Strangely enough, in our first class of PicBod, we started talking about the idea of identity and how even though it may be personal it can be constructed to suit others as well. However, this time we were asked to create a montage of not only of ourselves but also about someone close to us,
What was interesting about this is that when it comes to us, we have a set idea in our mind about how we feel like we show ourselves, so finding the images to show off ourselves isn’t that hard. Rather, trying to do one on someone close is more difficult due to the fact we have to think about: are we correctly justifying him or her as a person? Are we showing the right images? Will a viewer get the right idea of whom they are?
For myself, I wanted to move away from the traditional idea of sticking down images and making almost like a poster about myself because I felt like that would be to… restricted. There is so much to myself as a person I feel a montage can’t even come close to trying to show my identity (I reckon it would take a good couple of photobooks at least to try and get close!) So I wanted to do something that would be fast in showing off all my life at once, but could allow you to go back and interact with the images.
With a mechanical montage, it’s quite easy of not making it that interesting at all which was something I wanted to avoid as I feel like my life has been interesting. SO I decided that I would go with the idea of a flipbook. This is something that is definitely not the norm, but our lives go so quickly in our lives I felt that this would be an accurate representation to how far my life has gone so far.
Link to the flipbook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPbeGBCUkvI&feature=youtu.be
This flipbook was split into three different sections: one that would cover me using faces to portray different emotions at times, another to look at the friends that I have at home and finally the friends I have a uni. The reasoning behind this is that all three of those ideas have transformed me as a person. They have helped me grow as a person, and if I had the chance to go back and change them so I could become a person, I would decline as how these experiences have made my identity now, I wouldn’t want it to disappear at all. Our identity is unique in the way that we make it and how others shape it, so we should be grateful for what we have.
For the montage on someone close to us, it was more difficult. The people I would consider close to me would be family, however they are so far away I would never have the time to make something out of them. Then I don’t have a girlfriend at all (someone who you would sense to be close to you then in order to share feelings) so that ruled out that part. Really then, it left me having to choose my best friend at home, but again he is at a different uni, so I couldn’t exactly go back and speak to him about it. I mean I could do that over the phone or skype, but then do you get a true honest response from them without looking at their physical emotions?
I looked at the work oh Jim Goldberg to help me out in terms of how you can interact with a montage directly, especially in the use of text. He takes just an image and places it onto a plain background, but then uses text to give a little bit more context to the picture that we would have never imagined. I feel this is important, as with my friend, there are things I know about him that others won’t so I would need to make sure that that information comes across.
However, I didn’t want to rely on text alone as well. Images are a key part with Duncan in terms of his social life at uni and home, as well as how he goes about with everything else. Kurt Schwitters work was interesting to me simply down to the use of images being overlapped with each other just so that they fused into one piece overall. Now I couldn’t do that with the images I had in mind, but I was interested moreso in the way that they connected to each other
So really, the only thing I have left would be to go on the first few things that would pop into mind when I thought of him. Actually, this would be a more honest representation as I’m going on the feelings I have rather then letting him decide for me. And when I began to think about it a bit more, I began to see the little link everything has with how I have my identity of him, and the identity he has within social media.
Social media can be fickle in the sense we make it what we want it to show; we can get rid of stuff that is detrimental to us whilst showing off the best of us to our friends. It only took me about 10 minutes to go through his facebook to see everything that portrays him as a person and how it fits into the vision I have of him. So for his identify, I wanted to do him justice in his identity and not just random things. I wanted the things I was thought to be the main focus on him completely.
Looking back at the final pieces of work, I did enjoy making everything. It was fun to go back to the roots and make everything mechanically. But I don’t feel like this would be the right method of working at all because I don’t feel like I get to correctly show off the things I want to in a correct method. These montages took a lot of pre-planning to make, which really didn’t help in making it look nice, but more a factual piece of work.