I’ve begun to use my phone to create clips as I really enjoy the grainy texture it creates as it fits well into the slight uneasiness my work shows. However, I’m realising that I have more options in concerns with editing if I use my camera to shoot the clips then I can dissolve and add noise later in premiere pro to create the slightly grainy feel. I’ve continued to invert the clips as I really want to try a video using the inverted footage to see how it effects the feel of the video.
After revisiting the films of Lynch, especially Eraserhead, I began to experiment with new ways of combining still image and trying to edit the image to look more static. I’m not considering if it would be an option to instead of having one long film, but have a few shorter videos instead as then I could create different feels with the varying styles of the clips. This was an example of combining the abstract with the surrealist imagery of the body.
My current work focuses on the abstraction of the body and the way in which society is uncomfortable with the idea of overt and unglamorous expressions of a woman’s sexuality from the viewpoint of female empowerment. This work directly contrasts the ways in which society chooses to erase all perceived bodily imperfections such as scars, cellulite and stretch marks and even reacts to such things with contempt. I’m choosing to use these ‘imperfections’ as the focus in my work in order to force the viewer to see these often hidden things up close and personal. Footage and video is used in order to abstract the bodily ‘imperfections’ into something with sexual undertones. This is in direct response to the way media shames a woman for not being perfect as well as sexualising women yet shaming them for being open about their own sexuality. I’m also incorporating my love of avant-garde and film noir in my video editing as film noir often used female sexuality under the viewpoint of the male gaze, something my work wishes to erase. I work with high contrast and shadow in order to turn what would be seen as a conventional film of a women’s body into something more intimate and personal.
For the exhibition I will be making a short video as an abstracted view of a self-portrait. I’m still fairly murky on the time-scale as it’s dependent on how long it’ll take to put together as I choose to work without storyboards and instead work on the clips, seeing them as multiple short films being made into one. I’m hoping to have my work displayed on an older-style large black tv in order to reflect the grainy style of film I make, on top of a white plinth. A DVD player can be hidden via the plinth and a DVD of the film can be placed on a loop. Headphones will be inserted into the TV if I decide to use a narrative on the video. The space will have to be fairly dark in order to see the high-contrast style film. The costs for my exhibition so far will be wood for the plinth, white paint and the tv/DVD (which I’ll be trying to source online first)
Throughout the year, constellation has acted as a way for me to be able to refine my knowledge and become more confident on my ability to have an opinion backed up by facts when it comes to the things I have looked into. The work that I’ve made over the past 5 years, after really becoming in tune with my creative self, has always been quite formulaic. My work has always explored things within my own life that have affected me or helped me grow in some way. Femininity, sexuality and being a female in today’s society are all things that have reoccurred time and time again within my art work academically, however I’d never considered why I felt such a strong connection within these key aspects or what it is about these topics that inspire me to create work in the first place. Whilst creating this work I’d always used the colour pink with no other thought put towards it other than it being my favourite colour and something which I find aesthetically pleasing when used within the context of my art work. By deciding to focus on the colour pink as the basis within my dissertation I was able to gain a higher understanding as to why the colour had always been such a mainstay within my work. I learned about how my emotional connections to the colour not only influenced my art work, but the connotations I had with the colour. I was able to realise how by exploring sexuality, gender and femininity within my work I was subconsciously connecting these topics with the colour pink due to the way society has taught me that pink is the most female colour of all. By learning this in my approach to constellation I was able to explore the relationship between the colour pink and feminism within my feminist work, which has only continued to inform the work I create. This has only continued to introduce me to new aspects of art work such as zines and feminist poster art which is something that I ended up using as a starting point within my subject work.
One of the most interesting aspects of colour pink I was introduced to through my constellation work is how deeply engrained our brains connections with colour are and how this can have such a huge knock on effect to aspects of our sociological viewpoints such as our now internalised misogyny we experience when we use the colour pink as an advertising device or a selling point. It’s made me realise that it’s difficult to know if I enjoy the colour pink purely for its aesthetics alone, or if this is something that has been targeted towards me to like since I was a little girl. This is something that I’m still not able to be sure as, however I’m now able to pinpoint the way in which the colour can be used as more than just something for my own appeal, but instead as a feminist or political statement.
The way in which I approach my work has changed significantly through the process of the constellation period. I now try to look closer at my own work and try to realise why it is I choose to use certain formats and what are the relationships between these things and the world around me. Quite often I’d have a tendency to reduce the ways in which I worked down to just enjoying that style or creative process. I’m currently in the process of creating video art containing my own body with the style heavily influenced by avant-garde film makers such as David Lynch. To begin with, I reduced wanting to work this way down to an enjoyment of the films of Lynch and the ease of which there was in being able to film my own body as I could have total control over the imagery. I’m now able to see that there are many deeper forces in play as to why I choose to work in this format. Through learning about the colour pink in constellation I learned about it’s deep connection with female sexuality. I read extensively about the way female sexuality has been reduced into something easy to package as a marketing technique, rather than something that is expressed by the woman as a form of empowerment. This made me realise that the way in which I chose to express my sexuality was something that I chose to do out of my feelings of being independent and sexually free rather than to pander to a male audience or a male gaze, something I looked into within both my constellation work and my subject work. This is something I intend to carry on exploring throughout my work as it’s only ended up helping me access and become more introspective in regards to my mental process whilst creating art work. So far, this work has been very successful which I do put in part down to my constellation work. By successful I mean that it’s enabled me to explore a topic freely and which the knowledge to understand why things such as female sexuality and the male gaze are important within the creation of video art as with a lot of female nude within cinema, more often than not there is a male behind the lens, I now understand what it means to have an eye as a female video art maker.
I originally chose to explore the colour pink as it’s my favourite colour. Through learning the ins and outs of its usages within media, connections with female sexuality, connotations with LGBT and its declaiming and reclaiming through the feminist community, I’m not able to fully realise why it is I enjoy this colour. Pink encapsulates what I intend to be as a female artists and all of the main things that influence my creative process.
Vice did an interesting article showing photographers who use the body as a landscape, something I have referenced within my narrative work as well as something I have explored in my video work and artist research.
Allana Clarke’s work expores similar themes to my own. Sexuality in combination with narrative and video art create strong pieces with vivid narratives. The use of shadow, greyscale and contrast create really beautiful imagery.