Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Flying Girl - in focus

The Flying Girl sequences are focussed on the movement of a nameless storybook character that zooms through contrasting scenes, settings and worlds. The motif is an illustration cut-out of a 1930s children’s book (adventure genre for young teen audience) and is the key figure in the series of videos/stop-motions I am working on. These sequences will present differing visual notions of fictional and non-fictional texts whilst also touching on the feminine/feminist identity of a common archetype – the lone, young woman. The pose of the Flying Girl character is particularly important, as her dive position also emulates that of a superhero. Elements of the project as a whole relate to stories and fictional representations, so there is sharp irony in the image of a ditzy schoolgirl flying like Superman. Or to be more specific, as her power and intelligence as a female protagonist was hollow in the context of the story she was extracted from – the superhero type pose then transforms her into a kind of heroine. This flying ability then allows the girl to move through other worlds and places. So in the sequences she may not be a literary heroine but her ‘escape’ and surreal adventures flying through other worlds connects her image to another kind the heroine identity. This is supported by the habitual way we read fiction – imagining alternative versions of events in the story, considering the roles/motivations of silent characters and filling the gaps constructed by the author. Therefore, the Flying Girl is a version of another character and her movements in the sequences/videos make reference to a myriad of possible forms and re-imagined visual/conceptual translations.
The scenes of books/films are typically indicative of place, mood, storyline direction/genre and time. A setting featuring a prehistoric landscape and Dinosaurs would therefore be relevant to non-fictional texts and science but time given the existence of this world occurring millions of years ago. In making the Flying Girl sequences I am underlining the autonomy and evolving feminine identity after having been extracted from it’s original context. She zooms through strange landscapes and passes over impossible situations (I am also using existing two-dimensional collage pieces as backgrounds/settings). This in turn also introduces an allusion to self-reflection and possibly self-reflexive perception – as a female artist I interpose segments of personal narratives (e.g. dream experiences) and visual symbols/motifs that represent a self-characterisation. 

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