences in her life. Later on in life when she is surrounded by wealth due to her success, her photographs become more glamorous. She still insists on documenting, for example when she collapsed and recovered in hospital she asked husband Mark to photograph her. Georgina, Brixton may connote meaning associated with drugs and idleness, however it was the death of the supermodel that Corinne was trying to uncover, the relation to fashion to the everyday person while dismantling the myth of perfect beauty in being fashionable.

Bibliography

–          Photography: a cultural history, Mary Warner Marien, pg7-107, enter fashion, 2002,laurencekingpublishers, accessed 28/11/2010,

–          Corinne Day, Diary, November 2000, Kruse Verlag

–          Fashion, desire and anxiety: image and morality in the 20th century, Rebecca Arnold, Heroin chic pg48, 2001, accessed 28/11/2010

–          ‘I’m a photogaphy junkie’ Interview with the Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2000/sep/03/features.review7, 9/2002

Written by chrisbennettgrantcmp

November 30, 2010 at 11:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Writing Plan

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Title:

Georgina Brixton

Introduction:

Bill Clinton extract

Argument

Should Corinne Day be criticised for the heroin chic era, can she even be blamed?

Counter argument

Does the alternative falseness of glamour just support the myth of fashion?

Conclusion:

Was Corinne Day just lucky or a great documentary photographer?

Written by chrisbennettgrantcmp

November 30, 2010 at 11:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Study Diary

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Study Diary

  1. Firstly I have assembled some questions that I would like my research to cover, to create a structure to my research. I rented out the book ‘Diary’ by Croinne Day from the library which has proved helpful and is the fundamental source of my research at the moment. Familiarising myself with the picture Georgina, Brixton.
  2. Discovered the connection of Nan Goldin and Larry Clarks work to the documentary style of Corinne Day. Read a couple of books on their work. Starting to gather information on the net about Corinne Day.
  3. Researching the Heroin Chic and Grunge movements of the early 90s. Finding definitions, sub cultures and people involved. Discovered two good books ‘Photography: a cultural history’ and ‘Fashion, desire and anxiety: image and morality in the 20th century’.
  4. Comparing the 80s Supermodels to Georgina Cooper in the image and others Corinne used. Focusing on the level of retouching and artificiality of the images.
  5. Researching Corinne Day and Georgina Cooper. Reading up on certain biographies, obituaries and interviews discovering the personality. Recorded an interview with my friend on how she interpreted the photograph.
  6. Kate moss and her influence on the picture Georgina, Brixton as one of the inspirations of Heroin Chic. I tried not to get too involved with Kate due to the ridiculous amount of information on her; I tried to stick to the point of the blog just detailing her influence.
  7. From our lectures we learnt about intertextuality, Binary Opposites and textual analysis. I tried to incorporate some of the theories and to deconstruct the image to allow greater understanding of the context.
  8. I found an Article in the independent criticising the use of heroin chic images in fashion. The article highlighted Bill Clintons anger towards the movement and criticised anyone for condoning it.

Written by chrisbennettgrantcmp

November 30, 2010 at 11:40 am

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Criticism

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A smack in the face for the gurus of heroin chic

Clinton accuses the fashion industry of glorifying addiction

Tamsin Blanchard

President Bill Clinton yesterday fired a broadside at the fashion industry for using “heroin chic” to sell clothes. “The glorification of heroin is not creative, it is destructive,” he said.

But despite the intervention of the world’s most powerful leader, the fashion industry has become inured to endless images of skinny girls with pale skin and limp arms; boys with deep-set eyes and vacant stares; and models lying smacked out on some grubby floor.

The President’s broadside that “fashion photos in the last few years have made heroin addiction seem glamorous and sexy and cool” was the culmination of a campaign which followed the death of a 20-year-old fashion photographer, Davide Sorrenti, of a heroin overdose in New York three months ago.

Sorrenti’s mother, Francesca, herself a well-respected fashion photographer, has taken up a crusade against drug culture and vulnerable under-age models. In New York, heroin is the fashionable drug. Davide was not an isolated addict: friends, models and other photographers did it with him. Francesca Sorrenti condemns the industry for ignoring the drug problem prevalent within it. Instead of questioning a model who tries to cover up her needle marks, she says, fashion editors frequently turn a blind eye.

In London, style magazines such as Dazed & Confused, The Face and i-D have all used pictures of wasted, pale and skinny. According to Paul Hunwick, deputy editor of i-D, “heroin chic” does not exist: it is just another media soundbite. “There was a period in fashion photography when models were thinner,” he said. “But that whole look happened over a year ago. It was a reaction to the vulgarity of the Eighties. As a magazine, we have never promoted heroin. We want young, healthy, happy, stylish people on our pages.”

At Dazed & Confused, the editor, Jefferson Hack, said “fashion has a responsibility to deal with issues. It would be more destructive if fashion featured only happy, smiley people. Fashion has been dealing with real life issues since the Eighties and heroin has infiltrated every part of society. To ignore it is damaging.” He said it was unfair to point the finger at the fashion industry for what is an age-old problem. Photographers and stylists are merely soaking up the influences around them.

Photographers call this type of work art. They have been inspired by the images of Nan Goldin, the American photographer whose real-life documentary reportage in the Eighties of junkies and sick and dying friends has become the height of fashion. Her pictures of James King, the girlfriend of Davide Sorrenti, looking pale and hollow-eyed, were used by the Matsuda fashion company last year

The gritty photographs of Larry Clark, the director who made the film, Kids, have also been a major influence, not least on the advertising campaigns of Calvin Klein.

The British photographer Corinne Day has been attacked for pushing heroin chic. She was the photographer who first shot Kate Moss but she is outraged that her pictures should be labelled “heroin chic”. “The idea that any of my images could be mistaken for coming from or condoning the use of heroin is a contradiction and hypocrisy,” she said yesterday. “My style is about authenticity, naturally documented and developed through an artistic eye. Never has heroin played a part in my ideas. The shutting eyelids are blinks and we thought it would be funny to show something so natural.”

Whether they are using drugs is another matter. One booker at a leading London model agency has watched heroin come and go as the fashionable drug since the mid-Eighties. “It happens about every 10 years,” he said. “Someone inevitably dies and it’s not cool anymore because everyone gets freaked out. In the past year, it’s become the popular drug again.”

There is a certain glamour attached with the “tragic beauty” associated with heroin addiction. “The idea that junkies have glowing skin is rubbish,” said the booker. He claimed it was all part of the mythology of the Sixties and added that his message was clear: “We don’t tolerate drug-addict models. It’s not a moral thing; with bookings worth pounds 30,000 to pounds 200,000 a day, you simply can’t afford to take risks.

This article gives a good account of the era labeled ‘Heroin Chic’, the fact that clothes are associated with such a hardcore drug seems extreme. Images definitely appeared more gungy in this era however it seems ridiculous to burden a drug addiction on fashion.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/a-smack-in-the-face-for-the-gurus-of-heroin-chic-1262928.html Tamsin Blanchard, Friday, 23 May 1997, (accessed 28/11/2010)

Written by chrisbennettgrantcmp

November 30, 2010 at 12:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Research

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Interviewing a friend

Tess makes a point about the target Audience. She says it is unlikely that it would be aimed at lower society as there is no appeal to the environment of Georgina, Brixton as it may resemble their low living conditions. She says that it denotes glamorised poverty.

Written by chrisbennettgrantcmp

November 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized