The Frankenstein Effect

I made to Bolton University Fine Arts Degree Show this afternoon even if it was the penultimate day. I wanted to see the work of a personal friend, but as it was a video installation there’s not much point trying to discuss it here.

The artist who impressed me most was Loraine Agg who was looking at the Frankenstein Effect. Here is the statement next to her work:

“Loraine has focussed on a person’s judgement in these series of photographs. The idea is that the viewer will look at the images with one idea and as soon as they have made the connection their first initial judgement changes. This is called the Frankenstein Effect and is what Loraine wishes to make aware to some people when they make initial judgements, be them good or bad, before knowing stories behind the images. The only hints to her subject are the names of the photographs. She feels that it is best for the viewer to have an amount of intrigue for the effects of the Frankenstein effect to take place.”

Loraine’s work were five pretty landscapes:

Very pretty indeed! It’s only when you read the titles that the Frankenstein Effect kicks in. The titles are: “John Kilbride 23rd November 1963”, “Pauline Reade 12th July 1963”, “Edward Evans 6th October 1965”, “Lesley-Ann Downey 26th December 1964” and “Keith Bennett 16th June 1964”. For any non-Brits reading this to whom these names do not mean anything, please click here.


About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website
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11 Responses to The Frankenstein Effect

  1. EllaDee says:

    How interesting. I’m glad you made the show, noted & shared Loraine Agg’s work and ideas with us. It makes a hell of a difference to how you see the photos.

  2. Drew Kail says:

    It’s a very interesting mash up of lovely landscapes and brutal tragedy. It really questions the feelings of security and safety in a seemingly peaceful and pleasant environment.

  3. I wonder how many people go hiking over Saddleworth Moor without realising the tales the landscape could tell.

  4. Deanne says:

    Canadian here who didn’t know the stories associated with the names. I think it might have that Frankenstein effect even so, if I was there in person, just reading the names and dates imply something about death or loss.

    • I was talking with a friend this afternoon and she said that she always found Saddleworth Moor very bleak, but didn’t know if this was because of what went on there rather than the area itself..

  5. Powerful stuff. I’m glad you made it. It’s very interesting as far as the titling debate goes – the titles here are integral to the work – the photographs aren’t just photographs and the titles aren’t just titles anymore, they are elements in a conceptual work. Loraine’s work deftly points out the responsibility the artist has to shoulder when titling a work. But given the very specific nature of the work/ play I don’t think it closes the book on the titling debate.

  6. I came across a painting recently which was fairly formless which the artist afterwards decided to call “The Evening of the Fourth Day”, a reference to the Creation Story in Genesis. Do you think it’s OK to come up with such a title afterwards?

  7. Pingback: Gerry Halpin – Vantage Point | notes to the milkman

  8. Loraine says:

    Hi all,

    Thank you for these comments and this lovely critique of my work. It has definitely caused the reaction I was after. Being at the opening evening of the exhibition I will always remember so many people being interested in the images and then swiftly moving away from them when they made the connection with the names. It was so interesting to see how much something as simple as a name can change the outlook on something, not only in art but in most other things too.
    If we think about it, how different would history be is someone such as Adolf Hitler was called Barry instead? Or if Mother Theresa was called Mother Lindsay instead. I have no issue with names however this topic makes us question our associations to those names and what we think of when saying them.
    It all boils down to prejudices and stereotyping. I wish I had gone on to do a masters in Psychology cause things like this interest me so much.
    Thank you again so much for the comments, it’s nice to see some people realised the idea and concept behind it even though my lecturers didn’t! 🙂

    Many Thanks

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