4th grade students interpret my work

When I was at the Haverford opening last month I met the exhibition coordinator's girlfriend Jennifer Clark who's a 4th grade teacher. She recently took her students to see the show and just wrote about the experience here. It's fantastic--I love hearing their thoughts about the work and the imaginative stories they came up with around the origins of the pictures. Apparently there is a lot of getting in trouble by whomever they infer created the messes I document. First off, here's how it works in Jennifer's words:
The corner of the world that has inspired me as of late is the work on display currently at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. My fourth grade students were shown some of the images and asked to think about what happened immediately before the photo was taken, what happened when the photo was taken, and what happened immediately after the photo was taken. Their interpretations or inferences needed to have proof within the photograph supporting their reasoning. They also had the chance to give the photograph a title they thought suited it best. The following are what they so creatively produced.
The simplicity of the title "Need a New Light Bulb" is great--humorous in its directness. Here's the entirety:
Actual Title: "Broken"

Student Title: "Baseball Accident"
By: Hannah
Before the picture was taken a couple of boys were playing baseball in the backyard and the ball broke the light bulb. During the picture the boys were in big trouble. I know that because now the light bulb is broken and a door is open so the boys are saying sorry. After the boys were not allowed to play baseball.
Actual Title: "Broken"
Student Title: "Need A New Light Bulb"
By: Grace
Before the picture was taken a girl was looking for a place to sing and did it in the living room. During the picture she started to sing and the light bulb broke. I know this because sometimes a high pitch can break glass. After the picture was taken, she got in huge trouble for singing.

Actual Title: "Analog"

Student Title: "Party All Night"
By: Connor
Before the picture was taken, there was a party and they tried to open a bag of string, but it popped. I know this because there is a lot of string on the ground. During the picture, the person throwing the party goes and gets a broom to clean up the mess. I know this because you can't see the person. After the picture was taken, the person cleaned up the mess and partied all night!
Actual Title: "Analog"
Student Title: "Party Cleaners"
By: Gabrielle
Before the picture was taken, a teenager's parents left for a cruise that didn't allow kids under 18 and told the teenager no parties. I know this because in the picture it doesn't show a person and the streamers didn't look so old so they could have been taken out a bit later. During the picture the party ended and all of the guests are leaving and the teenager's parents park the car in the driveway. I know this because in the picture streamers are trashed and the light from the car lights is shining through the window. After the picture is taken, the teenager's parents come in, see the mess, and make the teenager clean up the whole mess and then they grounded her.

Comments

Art Paint King said…
This really is a great idea letting young students criticising photos they know nothing about. These are funny interpretations they had. Children always have their own way of seeing things. Wonderful!

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