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'Pandemic Production or (Plagued Primitive People Pitifully Pursuing Pointless Purpose)'

Well this is it, the end of second year BA Fine Art, and to finish off I wanted to share my final piece going towards the online 'Endgame' show. The piece is a tying up of all the key themes and work that I've done this year, a conclusion almost... well, more like a "..." to see what comes in the next chapter. This piece is all about playing with the dense, heavy and all consuming feeling of absurdity, trying to recreate that emotional state through film and sound. Using video work, performance documentation and moving sculpture documentation, I have taken short clips from the key pieces of work that I feel really reflect my aims the best in terms of the body as meat, mortality and our meaningless existences. I have also incorporated found footage in the mix to create references to my context, such as the absurd gluttony of Monty Python's Monsieur Creosote (where he explodes and his insides end up on the outside!) and Fluxus performance footage. The film begins with Cadbury's 1970s Smash advert, featuring tin aliens laughing at the "primitive" humans' eating habbits, which I felt was relevant, and also like making that small and quick reference to the double meaning of the word 'consume', by using an advertisement. The quick succession of clips that follow, getting faster and faster, reference everything from absurdity to mortality to the body as food to reproduction, with the quickening speed creating an overwhelming and chaotic atmosphere. There are two sounds layered over the top, a heartbeat, that gets faster along with the video clips, creating a tense sensation, as if your heartbeat is matching the one you can hear, and chewing sounds, which create a grotesque food theme. The film ends with a loud, rather abrupt and shocking, tone, which references the flatlining of a heartbeat and signifies both the end of the short film and the end of life.

When watching the film, I find it quite tense, which is exactly the aim, and find that afterwards you take a large breath in relief, which almost feels like a recovery. I am pleased with this result and also pleased with how the layers of sound work to make an extra layer of intensity. It would be great to have some critical feedback on this to see what other people think, so I think my next aim is to conduct an online crit.

For now though, this seems like a fitting conclusion to the year, and I'm looking forward to creating more work over summer and in third year. I'm ready to extend my research across more artists and think more about using space, maybe making some site specific work. I want to think more about referencing various philosophical thought experiments around the absurd, such as Thomas Nagel's flesh eating aliens. I wish to take forward to the meat and skin imagery and keep pushing it as far as I can and experiment with other senses, such as smell and create more moving sculptures. There's lots to be doing!


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