Something's gotta give: Subjectivity and the everyday encounter, through the moving image
AffiliationVictorian College of the Arts
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2019 Tara O'conal
The break-up of my long-term relationship unintentionally guided my MFA project. Over the past two years I found myself in the position where I needed to respond to unexpected personal circumstances that caused trauma in my life. Without warning the intimate parameters that I had coexisted within became inaccessible to me. The state of dysfunction that ensued through this breakdown caused me to reconfigure my values as an artist and to find new ways of being productive. With the presence of immanent deadlines it was necessary for me to adapt the activities of my practice to align with my emotional circumstances. Through this reappraisal, I found that my artistic activities function in partnership with my personal life, and that to attempt to disentangle the two is essentially missing the point. The brokenness and dysfunction that began as setbacks, have intimately sewn together my work and life, and through this I inadvertently located the political concerns that orient my practice. The necessity of this bind has invested a new urgency in my work and raised the questions that form the pathway of this thesis. My research project stakes a claim for the value of subjectivity, through the vulnerability of the personal, and the artistic vitality of the historically repressed everyday environment. My video practice resonates through a feminist disposition, the subjective politics that underpins my work. Harnessing an evolving catalogue of lived experience I have gathered disparate sources, bringing them together in this thesis. My own personal experiences are used as primary figures in my work and it is through these subjects that my research has been shaped. I take a journey of questioning and reflection, with the company of artists and researchers who inspire my practice. I record fragments of my surroundings, daily minutiae, fleeting observations and temporal moments. Through structural filmic devices - the long take, fixed view and close-up magnifications - I hold these ephemeral encounters, repeatedly rewinding, pausing, and zooming in. I am interested in the subjective qualities that can be drawn out through filmic excavation. The outcome of my research project is a series of video recordings, projected at varying scales in the gallery. The images are pieces of my daily life and objects that were the focus of bored and empty stares while I lay in bed. Housed in the space of the gallery, these intimacies are brought into a field of public and private subjectivities, where they resonate through the embodiment of the viewer.
Keywordsfeminism; subjectivity; the viewer; viewing; video; film; daily; everyday; personal; diary film; image; notes; poetry; writing; single; break-up; cat
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