Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Postmodernism in practice

In my Context of Practice module I wrote an essay exploring the repercussions of modernism, debated on it's relevance in the modern day and on the idea that we now live in a "postmodern world".

We had to apply what he had learnt over the module and in our essay in a practical component.

I explored a few different possibilities for this. I had a look at early animation that had political and societal undertones, particularly the work of Max Fleischer.


I liked the use of the animated hand "drawing" the scenes (actually a time-lapse of the process).

This reminded me on some levels of the animated work of Terry Gilliam. The films he created for Monty Python are about as absurdly postmodern as they get, incorporating all sorts of references to past eras and styles and using them to express his bizarre sense of humour.

I watched his "Do It Yourself Animation Show" to get some inspiration on how to possibly recreate his cut-out style.

After brainstorming ideas I decided to have a go at creating something in the vein of Terry Gilliam. In my essay I focussed on modernism and postmodernism's effect on painting, and whilst looking through some of his animations on Youtube I found the one where he animates the painting the Birth of Venus so that this classic, beautiful painting is upturned to become silly.

I thought that I could create some sort of timeline where the paintings of the past become no more than somewhat vulgar expressions of how the widespread postmodern attitude has effected how many regard the "high art" nature of paintings. 

Unfortunately I've never animated before so, in the end, the idea that I imagined in my head is not what I managed to create on-screen. I didn't give myself enough time, and I also struggled with how to transition between paintings with my limited animation knowledge, and with choosing fitting sound effects. I was hoping to get Python animation-esque "grumbles" and other comedic noises, but I struggled to find them (and couldn't record them myself - hence the subtitles/speech-bubbles).

In the end I'm not sure if my idea worked (it may just look plain silly to most), but it was interesting to have a go at something entirely different to what I usually do. If I had had time, I'd have liked to to have practised more advanced animation techniques and made something closer to Gilliam's visual style.

(apologies for bad quality, I'm not sure of the best way to host videos outside of Youtube)

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