The Graduation paper

“The Role of Photography in promoting the Museum of African Art”

December 2012.
Belgrade School of Polytechnic Studies

Author:

Nataša Stojanović

short movie

Bachelor thesis photography

“The Role of Photography in Promoting the Museum of African Art can be understood through several graphic solutions, in such a way that they supplement one another, satisfying the Museum's needs for products that would perform a function of the visual promotion: postcards, T-shirt prints, short films, posters...

The thesis is based on the premise that it starts from a static element, for example a sculpture or an ornament that represents an item from the collection, all the while representing the essence of the Museum's very existence. The goal is to reach certain visual dynamics from the selected element that uses the photography as its strongest argument to reach the audience and also serves to promote the African Art.

So, figuring out in which way such promotion can be conducted begins with a photograph of an item of African art or its selected detail. It is initially represented through a postcard… Without it meaning to be sent into the world it is represented in a short feature through the words of the Museum’s visitors: a description of an item, country of origin, its size, the fabric from which it is made, its subsequent use and a number the item is filed under in the documentation of the Museum. Each participant in the film is represented individually through a certain object. The graphic motif, devised based on one of the objects, is applied on T-shirts the film participants wear. The fact that every museum’s item possesses “personal”data (which is filed in the museum’s registry), mirrors the fact that everybody have personal ID cards, thus providing elements based on which the solution for the poster is made: The movie participants are represented on the poster by the means of photography and personal information.

By applying the photography throughout every phase of the work, the suggested concept of representing the Museum of African Art generates a promotional message from two sources. Namely, apart from the meaning of the collection itself, the new visitors are to be attracted by stories and testimonies of the already existing audiences whose expressions are recorded on film and depicted on the poster. Thus, not only the diversity and the dynamics in the series of graphic products is achieved, but also the coherence of parts in structuring of the key message and the dialogue with the audience: the Museum exists for the art it preserves but also for the visitors to whom it transfers and represents the richness of the African peoples’ artistic expression.“

Student: Nataša Stojanović
Mentor: Aleksandar Kelić
Photographs by: Biljana Bošković

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