Images taken from final foundation FMP outcome
During the final term of the foundation, I explored the idea that an environment can become a stage as a route to enhancing emotions i.e. as in celebration events. I observed how peoples’ behaviours are affected by the staging of the interior, using lights, artificial decoration, costumes that abstract the human body and identity, sounds, alcohol etc. It all coalesces to create a very distorted reality. At first glance, it is perceived as a very false environment that has been created. And yet there is nothing to render this new environment ‘false’. It is just as much of a reality as the reality taking place at a bus stop. But new microcosms are formed, such as at Disneyland; humans dress as animals dressed as humans and take up new social norms such as hugging children they don’t know; families go on rides that direct them through what is supposed to be a utopian fantasy wonderland. Everything is so completely and utterly bizarre, and yet when you are inside it, you are expected to see it as normal. You are shown ‘perfection’ without the secret imperfections, the darker, mundane realities slipping into your sight. I explored why it is we need these utopian projections and how we separate them from mundane reality, what it says about mundane reality.
In this project, I created installations and captured them in photographic form, created sculptures and captured them photographically or just left as sculptures. I think that to improve, I could have carried out more observational work such as attending these events and recording or watching back home videos of these events.
I am now uncertain in which direction to proceed with my art. The boundaries between my interest in performing arts and conceptual art were allowed to blur in this project, which was ideal. However, it didn’t plough quite into performing arts as such, more so how performing arts can intertwine with reality. I think that I would like to continue this exploration into constructed realities, yet I believe that I have much to learn about what it actually means to construct a reality, and educating myself more in this area will allow me to pinpoint an area into which I can explore next. Volunteering with the Eastbourne theatre company will be a good opportunity to conduct research into how realities can be constructed in the traditional way. This will be interesting to compare with the exploration into celebrations. If I use the volunteering with the theatre as not only experience in theatre design and working backstage, but also as a form of research for my art project, then I won’t have to juggle the two, but they can feed into eachother.