I would like to investigate the political situation in America at the time Franks was snapping pictures. I think it would be very interesting to compare it to what was going on in his home country. I think that the political movement in America was a rough time for everyone and Franks was caught up in it, even arrested for being a foreigner. Comparing his country to ours will allow me to see if Frank really understood what he was getting himself into when he decided to attempt to survive America.
I think that the question of his influences really ties into what he was getting himself into. The influences could have been a number of people, things and ideas and I think that if I can research enough into it then I could see how Frank thought and how he worked. An artist’s mind is a crazy place, sometimes they could actually be crazy (although I don’t think that Frank was) but it will still be interesting to find out for myself.
And also tying into the idea of political change and multiple influences is the question of how did The Americans really challenge, change and reshape photography as people knew it? Even as we looked through it in class, we thought of things that could be weird or isn’t really done in photography, but Franks did it. I can look into how his photo essay compared to the photo essays and other art works in that time. And even compare the American photos to the photos that were being taken in Switzerland.
I already know some basics about what was going on in America. There was segregation and the cold war. The Rothenbergs (sp?) were just executed for being commie-spies, and that’s why Franks was arrested for suspicion (because Americans at the time thought all foreigners at the time were commies). I definitely need to back up my information and look for tons more. I really need to research more about Franks to figure out his mindset and so much more about Switzerland (since I didn’t grow up there I have no clue about their history).