Modoi, Alexandru Gelu orcid iconORCID: 0009-0004-9890-0679 (2023) RE-IMAGINING ROMANIAN CULTURE FROM AFAR THROUGH STILL LIFE PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES OF WOLF MYTHS. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This study aims to investigate how creative practice can help to find new photographic ways to re-imagine Romanian culture through disciplinary and interdisciplinary photographic methods and identify possible entangled situations. It intends to portray Romanian culture in a new light, through its wolf myths. It questions how can a practice of photographing objects help to re-imagine Romanian culture from afar through the photographic image? This is the main question that led the initial stages of this research and created new questions, including how to photograph the indexical and what is the photo-entanglement.
The problem is that through the photographic image, the representations of myths are often distorted, misrepresented, or only partially revealed. From an artist’s personal experience of living in the UK, Romania is often portrayed in terms of immigration and Transylvanian stories of Dracula, including experiences of being included in discussions about the prejudiced images of Romanians. It can be argued that stories can be shared through photography, including those of Romanian wolf myths and folklore.
This research focuses on Romanian culture through its wolf myths and looks at new photographic ways of sharing and transporting the significance of culture within the entanglement of material objects and visual culture while working with photographs of still life objects and the banal and still life artefacts and their significance. Jung suggests that collecting stories from the conscious and unconscious realities of the participants could create a common story, and in addition I am guided by Barthes’ third meaning in an analogy to Einstein’s entanglement.
The original contribution to knowledge of this research is the artist’s own creative still life photographic practice, including self-reflections on the creative challenges, in response to an ethnographic analysis of the data collected from Romania and the UK. By employing disciplinary and interdisciplinary creative methods of photographing still life objects, this research follows the artist’s creative process of producing a body of work that will articulate the findings, including a portfolio of photographs, an autoethnographic approach and a public exhibition.
Potentially, this research will provide a new insight into the practice of photographing still life objects. It introduces the photo-entanglement concept to the field of still life photography to emphasise the importance of the indexical meaning within this field. A new systematic process of enquiry has been developed that allowed for new ways to explore how and where potential photographic misrepresentations can appear, ultimately providing solutions.

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