Initial Artist Inspiration – New French Extremity Cinema

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Uncategorized

New French Extremity Cinema is a movement of very visceral, body horror films that were made at the beginning of the 21st century. These films often have very visceral and explicit depictions of sex and violence, and often breach the boundary between art house film and horror. These films often deal with unconventional relationships between people, and deal with representations of the self under extreme mental pressure. I am interested in this version of the self under the conditions of very intense mental strain, and how this leads to visceral acts of violence. In my own work, I would like to explore this relationship further.

In My Skin (2002)

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‘In My Skin’ is a film directed by Marina de Van, and depicts a woman who cannot feel pain in the same way as others, to cuts¬†herself in order to test her pain tolerance. This gradually develops into greater acts of mutilation, hysteria and hallucination, until the viewer is unsure if what is happening is in the central character’s head, or is happening in reality. The self-mutilation is very violent and visceral, and it makes one wonder about the limits of the human ability to withstand pain, and our natural fetishisation of it. I am inspired by this work to look further into ideas of the body, and how we construct ourselves, view ourselves and test ourselves.

Ma Mere (2004)

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‘Ma Mere’ is a film directed by Christophe Honore, which tells the story of a very unconventional relationship between mother and son. The story tells of the incestuous relationship between the mother and her young adult son, as well as her sexual exploits with multiple other partners. The end scene again is very disturbing and visceral. as the mother asks her son to slit her stomach whilst he masturbates. She then proceeds to slit her own throat. I am very interested in the idea of the son as taken from her body, and the difficulty that arises from the piece of herself that she has unnatural sexual feelings towards. In this end scene, as her stomach is slit by the son, there is a return to the womb for the son in some sense, as aims to gain entry into a purer version of himself, back to his mother. I am interested in these very visceral scenes, which display metaphors for the self, and how the mother reacts to herself. In my own work, I want to examine these these of mental distress in relation to unwanted feelings towards the self.

Haute Tension (2003)

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Haute Tension is a film directed by Alexandre Aja, which tells the story of delusions of the central character, Marie, as she believes her friend Alex has been kidnapped, and her family murdered. She tries to protect and save Alex, however it is later revealed that Marie is the killer, having delusions that she was the saviour, as she is in love with Alex. I ¬†am interested in this complete separation from mind and body, believing actions you did were not you’re own, and believing that you are always the ‘good’ person in every situation. This distinct separation between perceived self and real self is something I’m very keen to explore in my further work.

Initial Artist Inspiration – Vanessa Beecroft

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Uncategorized
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‘vb60’ (2007)

VB64; Vanessa Beecroft; Deitch Projects

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‘vb55’ (2005)

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‘vb45’ (2001)

 

I am highly interested in the way that Vanessa Beecroft uses the body as a medium in her performances, manipulating repetition through the use of works with lots and lots of participants. These participants often appear to stand fairly still or motinless, with apathetic impressions for long periods of time. The models appear often in various states of undress, which allows uncanny contrasts to be made by the viewer, a judgemental process which is wholly unnecessary, and makes us question our perceptions of body image and differences to the perfect norm. I am very interested in how the performances through their use of multiple participants, appear as sculptures as they occupy a true sense of physical space. This gives them an uncanny living presence – somewhere between human and object, that makes the viewer uneasy in their company. Are these women to be regarded as such, or to be treated with the the apathy they give out? I am very inspired by Beecroft’s work, and her use of multitudes of subjects to create a unitary, cohesive object. In my own work, I would like to play upon repetition, and living sculptures in order to make a comment on the similarities and differences of the models.

Initial Project Idea – Bodily Influences

Studio, Uncategorized

My last project focused on ideas of the body as a conduit for female hysteria – the vehicle on which a sense of deep frustration was taken out upon. The subject removed her skin in the narrative, which was portrayed visually through the use of meat. I am interested in the use of abjection and the body, in order to at once receive a reception of disgust and interest, which intertwine to create a twisted fascination with pain, flesh and the body.

In my next project, I would like to explore the body further, and explore the ways that bodies are exploited by both themselves and others. In this project, I would like to have a greater focus on the mind, and how different personalities and situations influence the physical form.

I would like to explore the way that different artists portray the body, how they interact with it and how they make a statement towards the importance of the body in relation to the mind.