On the November 10th of 2015 we were introduced to our third project this year Cut Up. What this is project is about is to get us away from the digital world of today and back to analogue days when everything has been done by hand. Our job is to find an image – ours or appropriate an existing one – and manipulate it manually to introduce a new narrative. What is expected is to connect the idea and production of the piece.
First thing we had to do was to find artists that we find interest in that had similar processes of manipulation that we wanted to use on our work or ideas we would like to explore.
The first artist I looked into is Peter Kennard. An English artist, born in London in 1949. His work revolves around war, nuclear weapons, world hunger and so on. He creates photomontages from found images or his own ones shot on a film camera and then developed and printed in a darkroom.
I chose Kennard, because this is my first project in which I am involving politics and more specifically the ones in my own country, which I have never done before.
The second artist is Manny Robertson. I couldn’t find much information on where he is from or when he is born, but his work was very interesting. What he does is take two images of the same person, one black and white, and one in color. The colored on represents us a human being, the way we feel inside and the other one representing the depression or tiredness shown on the outside. The photos are stitched together with thread.
My idea orbits around the National assembly room and citizen protests. Everything which happens in the meetings is most likely to result in a protest. It is chaos inside and outside of the assembly.
I want to represent the whole thing as a theatre, so rather than building a box for the room, I will make it start small where the pulpit is representing the stage where they talk what their talk to talk for someone else’s own good, and then continue the room towards the viewer expanding the size of the walls just like in the theatre.
Before moving onto the idea of the 3d space I had a single piece of A4 paper with an image of the assembly room with cut out seats and under that shots of protesters stitched together to represent the close connection between the space and the nation. But the whole thing was too plain, didn’t have much impact when you looked at it. The way the seats were cut destroys the look the room and that there were seats there.
I started making sketches and a paper model to see how I would like the piece to look.
Me and Stavros bought a sheet of plywood which we were going to cut neatly with exact measurements on the laser cutter, but we were told the machine was not working so we bought a hand saw, but the cuts were awful. I remembered from my first year while doing the “Lonely Landscape” project I cut the floorboards of the model with a knife which worked very good, but the problem is the plywood is way too thick than the material I used then. So that took me nowhere. Plain cardboard was my best option. Easy to work with and not so heavy.
Following my plans from before I cut the pieces from cardboard. Added structural details and assembled a big part of it. The floor is made out of something I am not completely sure what it is, but I found it at the bottom of a blueberry package, which looked exactly like the carpet in the National assembly. The painted bits is normal water based acrylic paint. Most of the techniques I’ve used in building this I’ve picked up as I said above from the “Lonely landscape” project in the first year.
The seats are again made from the same cardboard as the walls. My idea is to have around 5 rows of seats, each next one being smaller than the previous to give the illusion that the viewer is at the top of the room looking down. Same principal as the shape of the walls. From sketching, cutting to gluing and painting, one set of chairs took more than 40 minutes.
I did not feel like that what I was doing was the exact way I wanted to presented.
Not having a laser cutter also increased the difficulty and time to produce what was the object. What is more, is that I realised I was getting off track with the brief I was given, meaning I was building something completely new and not manipulating the original.
Since the beginning of the first year of university we’ve being told by the years above us to keep everything we do clean and simple. With my first idea i broke this unwritten rule, which eventually led to me not being able to finish it, because of its complexity. That why I decided to do what I did with this one. Keeping it simple. I took out my images from the print session we had a while back, which turned out to be a perfect background to the set up.
So I went back to my inspirations for this project (Kennard and Robertson) and created something more appropriate for what I was going for from the beginning. I scraped the National Assembly , but kept the Prime Minister ,who like Kennard with Margaret Thatcher in the role of the queen, I gave him a crown representing the way he feels about himself – thinking he has power over everything. I placed him riding on top of a lion, because the lion is the symbol of Bulgaria and him riding it again pointing to him “ruling” over us. The stitches on the mouth and the tied legs represent the country not being able to move forward, to progress or function properly. The people not being able to express themselves. Crying for help and change, but nobody is listening.
The bottom left shows that people that are immigrating to find a better place to live, a place which will hear their needs. This chart shows the amount of people immigrating throughout the year. The numbers start to rise drastically right about when the Prime Minister steps into office.