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Summer Project 2013

Summary of what the summer project 2013 will consist of; –

  • Produce a brief & description for your own project
  • Produce an outcome of 8 images or one video
  • Visit up to 5 Galleries
  • Read selected books, including ‘Susan Sontag on photography’

I want you to think about what has inspired you work so far, what do you normally look at… For this project I want you to look at different source material, I want you to produce something that isn’t easily identifiable as your work. Your research will help you. I want to try and do something that isn’t to do with image or identity as most of my projects have been based around these ideas. I want to try and complete a decent video, as I’ve only ever produced one for university. Basing my idea around more of a body/mental issue rather then society or self identity. Basing my research from various sources rather then just what i already know.

John William Keedy –

John William Keedy pays close attention to how people use the word “normal.” That’s because he’s often felt like he doesn’t fit into the standard definition due to an anxiety disorder he was diagnosed with nine years ago. That experience gave him a springboard for It’s Hardly Noticeable, a wide-reaching photo exploration of thoughts and behaviors that fall outside the norm.

“At its worst I had a lot of difficulty with crowds and large groups of people, and so I would do things like grocery shop late at night or early in the morning when stores were more likely to be empty,” says Keedy, 28. “At one point I also had a difficult time interacting with strangers, and while now I’m much better at that than I used to be, there was a period when it caused me to have a fairly limited network of friends.”

Not all the scenarios in the project relate to Keedy’s life, and some are easier to read than others. There’s the fence with hash marks that clearly alludes to some sort of obsessive behavior. But there’s also a puzzling image of a glass leaking milk from holes, which Keedy says is a play on the “glass is half full/empty” idiom: He creates a third option where the glass is half full, an optimistic view, but it requires constant effort to remain so.

“I think that image really came from the feeling of dealing with these anxieties and acknowledging that it’s a lot of work,” Keedy says. “For me, it involves a lot of checking and making sure that now, years later, I’m not flipping back into older routines that weren’t the healthiest.”

While the project is rooted in personal experience, Keedy prefers the work to be viewed in the larger context of normalcy and otherness, and for the narratives of each image to stand on their own. He appears in some of the images not as himself, but as a character in a scene. The photos are supposed to be thought-provoking, not conclusive. It’s specifically the conclusive nature of diagnosing certain behaviors as abnormal that bothers him.

“I just wonder about putting such a finite and firm label on something that is really changing constantly,” he says. “I’m not out to teach the world a lesson, I’m just trying to let myself be myself.”

The subject matter is serious, but Keedy also tries to be playful in some of the pictures. He knows if he takes it too seriously, the project becomes impenetrable.

“There is often an element of humor that makes it a little more manageable for the viewer but also more manageable for me,” he says.

Anxiety – From A Point Of View –

After looking into the theme and idea of anxiety and feeling inspired by William keedy’s work I decided to research what anxiety meant to someone I knew, someone i was close too. I interviewed one of my close friends and it was actually really touching and inspiring to hear what he had to say below. This showed me how much social anxiety and anxiety itself isn’t recognized or known enough about in everyday life…

Anxiety ruins my life. It makes me feel incredibly stressed and brings on OCD-like behaviours. It makes doing simple things hard, like sending a text or message on Facebook or something… Including this very paragraph…

I have to continuously check on things – it lost me my most recent relationship… It started with me asking where she was and when she’d reply I’d say ‘are you sure?’, it then progressed to me interrogating her by asking ‘where are you? But I thought you were in your room? How long have you been in the front room then haha? It doesn’t sound like you’re in the front room but oh well… The TV sounds too quiet/it sounds like there’s too much echo… Who was that guy? Oh your dad, are you sure?’ – and this caused HUGE arguments as you could imagine… But it’s the same with family members and friends too… It’s terrible.

When telling a story I find myself telling every bit of detail that I remember, albeit completely irrelevant.

Another example is that when somebody says something to me, rather than me knowing and being certain on exactly what they meant, loads of different possibilities spring to mind and I have to check with them exactly what they meant.

All I need to do is stop what I’m doing, take a step back and breathe. This helps to release the built up anxiety.

The counselling helped me to gain confidence in my decision making when being told information.

It’s a hell of a tough life, and it’s usually much more easier for me to just do nothing. This way I’m not doing anything and therefore can’t get stressed over things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXpag-30Pz4 <– FINAL VIDEO

MY CONCEPT OF MY SUMMER PROJECT WAS TO EXPLORE THE IDEA OF ANXIETY. TO EXPLORE SOMETHING  MENTAL RATHER THEN THE PHYSICAL BEING. USUALLY MY WORK CONSISTS OF THE IDEA OF SELF PORTRAIT SO I WANTED TO LOOK INTO THE IDEA OF SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT. I DECIDED TO DO A VIDEO AS I’VE ONLY EVER DONE ONE WHICH WAS FILMED ON A CAMERA PHONE, NOT AMAZING QUALITY. USING PREMIER PRO IS A FIRST FOR ME SO IM QUIET PROUD OF THE QUALITY OF THE VIDEO.

I USED A BACKING TRACK AND FITTED THE MOVEMENT OF THE DANCER TO FIT THE LYRICS. RATHER THEN LITERALLY CAPTURING THE IDEA I WANTED IT TO BE REPRESENTED THROUGH CONTEMPORARY DANCE, SHOWING THE RAW PAIN AND EMOTION. ITS MADE OUT OF APPROPRIATED VIDEOS.

FEEDBACK

  1. The idea is opening up the idea to sufferers however need to dig deeper, is a very basic idea, and only covers anxiety as a whole, needs to be broadened down.
  2. It’s more a view on the matter rather then the facts about it.
  3. My video provokes discussion but not all for the right reasons.
  4. Needs more development/be more creative with the idea.
  5. Reminds of a charity advert to sponsor etc/raise awareness.
  6. Can be looked on as being very cliche, – not what i want from the video.
  7. When covering such a important subject it doesn’t give it justice.

From this feedback I get the idea that I should either make it into an advertisement or look more into changing it just into being a contemporary art dance piece and focus on something less major, focusing on just the movement and the body. I want to make it into something that moves people, gives them goosebumps. I will work on this for my portfolio.

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