Year 3 Summer Assessment
I am God
My performance this year has been based around the concept the Solipsism, the theory that I myself am the only existing mind in the universe.
Although I don’t believe in the theory itself, I found the distinction between the Solipsist and mental health issues an interesting topic to work around as it is a mental health problem.
I put myself into the mind of a Solipsist so therefore working independently without using the help of others as ‘I already know everything, I just need to discover it’ (quote from a solipsist)
I was inspired to do a video interview with myself to someone who is also myself, the inspiration came from Bronson’s ‘When Murder Goes Wrong’ scene in which he plays two different characters, and switching his head between the characters and changing his voice to adopt each persona.
Choosing to play both characters myself adds to both the ego centric view of the Solipsist itself as well as the play on reality between not knowing whether they are two completely separate people or the same person, relating to a loss of mental stability since the Solipsist can only see traits of themselves in other people or as I labelled them in the interview ‘Giant Dolls’. Not showing the characters physically speak but have audio of the two talking to each other is another play on perception of reality, inspired by Andrew Haung’s Solipsism but in a more subtle way.
The video itself is simply highlights the solipsist’s beliefs and ventures around a rather twisted idea of loss of reality and isolation, the switch between two characters highlights this method strongly, in the same way a lonely kid will pretend their toys exist and give them personas to engage with to feel less alone. This is the exact same presence I have given to the solipsist here, although giving the impression to the audience that this is an interview, they are both the same person.
Kinga Stempkowska – Inspiration for dark, edgy desolate figures.
Akira Beard, artist inspired me to subtract features on subjects to show a sense of differentially and simulacrum.
Photographing other subjects.
These heavily rendered photographs are part of my series of the self, I wanted to heavily exaggerate the contrast of a living life with the bizarre insanity of that of a solipsist. My subjects are broken, often isolated and focus away from the camera, which oppresses societies obsession with getting the publics attention by posing for the camera. The faceless subject is one of my favourites as you can still see the face within in the mirror which can indicate the egocentric lifestyle of the solipsist and the possible duality of how they see themselves in comparison to how the rest of the world see themselves.
Using 2 different subjects I wanted to highlight a contrast between the ways the solipsist may feel about their existence. One person is surrounded by light which may indicate some higher status to the rest of the world, whereas the other subject is incased in dark lighting and hidden parts of herself, which would subject an idea of isolation in this lonesome life. The contrasting subjects personifies that characters outlook by emphasises expressions with pieces of the truth hidden through closeups and effects, which can deteriorate from knowing that there is really nothing.
experimentations with shutter speeds I was able to duplicate the same subject on either side of the room. this has quite a dynamic effect as I was trying to explore how much I could do to the photos without any software or further development.
I used a series of my strongest photos for my exhibition piece, I used different sizes to….
However I found once I had put them up I found that though the photos were effective it did seem a bit bland and flat. The photos had to be much larger scale or even have more of them. this made me realise that I needed much more experimentation for my final exhibition to have a stronger outcome. As my idea is a very self centered theory, its important to replicate that in my work and make it stand out from the rest of the work at a dieaty status.
Barbara Kruger’s “I shop, therefore I am’ gave me an idea to play around with those words in a short performance called “I draw, therefore I am’. Thinking like a solipsist; if all people around me are just figments of my own psyche, then I should be able to replicate their actions. The student behind me was to draw patterns on my back and I would replicate them as followed, the whole piece is much like a performing version of Chinese Whispers.
Looking back at some of my work from last year, I did a reenactment of When murder goes wrong scene from the film Bronson. The style of directing is dynamic in how the character switches between two different people by simply turning his head, when the character switches so does everything thing else in a subtle way, from the voice, background music and face ( Bronson wears makeup for the secondary character).
I wanted to look more about how solipsists really think and how they function in day to day life, this particular interview was interesting by not just about what the slopesst was saying but to how the cinematography was integrated into overall effect. The solipsist remains anonymous but we get a slight idea to what he looks like from the dim lighting only highlighting features of the persons face. The subject is a hermit so he simply talks about his diet and workout schemes to build the viewers a physical Image of himself. The interview lacks anyone asking the solipsist questions as he just seems to talk about his day to day activities which lack much interest, perhaps the solipsist refused to answer questions as he sought no purpose to answering to an audience which isn’t really there.
I find the idea of having an interview with myself as a solipsist would bring much more depth to my finished project and depth to my work, as in the past film and performance have been my strong points to work with.
Originally I wanted to have something away from the cameras sight asking me questions, but I decided to strengthen the idea of the solipsist I chose to have myself as a different character asking the solipsist questions, in a very similar style inspired by Bronsons’ when murder goes wrong. The idea for this links greatly between the egocentric lifestyle of the solipsist as well as the mental issues that these people have. Because the interview will begin with a few basic questions about the lifestyle of a solipsist and why they believe what they believe, but as the interview goes on it will shortly be revealed that the interview is in fact part of a therapy session in a hospital and the interviewer is actually a doctor trying to treat their patient.
I started off with a simple makeup distinction between the two characters I was performing as, within recording the demo roll I found that each character looks a bit too similar and theres no real contrast between them. I changed the female to have much more drastic features by whitening my face and having shaper makeup, this plays much more with the reality of the situation and therefore making the piece a lot stronger as well. I’m sticking to casual dark clothing to keep the focal point on the characters themselves as well as keeping the outfit unisex to keep the idea that both subjects are ideally the same person.
My first take of filming I went for a more natural look for my female character, Although after filming for a bit I found that there wasn’t too much to stand out from. It worked much better in Bronson because the makeup was so outrageous and in your face. The second take was much more effective because both characters stood out from each other, the exaggerated look of the female character adds a sense of fiction to the reality of the solipsist’s mind.
updated makeup gives a stronger duality between the two subjects.