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07/11/2003 03:41:28 AM · #1
I have long been working on a photography series on schizophrenia.

This one and this are the latest additions.

I am also busy staging a fight-yourself-type scene, where one person is fighting themselves in a Karate Dojo. Obviously, this is going to take quite some time to get right.

Comments, imput and ideas are apreciated.
07/11/2003 03:52:32 AM · #2
those are all different people's bodies but with the head edited, isn't it? Interesting though. The give-away is in the shoes.
07/11/2003 04:01:54 AM · #3
Originally posted by shadow:

those are all different people's bodies but with the head edited, isn't it? Interesting though. The give-away is in the shoes.


No, they are all the same person. it is 4 and 2 exposures respectively, edited together in PS. Not particularly advanced, mind you, but it looks pretty good, in my opinion.

Message edited by author 2003-07-11 04:02:56.
07/11/2003 04:09:58 AM · #4
Originally posted by SharQ:

I am also busy staging a fight-yourself-type scene, where one person is fighting themselves in a Karate Dojo.


I love both karate and photography, so I'm looking forward to your work!
07/11/2003 04:23:34 AM · #5
Just wondering what your basing your concept of "schizophrenia" on? Do you have personal experience with it or do you treat those that do? Why are you so interested in this mental illness?
07/11/2003 04:39:51 AM · #6
Originally posted by briphoto:

Just wondering what your basing your concept of "schizophrenia" on?


I read. A lot. I have read quite a bit of psychological stuff, along with a whole deal of fiction dealing with the issue.

My idea is to take several shots of the same person, and make them interact. Autointeraction, if you will. The idea is that the viewer will realise that this is impossible, and possibly uncomfortable. By titling the images "schizophrenia", I hope to give them a sense of context.

Originally posted by briphoto:

Do you have personal experience with it or do you treat those that do? Why are you so interested in this mental illness?


No personal experience.

Do you feel my work lacks respect for the people suffering from this?

HJ
07/11/2003 05:51:15 AM · #7
Originally posted by SharQ:

Comments, imput and ideas are apreciated.


What, exactly, do you think schizophrenia is?

Your images contain multiple images of the same person, or multiple "selves". Is that your intent?
07/11/2003 06:09:47 AM · #8
I like the images but not so sure they say schizophrenia.. I had the idea (founded on nothing) that this illness would involve some conflict between the 'selves', whereas your images seem in perfect harmony and discussion.. Perhaps the fighting scene will bring out this element.
07/11/2003 07:14:40 AM · #9
Originally posted by Alpine99:

I like the images but not so sure they say schizophrenia.. I had the idea (founded on nothing) that this illness would involve some conflict between the 'selves', whereas your images seem in perfect harmony and discussion.. Perhaps the fighting scene will bring out this element.


I guess this was the type of confirmation I was looking for; I sorta came to the same conclusion myself.

Thanks!
07/11/2003 07:22:07 AM · #10
I saw something similar on Artsig. Not my work, but something that sticks in my head. Here is "Is He O.K.?"
It does contain a male nude, but it is very tastefully done. It's about one 'self' being dead, and the other 'selfs' wondering what the heck happened. The photographer also has other shots similar in his portfolio, including Soul Survivor, and Grieve. Both of which I like as well.
~Heather~
07/11/2003 07:49:46 AM · #11
Are you trying to play the multiple personality angle? If so, I would call it something else. Schizophrenia is a very broad definition which, contrary to popular belief, is not characterised by having multiple personalities. In fact Multiple Personality Disorder is a very obscure form of schizophrenia (although there are some who propose that it is something completely different which should not be classified as schizophrenia) with only a handful of credible recorded cases.

Schizophrenia is more often characterised by fears of persecution with mild to severe hallucinations in extreme cases. Hallucinations can include hearing voices and or seeing people who are not there. People suffering from schizophrenia often have problems functioning in any type of social group. They are often described as being distant loners, although this is not by choice, but more a consequence of the fact that the schizophrenia affects, amongst other things, their speech patterns making it difficult for them to communicate.

Schizophrenia is very debilitating and misunderstood. It can manifest itself as the inability to concentrate or think logically, or can lead to hallucinations as mentioned above.

If you are interrested in schizophrenia, you might want to check out "A Beautiful Mind" which shows the effects of severe schizophrenia.

That said, I like the photos. They are well composed and the lighting is very good. It must be difficult to keep the subjects from casting shadows which could give away the photoshopping. The photoshopping is well done.

Edit

Don't know why the link didn't show up in the original post.

A beautiful mind

Message edited by author 2003-07-11 07:58:23.
07/11/2003 09:15:45 AM · #12
Originally posted by Martus:

Schizophrenia is a very broad definition which, contrary to popular belief, is not characterised by having multiple personalities. In fact Multiple Personality Disorder is a very obscure form of schizophrenia (although there are some who propose that it is something completely different which should not be classified as schizophrenia) with only a handful of credible recorded cases.

Schizophrenia is more often characterised by fears of persecution with mild to severe hallucinations in extreme cases.


Interesting, but I am pretty sure you are referring to Paranoid Schizophrenia variant, which manifests itself in the way you just explained.

"Schizophrenia is characterized by perturbations of language, perception, thinking, social activity, affect, and volition, but there are no pathognomonic features. The syndrome commonly has a poor outcome, progressing from social withdrawal and perceptual distortions to a state of chronic delusions and hallucinations." (From Harrison's online, chapter 385)

Obviously, conveying this is difficult in pictures, hence the focus on multiple personality syndrome, or the feeling that there are multiple voices.

I think the pictures posted should mainly be seen as technical experimentation with a known technique. this and especially this are probably two better examples of the technique I am attempting to explore.

I did enjoy A Beautiful Mind, but I thought it was a bastardization and gross hollywoodification of a problem that is far more complex and nuanced than ABM managed to convey.

Message edited by author 2003-07-11 09:16:20.
07/11/2003 09:33:55 AM · #13
Originally posted by SharQ:

Originally posted by Martus:

Schizophrenia is a very broad definition which, contrary to popular belief, is not characterised by having multiple personalities. In fact Multiple Personality Disorder is a very obscure form of schizophrenia (although there are some who propose that it is something completely different which should not be classified as schizophrenia) with only a handful of credible recorded cases.

Schizophrenia is more often characterised by fears of persecution with mild to severe hallucinations in extreme cases.


Interesting, but I am pretty sure you are referring to Paranoid Schizophrenia variant, which manifests itself in the way you just explained.

"Schizophrenia is characterized by perturbations of language, perception, thinking, social activity, affect, and volition, but there are no pathognomonic features. The syndrome commonly has a poor outcome, progressing from social withdrawal and perceptual distortions to a state of chronic delusions and hallucinations." (From Harrison's online, chapter 385)

Obviously, conveying this is difficult in pictures, hence the focus on multiple personality syndrome, or the feeling that there are multiple voices.

I think the pictures posted should mainly be seen as technical experimentation with a known technique. this and especially this are probably two better examples of the technique I am attempting to explore.

I did enjoy A Beautiful Mind, but I thought it was a bastardization and gross hollywoodification of a problem that is far more complex and nuanced than ABM managed to convey.


The first part of my post was indeed a description of Paranoid Schizophrenia, although schizophrenia sufferers in general can also have feelings of being persecuted, which can be emphasised by the isolation from society which they so often have to endure due to the problems with their speech and problems forming coherent thoughts.

I agree that A Beautiful Mind was a little too Hollywood, but as you said, it's a difficult subject to convey properly.


I like the second photo a lot.

Message edited by author 2003-07-11 09:34:58.
07/11/2003 09:57:31 AM · #14
Though I have little experience in Schizophrenia, I have to say I was expecting more chaos to be in the image. The multi-images are quite good, and say alot about multi personality, and "the other me" type of thing.
I know a man who has shut off his utilities because having them is a sure way for the government (local and federal) to conspire against him and find out what he knows about them.

No Tresspassing epitomizes his demeanor. Yet there is such a sweetness to him.. how he wants to protect his mother's belongings. It is all he has in this world.
07/11/2003 10:13:59 AM · #15
There was a person in this area that was shot dead by the RCMP - he was Schizophrenic. He was off his medication and threatened to do some harm to some kids. The police were called in and a threat was perceived when he alledgedly lundged towards the officers with a small axe; apparently there was 10-12 feet of distance and a fence separating the victim and the cops (you be the judge). My point is that often these people are overlooked by the system and society until it's too late and often they fall through the cracks or in this case worse.

SharQ I think it's great that someone would choose to do images of this nature, especially if the intent is awareness and education.
07/11/2003 10:48:05 AM · #16
I'm a paranoid schizophrenic. It's a really difficult thing to explain so I'm not going to try. I'm sure it's different for everyone. I don't have multiple personalities though or anything like that at all and I only hallucinate when I use drugs (and I don't mean in the normal way), so I don't do any of that anymore, but the problem is still very much there and not likely to go away. But life is grand and your picture is still very good. Oh, A Beautiful Mind sucked. It's also true that people take advantage of paranoid delusional people because nobody will believe anything they say. You can bet that parts of the story, if it is a true story at all, are true. At least that's what I believe, cause I understand.
07/11/2003 12:00:01 PM · #17
SharQ, I think you are a bit schizophrenic about your approach to this photographic subject … lol …and need to define more in your own mind and photographic eye, what it is you want to convey and communicate about it. There are many aspects to this disease which need to be brought to light and I think unless you concentrate on one, you yourself will be accused of a “schizoid” personality…lol…(actually, that too is a mental disease, but of the personality disorder kind). Until you distill more about what you want to say about it, I don’t believe you'll truly be able to convey something about the problem that is meaningful.

Do you want to take a photojournalistic approach to the subject, which I believe would require taking pictures of actual schizophrenic people/patients and their lives, or do you want to capture more of a theatrical rendition of what you and the model interpret it to be? Do you want to show the effects of the disease on patient, family/friends? Do you want to depict how the disease manifests? Do you want to show what happens to a patient after they are diagnosed? Do you want to take the angle from the viewpoint of a person with the disease, or from the viewpoint of the “system,” family? There is probably a myriad of other questions that could be asked.

My point in all these questions is that there are many approaches to take to this subject, but you have to formulate what you want to say about it. Like has been said before, the disease manifests in a multitude of ways. There are schizophrenics who are depressed, others who are manic, some with auditory hallucinations, others with delusions of grandeur, and others who are suicidal….there are so many symptoms that can manifest, but only so much photographic real estate…If you want to know more about how the disease manifests, go to the mental health bible, the DSM-4 manual and described there are all of the signs and symptoms of all the different mental health problems in existence. You can then get ideas and decide on how to depict the disease, if that’s the approach you choose to take.

The pictures you posted did not express anything to me about schizophrenia. For one thing, they did not seem to express any kind of emotion….not on the part of the model or in the photographic rendition. I don’t believe you should use B&W unless you want to convey a depressed schizophrenic who may be so medicated that he’s got a dulled affect. All people, healthy, or with diagnosed mental diseases, have issues of fear, anxiety, depression and mood changes, but this disease is about extremes of emotion and how the person deals and acts out of those emotions in extreme ways. An important way that a schizophrenic deals with his/her fears is to separate and lose contact with reality. They are so fearful that they disengage and isolate themselves through their symptoms.

So, one way of conveying this disease, would be to somehow show how a person with the disease is isolated from reality and seperated from society…I think that can be conveyed quite well in a photograph. Many schizophrenics have a disheveled appearance, which your model did not…you can include that aspect as well.
Actually, your model looked to me in too much control, too healthy, while schizophrenics do not. In addition, maybe you should use different colors in your photos, such as red/orange, to convey anger and rage, or yellow to convey extremes of energy. You may also want to think about using a wide angle, or fisheye, to distort the picture some…I think it would give a good effect in what you may want to express.

Anyway, I think I’ve talked your ear off, one of my many neurotic symptoms, and I have to get to my psychiatric appointment by noon, so good luck with this project…it’s a worthy one!

jeff
07/11/2003 12:39:47 PM · #18
Originally posted by Olyuzi:

Do you want to take a photojournalistic approach to the subject, which I believe would require taking pictures of actual schizophrenic people/patients and their lives, or do you want to capture more of a theatrical rendition of what you and the model interpret it to be?


Wow, that was quite a chunk of words. But exactly what I was lookign for. I think I will not go for a photojournalistic approach, but rather for an artistic version of it.

I think this is going to be one of my long-term projects, culminating in an exhibition which will attempt to shed light on Schizophrenia as a whole. I have done quite a bit of installation art and performance art in the past. I think this shall definitely have to be a multi-genre arts project, most likely to consist of a video feature or two, possibly an interactive sound installation and definitely photographs.

As you see, I have quite some big plans for this. I am aiming for the Liverpool Biennial 2004, so I got about a year and a half to finish everything.

HJ

Message edited by author 2003-07-11 12:43:32.
07/11/2003 01:23:03 PM · #19
A friend of mine, who does different kinds of recordings of various music, sounds and voices, has in the past, recorded a friend of his, who happens to be a paranoid schizophrenic. Suprisingly enough, he is very friendly, and loves the attention he gets from recording. I would describe him as a very verbose, poetic and stream-of-consciousness type of performance artist who just continually rambles on and on. He would probably be great for the audio part of your exhibition and if you want, I'll ask my friend about getting one of these recordings to you. Of course, with the permission of the artist himself. Let me know if this interests you.
jeff
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