Twisted Realities, Mistaken Identities
– Photographing Irony
‘Irony regards every simple truth as a challenge’, said American aphorist, Mason Cooley. This workshop explores those challenges. Put simply, ironic situations evoke a gap between one’s expectation and what actually occurs. Most of us are familiar with irony as a literary device, where the meaning is contrary to the words.
But can images also be ironic?
Is it possible for an image convey the opposite of what it shows?
And can images of the natural world also be ironic, or do they always require a human element?
While photographs are often regarded as a definitive record of reality, this workshop examines the conflicting realities, dual perspectives and incongruities that introduce an ironic element into photography and sharpen its subversive power.
Through an interactive critique and discussion of ironists’ images, followed by a field trip to search for visual ironies, we will explore how irony can raise important questions – rather than necessarily provide answers – about the state of the world.
Presenters: Alison Pouliot and Valérie Chételat
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