Constructed Images and fabricated realities- some initial thoughts

This final phase of Context and Narrative will really take me further out of my comfort zone I think. As someone who has been slowly but I think positively developing my documentary practice, helped greatly by engagement with the OCA, this area construction and fabrication will be very alien.

This is a good thing although i have some trepidation. I have in advance of this section of the course been looking at the work of Cindy Sherman and Geoff Wall. The idea o using photography as a medium of fiction, but a fiction that makes a wider statement about culture, gender and contemporary society is of genuine interest to me.

In making links to my interest in documentary work, I can’t help thinking about W. Eugene Smith’s departure from Life Magazine after the incident of doctoring an image in the set about Albert Schweitzer that I wrote about here .

I am also pondering the nature of the boundary between the real and the fictitious in any image given the photographer can send a message to the view through the clever use of angle, framing and post production.

Much to think about as I through ideas of constructed realities and it is this term that set me thinking. This is a theme i work with in my professional life and I am reminded of the work of the sociologists Berger and Lucian and their significant treatise on the nature of reality as a social construct created by language, context and social influences. To me this part of the course opens up a significant opportunity to see how reality can indeed be constructed through visual media  and how visual media has come to play a part in defining what we believe is real. I know this was touched upon in part one and it seems apposite that this is part of the final phase of the course.


Berger, P. and Luckman, T. (1981) The Social Construction of Reality, Peregrine, London


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