At the start of the term we had the chance to pick what topic we would like to know more about, I was so lucky to receive my first option which was Jayne Cunnick Hall – The many Guises of the Absurd. This was the lecture that really stood out to me mainly because I enjoy absurd things but I also found Jayne to be a strong speaker, her voice was clear and easy to understand. In our first lesson we started off by looking up the definition of ‘Absurd’ in the dictionary, this is one of the things I do often just to get to grips with the terminology of certain words. We then moved on to watching film clips online. I find watching things much more easier than reading, so this helped was a great help. “What is absurd? The chaotic and purposeless nature of the universe, and the futility of human attempts to make sense of it.” I found the subject of Existentialism to be really interesting, I often wonder what am I doing on earth and who does this benefit. Because I could relate to the subject I found myself getting more intrigued by it.
Because I was so interested in the subject it made it easier to get to grips with the work. It only started to get difficult in week 2 where we looked into the concepts of existentialism because there was a lot to take in. After the lesson I found it useful to re-read over the powerpoint again just to get it inside my head. We were given things to read over the week and at times I found this very difficult to read. I have always found critical texts hard to read mainly because of the wording and the use of long words of which I have never heard of. When we read over it in class and discussed it as group I found it much easier to understand. Every lesson we had a brief recap of the previous lesson. I found this useful as I tend to forget things easily.
Writing my essay was a difficult one, I found a film I had watched to be very fitting in what we had learnt about existentialists. In my head it all made sense, the main character was going through an existential crisis. It seemed perfect for my essay, but as I started to write it I found it difficult to argue and debate. There was nothing written about the film to suggest he was having an existential crisis but it was perfectly fitting in my mind. When writing this essay I got really confused and everything that was in my head wasn’t coming out well on paper (this tends to happen, like all the time). When I had submitted my essay my overall feedback was that it was difficult to read due to muddled sentences and that I couldn’t really get my point across. I was dissapointed because I knew that I struggled with this and I didn’t seek help when I really should have. This is a recurring issue I need to deal with, instead of suffering in silence I need to speak out, luckily I was not graded on it.
At the start of January it was a fresh term with new lectures this time concerning our DISSERTATION, as much as I was worried, I was sort of pleased because I am keen at starting early and not leaving things till last minute. We were given 3 lectures at the start of second term, explaining that we needed to fill out a Dissertation planning form this would give us the right tutor for the dissertation. At first I had no idea what I wanted to do. so I started writing down things I was interested in, disney, popart, existentialism, just to name a few. I started off by putting down my ‘Gender Roles in Disney idea’ and I was so excited to write about this. I always watched the animated films as a child but never wondered about the concepts of the heroines behind them. It was going well, I bought a few books and wrote down some notes, until I spoke to my tutor. She said she loathed disney and that she had never seen any of the films, and she said it had be done many times before. I was completely and utterly disheartened. I carried on with the idea until I spoke to my tutor on the maker course. He suggested it may be seen as not a very professional thing to write about because of the subject matter so I finally scrapped that idea.
My next protocol was Pop Art, the movement always had an impact on me as an artist. I really loved the bright bold colours and mixed media collages. I started looking into the movement and similar themes started to arise. The themes were ‘mass produced’, ‘celebrity icons’, ‘consumer market’ and ‘The media’. I looked into artists that inspired me like Peter Blake and from there on I could see myself definitely doing a dissertation on Pop Art. I watched a documentary on Andy Warhol and the Pop Artist’s work wasn’t all that it had seemed, something about it was quite dismal and disturbing. I thought Pop art was a bright and cheery movement celebrating the 1950-60’s popular culture, but I was wrong. I loved seeing the hidden features of the work that previously I hadn’t seen which made it seem now so imperfect.
I am so glad to have found the topic I feel passionate about and that I could write 10,000 words about. I am finding it difficult to read certain books still as my concentration doesn’t last long but if I continue to enjoy this subject it will make the reading easier. I am finding it extremely useful researching documentaries and newspaper articles, I find them interesting to listen too and read. To be successful in writing my dissertation, I will need to get as much reading done now, quoting references down when I find them. I will also need to cast my net wide in order to get as much research and subjects to write about. I need to focus on my actual subject matter, and to not stray from that. I am feeling positive about writing my dissertation (so far).