After my last feedback I have really started to focus my idea, Jonathan pointed out I didn’t talk about the end product or the point of the project. The end product is something I have actually done a lot of research on and is my strongest point so I don’t know why I didn’t mention it. This is my second draft, I am happy with the start and end but the middle needs work. Also I am not sure if it’s too much like a pitch at the start. It’s also 900 words so needs a lot taken out of it. I will work on my middle section and also try and word each sentence in the same way using less words. Looking at it now section 3 and 1 seem a bit long. Section 3 is also the area I am not happy with so it will change quite a lot.
Self-defined proposal with supporting research & development work (30%) LO1-4
When you think of consumerism what comes to mind? Coco-cola, Nike? These companies are poisoning our society with their beliefs and values, and in turn they are corrupting us as individuals. My project will tackle this idea of consumerism being poison, using myself within my imagery to represent “us” the consumer.
1 Demonstrate advanced research skills, creating a viable and relevant basis for their project;
As Japanese popular culture artist Takashi Murakami would say, the world is becoming ‘superflat’, everything is now made with superficial values in mind, art and products are made to be accepted and consumed without question. I consumed this idea and Murakami’s work without thought. Until I came across an exhibition entitled “Bye Bye Kitty: Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art”, even in Japan (a consumer giant), there are practitioners like those exhibiting in “Bye Bye Kitty” who are trying to break through the suffocation of the superflat, and use their artistic voice to tackle consumerism and make the spectator more aware of what they are being exposed to on a daily basis. I call these Artists activists.
With my eyes opened to the world of Activism through the medium of photography I saw an area I could see myself growing in, and most importantly something I cared about. “Bye Bye Kitty” is the origins of this project and an learning experience which is sure to shape my career as a photographer.
2 Apply critical analysis when communicating themes and ideas about professional photography clearly and comprehensively in visual, and written forms;
There are two major aspects of my final project. The first is the content, I want to produce images which could be considered activist. I consider myself a strong minded person, however for years I have been a senseless consumer. I now struggle between activism and consumerism on a daily basis, and after openly talking about this tension I have learnt that I am not the only one, tackling these contradictions will be what makes my work powerful and emotional. The second aspect is storytelling, photography is my tool for telling stories. Through a fictional character and narrative I will create an alternate reality which exaggerates issues to bring them to the forefront of my audiences mind and simultaneously make a political/ social comment.
3 Develop their professional independence by defining their own position clearly, with respect to existing bodies of knowledge and practice;
This fictional story will take influence from writers such as William Gibson, Cory Doctorow and Ernie Cline, getting the perfect combination of fantasy and reality to create a project which depicts a fictional story but has enough truth to be relatable. I know my images will be self-portraits and there is one reason for this, Japanese photographer Makoto Aida exploits his role as a man in an oversexed society to portray issues he finds within men. He openly says he has an unhealthy fascination with young girls, so uses his art to portray the problems in himself and others, I am fascinated by the idea of self exploitation especially for this project because it is so relevant to me.
Aida’s photographs also bought the effectiveness of vouyerism to my eyes. I have always felt this need to produce high production, crisp “Hollywoodised” images in the style of David LaChapelle, but as I began to explore the work of the activists I saw the beauty, truth and power of the low production image or the “snap shot”. Looking at Cindy Sherman and Mariko Mori along side Makoto Aida for inspiration I will be researching the relationship between truth and photography. It’s a new technique for me as I am used to meticulously planning each image I create but the project would benefit from this low cost approach. I will have to be continuously shooting over the course of the next few months on analogue to allow myself to become more random and to experiment with techniques outside of my norm.
4 Evidence a continued professional commitment to the evolution of their practice;
The aim of creating a fictional story is that people will become involved in my work. The character will be consistent which leaves the project the ability to develop. The project will be ongoing until I feel as though the story has been told in the right way, this could take 3 years it could take 30. The images I produce for this chapter of the story will be from different points of the narrative, one benefit of the photo as a platform for storytelling is it isn’t linear. I will purposely be creating images representing 3/4 periods of time in the story, they could be from the start/ middle/ end or all 3. The images will be entitled with a number, much like the viral video in William Gibson’s book Pattern recognition, the number represents it’s place in the story. This will be to intentionally create some further interaction with the audience, they will have questions about the image titles, what happened in-between each point in time and when the next set of images will be released and what number will be attached to them.