Thursday, December 12, 2013

Artist Statement Part 2

Red And Blue


Artist Statment

Title: Red and Blue

Collaborators: Joe Cummings and Sean Schroeder

Piece: 2 Collage Based Images.

Sean and I chose the film 28 Days Later, directed by Danny Boyle, to frame our piece around.
(Specifically, Cillian Murphy's character Jim.) We are interested in the juxtaposition of images Boyle explores through Jim's character from the beginning of the film to the end. Jim, being the protagonist explores moments of both an active and passive character arc. Jim eloquently highlights the look of what it is to be active and passive. Sean and I explore his arc through two chosen colors, Blue and Red, along with other characters we added into the collage.
By placing Jim in a series of relationships and scenarios that seem to not coincide with where he looks like he should be, we hope to broadcast the simplistic nature that is Tragedy/Comedy. We are suggesting the comfortable interchangability these two styles live in and how Jim (depending on context, on color, on relationship, on world) can live between both worlds.

"On "repetition," Lacan describes modern identity as a feedback loop, a chain of meaning that     ultimately doubles back on itself. "What's needed," says Lacan, "is that when I reach the tail of my message, the head should not have arrived back." -Tragecine, Blogspot

We hope, through Jim's arc in the images we've placed, that we have shown the opposite styles of characters he exists in: Beginning and end. Black and White. Hungry and Full. Angry and Happy. Passive and Active. Blue and Red. 
It is our dream to deconstruct Jim's state of being to a state that has as much interchangability as the styles of Tragedy/Comedy.

Mark Rothko, an established 20th century painter once said, "We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless." We played with Rothko's concept in using the colors Red and Blue to deconstruct the intense nature of connotations they exist in and use them merely for their colors, and for their connotations. Red, being Active and Blue being Passive.
I will describe one of the relationships of colors we used but not both, merely so you as a viewer, can undergo a further, well seasoned experience.
We placed Jim, in a Red world, but relative to passive relationships. He exists with sleeping lions, who may have an intense connotation to them but at the moment are just sleeping. He exists relative to a young healthy boy. Relative to an excited older man cutting his lawn. All of these relationships are paired with the color red which imply a certain tone, but we hope to play with it and to contradict your intuition.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rush #8

Similar to your (Chucks)comparison and analysis of Lacan's theory of a 'Feedback loop' in relation to, In the Mood for Love, by Hong Kar-Wai, "Two neighbors discover their spouses are involved with one another--and in order to prepare for their confrontations with their cheating partners, the two protagonists spend a series of meetings together imaging and reenacting the illicit lovers' words and actions (complete with references to themselves as the ignorant partners waiting at home... I find a similar correlation between Sunset Boulevard and the character of Joe and his overall arch in the film.

In the beginning, he hopes for a different identity at the same time running from his own. Perhaps because of extenuating circumstances, but in the end, Joe is just not grounded or comfortable within his own skin and his prestige and pride. The film takes its course and so does Joe. However, in the end of the film, with Joe's epic monologue towards Betty, he rediscovers his old self by presenting his new one. However, shortly after, Joe dies. He dies while trying to leave the state he is in by going back to his old self, almost. His meer attempt at running from his new self, seemed to be too much for his overall character and spirit.

Many things could be taken from this, perhaps more taoist ways of thinking, or accepting ones self, etc. However, in the end, what is merely actually stated, is that his two selves came into collision with one another hence his death. His feedback loop killed him in the end.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Rush #5

1. Many people believe that by buying into objects/using them, they are connecting themselves to a broader life and life's experiences. But through the film Sunset Boulevard, I will show how objects can not only kill us, but can be used to kill us.

2. I plan on doing an individual creative project. I am very interested in the act of tragedy vs. comedy and how the two intersect and build off of one another. Lacan inspired me on many of her points she's made connecting the two and I hope to do some sort of performance piece (rooted more into performance art) with a small written component connecting, Why and How.
However, this concept is still in process.

Rush #4

In the final scene between Joe and Betty in Sunset Boulevard, a culminating image/object that appears, that I want to focus on, is clothing.
Clothing, which is defined by Merriam Webster's Dictionary as:  "the things that people wear to cover their bodies" is used in this scene not only to cover their bodies, but cover their past, present and future.
Joe uses his clothing as a device in his conversation with Betty to prove what he has accumulated within his relationship with Norma Desmond. Joe wears his clothes like any other person, but, he uses his clothing to prove that he is a different person. In the beginning of the film, we see Joe in (what I will call) 'street attire.' Nothing fancy or grand is assumed about his clothing, in fact, in relation to Norma's clothing attire, it could be considered poor or disheveled. However, in the end of the film, we only see Joe in 'fancy attire.' He wears tuxedo's, expensive suits, etc. Joe uses this analogy, not vocally, but physically in this scene. He physically relates and connects with the 'fancy attire' that is Norma Desmonds mantion and all her accumulated pictures, trophies, etc.
The importance of this object is because it is not something that is talked. It is something that is subtly but visually shown. One of the main scenes that does reference this moment is when Joe goes to an old friends house for a new years party and his friend comments on his tuxedo because everyone else is in 'street attire' and Joe sticks out like a sore thumb. 

In the final scene, Joe not only presents himself physically in the space as one of Norma's objects but he views himself in this scene as one of them, by what he covers himself with.
This act of 'covering' is defined by Kenji Yoshino, in his book Covering, "To cover is to downplay a disfavored trait so as to blend into the mainstream."

Joe covers himself in this scene to run from his past, justify his present in hopes of becoming a more well rounded figure/person/object in his future.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rush 3

when analyzing Citizen Kane to The Bicycle Theives, one of the main images and concepts that strikes me the most, and I find most palpable, is the image of seeing the protagonist through the eyes of either the supporting role, secondary character or passerby.
For example, in Kane, right after his wife leaves him and he torments, destroys and sabotages her bedroom, he leaves the room saying the word Rosebud, while his ensemble, his clerks and servants, his friends, watch him. We see Kane, at that moment, through the eyes of the other characters and it gives us an unfathomable amount of information and insight to the character almost more-so than we could when watching him violently act out his inner monologue through destroying her room. This simple but yet complex moment reveals to us where he stands, where they stand with him and most of all, it gives us an opportunity to choose where We stand, the audience that is.
Moments like this do not always occur within cinema anymore because the plot, structure and concept is so geared towards one specific thing. Particularly in action films. The Bourne series for example, is highly focused on the action and intensity that Jason Bourne lives in, and we receive very little to few moments to establish ourselves with the character.
In The Bicylce Theives, the final moment when the father is plagued by his tormented reality and lack of his prospering life, trying to justify his act of stealing another bike to, quite literally "save his life" we see him, through his sons eyes.
This moment, relative to, and just like Kane, is exemplary and extremely significant because we are humbled by the reality of the situation and our relationship with all the characters becomes justified and allowed to be fully recognized.  

This simple act of repetition, in these final crucial moments of the film: looking at the protagonist through the eyes of their fellows, becomes almost the crux of the film rather than what the protagonist actually Does in the end. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Rush 2

As I think about desire, and the on-going question of "What Is Tragedy?" and/or maybe, "What has tragedy become?" (For it does not feel like a constant thing. Its maleable. Ephemeral. Like a cloud, then suffering into a thunderstorm. Beautiful and yet tragically cataclysmic to its environment.) I cannot help but ignore Citizen Kane and think on Hitchcock. 
Citizen Kane, and all its value, has no interest for me, with these questions. I think more of Hitchcock and his ideas of "Playing God."
Hitchcock once said in an interview, when asked why are his films so well received and famous, he replied with his concept of Playing God. He spoke about how he places the audience in a position where they have no control, but see everything occurring, and therefore crave control.
For example, in Psycho, the famous bathroom scene, we see a close up perspective of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) showering and a shadowy figure slowly entering behind her. We (the audience) see that Marion does not see, and is indeed in direct relationship with a dark figure. This figure is not safe to her, the environment, or our relationship with Marion, for we have grown to become fond of her.
We see the figure kill Marion, and there was nothing we could do.

It is that, in of itself, the simplistic concept of, Nothing we can do, that I find most interesting and tragic of all. This can be related to scenes in Citizen Kane, amongst many other films. I think the concept shifts of course, because it is situational, emotional, political, and many other things, it shifts.. However, its constant shifting, and evolving, much like a virus, is what the media attaches onto and can create coverage so well. This relationship is merely the media covering on a specific event, and our relationship with the children and families in syria, through a newspaper, internet, or television, is just like our relationship with Marion. We (Western Americans) are distant. We are not connected. We cannot save her/them. We are voyeurs. And, the dark luminous figure, is the gas.

The media Plays God, just as Hitchock Played God with us.

Tragedy becomes voyeurism. Becomes mockery. Becomes a game. Becomes a monopoly. Becomes an enterprise. Becomes a neo-liberal governmentally.