Pg 235 Rory Mulligan and Anna Tasker

Task 4 – The Abandonment of Shame

Synopsis of Assignment

Artist Portrait


Rory Mulligan is well known for his distinctive representational portraits, often of men, in their daily lives or in unusual settings. He uses a mixture of candid and posed/staged shots and places great significance on the context of his work. Often the setting appears contradictory. In my artist portrait, you might not expect to find a young mixed race male who is fitness conscious ambling along the leafy canal side.


 Image in the style of the Artist



Mulligan often works with black and white film and uses his images to blur the line between reality and fiction. He finds raw material in usual settings and sets up a scenario which tells a story. I feel that my image does tell a story. Whatever happened to Mr Whippy/the traditional ice cream man?Have Ben and Jerry taken over? Many of Mulligan’s monochrome images have a sense of nostalgia, and I must admit I am now on a quest to find a traditional 99 flake!

 The Assignment


Critical Rationale

I found this to be a challenging task as I am a naturally shy person. I knew I did not want to bare all for the camera in representation of Rory Mulligan’s studies of nakedness (especially since his male nudes are often quite shocking and repulsive) I understand that this is deliberate – but after experimentation I felt I did not want to fully replicate this myself. Nevertheless, I had to show integrity to the brief: in other words create something shameful; something in a sense I am not proud of. I do admire Mulligan’s brutal honesty and his ability to blur the lines between candid and staged photography. Therefore I used actual video footage and images so that it would appear raw and realistic rather than polished. However, I took the decision to edit them and accompany them with a relevant soundtrack. Mulligan’s work often tells a story and I feel the inclusion of the acoustic track enhances this element of my work. Finally I was inspired by Mulligan’s tendency to challenge stereotypical viewpoints. He often achieves this by placing his subjects into uncharacteristic contexts and I wanted to include some of this flavour in my work.

So what to reveal about myself? What wouldn’t I want my parents to see? I began to reflect on the image of me that others may have. Since I live at home and travel to Uni I am not often seen frequenting the student Union, clubs or pubs. People may see me as someone who prefers to stay in rather than party. Therefore, I decided to use this task to challenge that stereotype. I do enjoy a drink/cocktail or few and like most people I do regret it the morning after!

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