DRK PARA (2013)
True Life: I’m a Selfie – (Fake True’s Negativity Remix) (2013)
Mainbitch.mov Spring Scrap (2012)
BRIDAL SHOWER (2013)
i thot i wuz free (2016)
I am very inspired by the work Petra Cortright and the way she portrays different versions of herself through the lens of a webcam. She uses the devices of the internet and technology, such as the webcam and youtube to create and display her works, which means the language the internet is fully implicated and present within her work. In addition, she uses popular internet tropes, such as the drunk girl on webcam, or the girl in love to present different versions of herself, different avatars, across online. I am particularly interested in the aesthetics of the webcam she uses to create these works, and the realities of these avatars, and would like to experiment with webcams and webcam effects further in the making of my film.
‘No One Is More Work Than Me’ (2014)
Ed Atkins is an artist whose work which revolves around the connection of digital technologies and art is endlessly interesting, as explores what it means to be human within the realms of a world dictated by technology. I am particularly inspired by his work ‘No One Is More Work Than Me’, in which he employs a digital avatar to act as himself within an 8 hour performance. In this performance, Atkins addresses the viewer live for 8 hours, but employs a digital avatar to act as the head of the Atkins, and speak to the viewer. He also uses an performer to act as the body of himself, separate from the digitally created head. He has become dematerialised to the audience through the use of the avatar, and becomes just a physical body within the world. This presents interesting ideas about the self in the realm of the world online, as are minds become increasingly focused on the digital, yet our bodies remain aimlessly physical, acting at the impulse of the head and their online desires.
I am very interested in the idea of the avatar, as Atkins has explored a digitised version of himself, alienated from his body, yet still a version of self which exists in a digital reality. I am interested in this idea of a personality split into different realms of media and reality, yet still occupying a body within those realities. In my own work, I would like to explore this use of the avatar, as spanning realities and bodies, yet a prominent personality still resides over them all.
Gucci Autumn/Winter 2017 RTW
I am incredibly influenced by the work of Cindy Sherman, and how she presents herself as a variety of different characters, often female, which comment on female stereotype and conventions within society. She disguises herself with use of make up, costume and occasionally settings in order to portray a reality of a character which she has created. She physically embodies the characters she creates, adopting different types of body language and mannerisms to perpetuate their existence as real. She has parodied women from history, celebrities and modern cultural stereotypes, presenting characters which are portrayed through looks, making the viewer question the person behind the stereotype – is it reality or representation? In my own work, I would like to explore this means of adopting another character in order to make a comment on societies expectations of women, by creating avatars which are at once rounded in image, yet vapid in terms of depth of character.
In addition, I am also inspired by Sherman’s use of composition, as she uses flat backgrounds and directed spotlights, to highlight the features of the characters, with minimal distractions from the background. If she does use settings, they never overpower the subjects, but rather enchance their character in a subtle and complimentary manner. In my own work, I would like ti use composition, in a classic central format, focused on the subject, inspired by Sherman.
Amalia Ulman is an artist who uses the internet as a vehicle to present alternative versions of self. In her work ‘Excellences & Perfections’, she creates an avatar, a different personality which her body inhabits, and exhibits their exploits through Instagram over the course of a year. This work plays with ideas of deception as Ulman posed for pictures as her alternative self talking of fake boyfriends, meals and surgery. Her work interacted with the internet as she tried to provide the ultimate online persona – a persona created to obtain online fame. Her works focused on getting likes, follows and reposts, and as such implicated themselves as a deception within real online interactions. I am interested in how she appropriated the conventions of social media to create a character which satirised the hypocrisy and delusion of life online. In my own work, I want to explore creating alternative versions of self, in the style of Ulman, as they appear real and whole characters, which are comments on aspects of personalities within society that already exist.
‘The Holy Mountain’ (1973)
I am very interested in the work of Jodorowsky, and find his films beautiful and disturbing. The way he employs a sense of surrealism in his films makes the viewer somewhat alienated from their own sense of reality – yet the parallels become apparent as the viewer reads the visual clues, and begins to understand the metaphors with in his work.
I am particularly interested in his film ‘The Holy Mountain’. In this work, a young man with the appearance of Jesus, meets The Alchemist, and seven other planetary rulers, who join a quest to find immortality through a quest to the Holy Mountain.
The aesthetic of the film is brightly coloured, lush and hypnotic. The colours and settings within the alchemist workshop are fantastical and beautiful, and produce a space entirely different from that of one that anyone is able to recall. There is no hint of a possible reality – it is purely surreal and strange. This places the viewer within a sense of abstraction, reflecting a sense of displacement into their own physical space, as they examine the colours and processes of their own set-dressed lives. I am also interested in how throughout the film this aesthetic interacts with the horrific and abject setting at the start of the film. The initial character is met with violence on a busy street, full of prostitutes and criminals, who attempt to exploit the main character, as he exploits and thieves from them. This more real, outside and literal setting makes the strange calmness of the Alchemist’s studio even more unusual, as it is situated within a space of violence, yet exerts a sense of self-control, as the characters strive to find a complete and renewed self. In my own work, I want explore different settings within the same film, in order to create a strange discomfort for the viewer, never quite sure if they are situated within the realm of safety or violence.
One of the most inspiring scenes for me is when the Alchemist introduces the seven planetary rulers, and their lives, as they each work at factories to produce different items related to the traits of their planets. The way their lives and careers are presented one by one, in order fully explores the characters that avoids the usual establishment through conversation or subtle forms of speech with others, but rather directly tells the viewer of their lives, hopes, wants and needs. The viewer becomes privy to their business in a confrontational way – there is no sense of secret, but rather all characters reveal themselves and their innermost desires. In addition, the way that Jodorowsky introduces the characters, in the same way, through similar compositions and introductions, presents a sense of repetition, as their lives are remarkably similar, yet wholly different. They have the same ultimate goal – to go the Holy Mountain, and this connects them, as well as the formal use of similar compositions, as one entity, operating over different bodies to end up at the same goal. This relates to themes of the group mind, that I am exploring, and I will take inspiration from the way that Jodorowsky explores composition and similar formal elements to present that characters as one and the same.
Perhaps the most exciting an unexpected part of the film, is when The Alchemist breaks the fourth wall, allowing the cameras and staff of the film-making process to be seen, and encourages the viewer not to strive for the Holy Mountain, but rather to interact with their own reality, separate from the lush, yet violent surreal reality Jodorowsky has created within the realm of the screen. He shouts, “Real life awaits us.” This instructs the viewer to look into their own realms of disbelief, greed and distrust, and not to want for surreal and unachievable things, but rather to interact with the reality that presents itself to us. I am interested in the way that he has constructed an alternative reality in detail, through set design, make up and character formation, and then disowned it in favour of a perceived reality, which is just as made up by the viewer’s perceptions of themselves, as Jodorowsky’s is made up with outlandish intentions. In my own work, I would like explore this oscillation of versions of reality, and the viewer’s perceptions of reality through using tools such as breaking the fourth wall.
I find the work of Hans Eijkelboom endlessly interesting, as he experiments with repetition in the form of repeated subjects making the same personal aesthetic choices. His work features around photographing ‘trends’ on the street, and the subtle differences and similarities between the people that adapt these trends. I find his work humorous, as we are all able to think we are different, or making wholly unique choices, yet inherently we are following patterns of capitalist production and consumption, buy wearing clothes, that many many others have also chosen to wear. I am interested in the way these people almost act with the ability of a hive mind, travelling within the same area, with the very same clothing – does this link there personalities in any way?
I am also interested in the way that he uses spacing, and repetition presented as a grid. There is something almost mathematical about his work, as he surveys the population in images of very simple, similar ‘street’ style compositions, and allows the viewer to make the connections and read the humour into the work. I want to experiment with repetition in this way, and explore this form of presenting repetition in a way that allows the viewer to pass judgement, without a complicated composition.
I am inspired by the work of Andy Warhol, in particular his use of repetition in his imagery. He often repeated images in his silk-screen printing process in order, to portray different versions of the object/person with every print. The strong prints, with vivid colour and strong opacity command an attention and strength, whilst more transparent, less block-colour prints portray a sense of losing, a sense of sadness, and a deeper understanding of the character as more than just a brand or persona. This is very prevalent in his repetitions of Marilyn Monroe, in ‘Marilyn Diptych’, as he repeats her image multiple times, both in colour and fading black. These fading black prints, made just after her death, take on a poignant meaning, as she fades out, her personality can arguably be seen more, without the bright colour of stardom. In Warhol’s images, he manages to explore a subject through replications of the same image of the subject. I am very interested in the way that these repetitions display single body, with multiple incarnations of self, and how this relates to a multiplicity of personality, as well as the idea of the hive mind. As such I would like to explore forms of repetition using the same image further.