I have now shortened my proposal to just over 500 words, I feel like I have taken a lot out of it and it doesn’t explain my project enough any more but I need to have a break form reading it then come back to it in order to make any positive changes. Here it is so far.
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 values, in turn they are corrupting us individually. My project will tackle consumerism as a poison, using myself to represent “us” the consumer.
Artist Takashi Murakami would say, the world is becoming ‘superflat’, everything is superficial, art and products are made to be consumed without question. I accepted this idea without thought; until I came across the exhibition “Bye Bye Kitty”, even in Japan (a consumer giant), there are practitioners who are trying to break through the suffocation of the ‘superflat’, and use their artistic voice to make the spectator more aware of what they are being exposed to on a daily basis. I call these Artists activists. With activism I saw an area I could see myself in, and most importantly something I cared about.
I want to produce images which could be considered activist work. I see 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 I know I am not the only one, tackling these contradictions will be what makes my work powerful and emotional. Through a fictional character and narrative I will create an alternate reality which exaggerates real issues to bring them to the forefront of my audiences mind and simultaneously make a political/ social comment.
This fictional story will take influence from writers such as William Gibson, Cory Doctorow and Ernie Cline, creating 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, I am fascinated by the idea of self exploitation especially for this project because it is so personal to me.
Aida’s photographs also has a spontaneous nature, I have always felt this need to make big production images in the style of David LaChapelle, but as I began to explore the work of the activists I saw the strong impact low production images have. Looking at Cindy Sherman and Mariko Mori along side Makoto Aida for inspiration I will be researching the relationship between image quality and truth. It’s a new technique for me as I am used to meticulously planning each image so I will have to be continuously shooting on analogue as development to allow myself to become more random and to experiment with techniques outside of my norm.
The project will be ongoing, allowing the audience to be involved, until I feel as though the narrative has been told in the right way, this could take 3 or 30 years. 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. The images will be entitled with a number, like the viral video in Gibson’s book ‘Pattern recognition’, the number represents it’s place in the story. This will be to intentionally create further interaction from the audience, they will have questions about the image titles, what happened in-between each image, when the next set will be released and what number will be attached to them.