Who's meaning is it anyway? author intention vs. audience reception (ci.5410.6)
Clicking through flickr, I stumbled on the photo collection of BrittneyBush. Reaching near 3,000 photos, this photography participates frequently in posting photos and comments. I was taken in by her eye, "making strange" the normal objects our eyes gloss over daily. Her photo collection is quite stunning.
Also of interest were the different groupings she had of her photos under the heading "Best of." Below are two shots I decided to feature, for reasons I'll got to below. In the meantime, take a moment, to indulge in some short slide shows to get a feel for how other's view her work and for how she views and her work.
Yes, It's A Glamorous Job -- from Best of...Other's Favorites
Access Denied -- from Best of...The ABCs of Brittney
What is interesting to me about these two collections is how each has its own character or style. What BrittneyBush likes best about her own photo style is not necessarily what others find most appealing about her work. The photo "Yes, It's a Glamorous Job" seems to involve BrittneyBush making a statement about the irony in societal depictions and expectations of women. Yet, when you read through the 140 comments posted to this photo, only a few address this possible meaning. Most people focus on the subject's body and accessories and make little note of the conflicting images (toilet bowl, rubber gloves) even though BrittneyBush's tags for the photo suggests some sort of social critique. Tags include: me, self portrait, housewife, righteous feminist indignation, it's not that I'm unhappy, it's just that somehow, this is not what I had planned on, sexy.
I don't mean to say that the other viewer's interpretations are wrong, rather that meaning is fickle. Although we put so much effort into our production and presentation of ideas, we can't control what happens to them once we put them out there. Others will receive them and us how they will. All that said, even though "Yes, It's A Glamorous Job" isn't one of BrittneyBush's personal picks, I love this photo for its irony, and would place it in her best of.