Outcomes of Regret

Today I went to the sad double, funeral of a Lieutenant Commander and his wife. I was asked by the care home to show his daughter how he had answered the questions. The last one in particular.

The funeral was a gunshot funeral, which was a new experience for me. Have ministers as parents, I have been to many funerals, none like this. For a start, there were gunshots fired to salute the life of the man. The other major difference, was the fact it was a double funeral. Both him and his wartime sweetheart had passed away within a few days of each other. Maybe it is true, you can die of a broken heart.

After the funeral, with the guidance of the matron of the home introduced me to their daughter. I explained to her that I was doing a project at university and that I had met her parents. I showed her the answers he had given one of which was that he regretted not spending a lot of time with his daughter and that if he could tell future generations one thing, that he would say that they should cherish the time they have with their family, because life will flash by and you’ll regret it later. The daughter broke down crying and gave me a hug.  I can only hope that I did the right thing by listening to the nursing home.

This project has had a major impact, and it’s not just me that it is affecting. I think that once I reach one hundred service men and women, I will publish this as a first volume.

Cherish

 

Easy Reading: Laws and Censorship

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The world as we know it has always been governed by rules. Postmodern artists see rules as something to be broken. New discoveries and ideas can never be made from following basic principles. Rules can affect the art world and we must be conscious of the boundaries we push.

The Image of Law is a treatise written to take the idea of the conceptual and suggests we evolve a particular style of thinking. We assume, in law, that a judiciary applies laws that have already been set. Theorist and philosopher Lefebvre tries to explain that the concept of judgement as largely involving a set of creative strategies. A case could involve many complex situations and may have many potential outcomes.

When the law is questioned, or broken by an artist, although they may receive consequences, they are not persecuted as much and are not subsequently sentenced fairly. Examples can be seen in the celebrity world where they receive punishment for doing wrong that would be the equivalent of fining the average person two pence. It appears that famous artists get away with a lot more in a jury based trial as they can afford better defence lawyers. In conclusion, arts can push boundaries as the punishments do not take into account these people’s earnings.

In attempting to challenge the laws around us, protests and political art can be very powerful. Advertising campaigns such as those that PETA and Guerrilla Girls have used, acquire shock tactics in order to be noticed. Although these tactics may work, they can often be for the wrong reasons. For every controversial decision, there is a backlash.

Being controversial can often be percieved as offensive and questions how far an artist can push are often raised. A child will often push boundaries set by parents, but only so far as they know there will be a punishment. Grotesque images often make a point and through influential manipulation can change the mind of an audience. Many parents agree that these types of campaigns are not suitable for all eyes.

Graphic images and bold art pieces need to be made for a specific audience and for persons with high levels of maturity. Artists such as Damien Hirst keep their artwork in a gallery so that not everyone is forced to witness it. Art based on mortality is definitely for more specialised audience. The purpose of these pieces would not be critical and not forced upon public, like in Banksy’s work.

There are of course both pros and cons to censorship. Children learn through experience. The question of why we shouldn’t show controversial items to our children still remains. Many still question if it would be robbing our children of their innocence if we did show them.

In conclusion, controversial art should be distributed wisely and not overly censored. During both World Wars the government created censorship laws so that soldiers’ letters home and the newspapers would not worry the general public. Propaganda causes paranoia.

We do not want to cause a negative uprising. We strive to change the world for the better. The viewing of this kind of artwork though should be up to the potential viewers discretion and should not be forced upon someone.

Easy Reading: Childhood Game

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We all know the game where we start a drawing, hide what we have drawn and let someone else continue the picture. Not many people know that its actual name is “The Exquisite Corpse” and it was invented by surrealists in the 30’s, pioneered by André Breton. The concept of this mere childhood game is a lot broader than it initially seems.

When I was a child, the exquisite corpse was played to both entertain and to break the ice in classroom settings. In one sense you could say that this game attempted to fill the void of loneliness. Also, the segments of each drawing can be analysed from a psychological stand point to try and gain insights into who a person is. A logical progression could show signs of an intelligent person; an elaborate progression would show a creative mind ; an innappropriate progression could show signs of an immature mind. If each part of the drawing can tell us a lot about an individual player then the exquisite corpse is a gateway to knowing someone, filling the void of the absence of knowledge.

There are many perspectives taken on the theory of the exquisite corpse. The Steve Sandvoss film, “The Exquisite Corpse” and the famous novel “Frankenstein” demonstrates filling the void of companionship. Frankenstein’s monster was constructed to remove the pangs of loneliness, though it did not work too well in his favour. In the Sandvoss film, multiple women are harvested in order to save one life, curing death, filling the void, once again, of loneliness and to eradicate the feelings of the loss of a loved one.

In the movie “The Exquisite Corpse Project” the concept of the exquisite corpse was taken to a written form, in order to bring a group of friends together for one last time. The concept was used to mask, for just a few moments, the fact that they will all soon be dispersed and will inevitably be lonely without their close companions near. Each section scripted by each individual, can be psychoanalysed, each segment represents each person and shows that there is quite a contrast in everyone’s writing style. This could possibly be a metaphor for psychological distancing between each character as their inevitability of leaving each other becomes more real.

The anthropmorphising and personifying of the exquisite corpse is a matter of life. The international film project of the exquisite corpse brought people together for one common finality just like the process of farming and produce selling. Someone will plant the food, but it takes many people and stages before that food can be eaten after being bought. This process would be for the inevitable filling of the void of hunger.

In applying the exquisite corpse concept to the bigger picture, life is what it is all about. Life is made up of segments and the final outcome of each set of segments will fill some sort of void.

Easy Reading Essay: Artist’s Roles

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An artist narrates the world visually, but why are they needed? The role of an artist can be one of breaking conformity and aiding in peacekeeping aims. They may not always be perceived as good people since some aim to change the minds of audiences. Therefore, the question remains: is being an artist a matter of ethical principles or is it just a form of martyrdom.

From an academic point of view, you could say that what an artist does is similar to that of a psychologist Sigmund Freud, the famous psychoanalyst, tells that that a person needs to narrate their way around a trauma in order to get over it. With careful guidance, a person can deal with emotional traumas.

From the more vocational perspective of art, you could apply Freud’s theory to how art works. The artists would be the middle man, in that they would be the ones constructing the narrative. This means that a person would just need to comprehend the artwork in order to recover from whatever they are dealing with. Hypothetically, this could mean that the artist is painting their own dreams in order to narrate their own problems.

Dreamers are often frowned upon in modern day society, as explained to us through the life story of John Lennon and in his song “Imagine”. The world is never ready for controversial ideas. Philosopher and psychologist Foucault, states that we are all subjects of social institutions, for example a student of university or a family member. We need to follow some often unwritten rules to remain in these institutions, so being controversial is not an option unless that person wants to be considered “ill”.

Artists are required to express their dreams, which potentially could mean veering off these laid paths they ought to be consciously following. To put it literally a person will be turning their subconscious into consciousness and that is what is considered not conforming to institutional discourse. The world wants conformity and that could potentially mean being under a form of a communist regime. Would this then hypothesise that it is not ethical to wake a dreamer, being that most people agree that communism is a negative form of political control?

It is far too easy to lose the innocence in being allowed to dream in society today. Artists Marcel Duchamp and Sarah Lucas explain that innocence dies with the growth of maturity. Eyes sting when they see light for the first time, and so does losing innocence. The Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet film “Finding Neverland” is the perfect example of what an artist’s job is. Artists paint dreams we no longer see, for the purpose of bringing a person back to their younger, more carefree self, with guidance.

We must take responsibility for keeping the arts alive. Art is a potential cure for conformity and the reminder of naivety once lost. We must not wake a dreamer.

NVL: Cover and Contents

For the new project that concludes all other projects in this design practise, I have constructed the backgrounds, using the knowledge acquires during my other design practise and self directed tutorials. These backgrounds incorporate works from the Earth Artefact project.

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