In today’s class, we each had to present our idea in front of the class. With me, I wasn’t clear with one specific idea and so was very hesitant about what theme I should choose. Eventually we would be selecting one theme, which we will focus on for the installation. Till my turn came for presenting, I was trying to think of which were the themes that I liked the most in the movie. The one that stood out the most was the theme of attachment. As a whole, the movie is based on how the human is cared by a wolf family—a family that is not of his own. The whole emotion in the movie was about how the boy was closely attached to the animal family in the jungle and so I decided I will focus on this.
After presenting, it was clear to me and the professors had agreed on my idea and It was just a matter of knowing what we had to do next. I was really confused at this point as I did not know what I will be making, my idea was very vague. I was thinking of things like making sculptures, especially, the one called pieta-by Michael Angelo was something that kept coming to my mind at shows the bond and attachment between the mother and son. I was not sure how I can deconstruct the idea of attachment.
After break, we got to know that this was a group project. To me, this was very confusing and I had questions in my mind about the fact that if this is a group project are we all combining our ideas? or do we have to leave and idea and follow someone else’s. During the presentation I had taken a few notes about different people’s ideas. This helped me understand the range of different ideas we all have.
My group members were; Aaqifa, Sarah and Charlie. Soon after we met, we all briefly explained our ideas.
I presented my idea about the attachment in The Jungle Book. I was nervous at first because I loved my idea and I didn’t want to give a bad explanation. I prepared myself quickly to explain as best as I can to make sure they understand every single aspect.
Charlie’s Theme: Preserving childhood, Movie: Peter Pan. Her idea was about how children escaped their homes to live in a new land without parents, where they never grew up. As she explained her idea, we all started discussing how her idea is similar to all of our ideas in one way or the other. It related to my idea because Mowglee was living without his actual parents in a jungle, which had different rules and he was not dependent on his parents,
Sarah’s theme: Sacrifice; Movie: Baby and Me. The theme here was the idea of sacrificing between an elder brother and a younger brother. The sacrifice was by the elder brother who had to give up a lot of things because their mother had died and he was the one who had to take care of him. Themes such as jealousy, sacrifice, sibling love came up in her story which related to my idea in many aspects. This includes the sacrifice by the wolf family which was to protect the boys(mowglee’s) life.
Aaqifa’s theme: The relationship between a father and a son and how the son was obedient to the father all his life.
After this discussion, we all ended up to be very confused and did not know which one to choose. One thing we discovered was that all our ideas were closely linked to each other and the only thing was to decide to one. This was very difficult for us and so we asked our professor to help. After talking to him we started to see if any one idea has a common theme of all our themes. We started with mine–the theme of attachment was there in Charlie’s idea were the children were closely attached to each other related to mine in some way. Aaqifa’s did not attach so much to mine as it was more about the obedience of the son to the father. So, we stopped there and skipped to Sarah’s idea. Her theme of sacrifice was there in everyone else’s theme and so we decided to choose baby and me which we will deconstruct.
The next stage was to gather ideas and start brainstorming about how sacrifice can be deconstructed.
My part of the research included looking up the different meanings of sacrifice. I looked for keywords that helped with imagining something else. To make it easier for me, I thought of having my ideas in the three categories of poetic, pragmatic or persuasive.
Definitions of sacrifice:
an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure: they offer sacrifices to the spirits | the ancient laws of animal sacrifice.
• an animal, person, or object offered in a sacrifice.
• an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy: we must all be prepared to make sacrifices.
• Chess a move intended to allow the opponent to win a pawn or piece, for strategic or tactical reasons.
offer or kill as a religious sacrifice: the goat was sacrificed at the shrine.
• give up (something important or valued) for the sake of other considerations: working hard doesn’t mean sacrificing your social life.
• Chess deliberately allow one’s opponent to win (a pawn or piece).
After looking at these, I did what we did in M and P’s first project, which was about reinterpreting the keywords. I remember I had done a representation of relationship, where I modroced both my hands and made a small sculpture of holding hands. I thought I could use it in a different sense this time where we use the hands and tie them together to show the act of suicide or hanging.
These were some sketches I made for the concept ideas.
The idea in the sketch below is that a rose plant sacrifices its own beauty to beautify something else.
This idea was was the sacrifice that a mother does for her child and I was thinking of having an abstract representation of a mother, where she is getting smaller s her daughter is becoming like her and it is all because of the sacrifices she made.
Group meeting 2:
We all met before class and discussed our ideas together.We started with Aaqifa. She had an idea of the sacrifice of time by people in the past, where they had to wait in long queues to use the telephone which she interpreted as a sacrifice of time. Sarah have an idea about having a game where people will loose something. From this, I remembered a reality game show called Takeshi’s Castle, where people had to face many challenges to reach the end. This required struggle and many sacrifices by the people where they have to fall in water or dirty mud if they don’t make it to the end. This was a great idea and everyone agreed about it. we also talked about the chess game and how it was all about sacrifice and thought of having chess costumes were people could actually play chess in our installation. We also thought of monopoly, as a game where you have to sell properties and sacrifice your wealth to continue the game. All these ideas seemed to be great and we now only had to discuss our idea and start working.
After talking to the professors, we realized that we were heading on a wrong path. We were not deconstructing the anime Baby and me and focused more on just the word sacrifice and how to represent it. I was very confused at this point because we had to rethink about it from the beginning. But one positive thing was that they liked the maze idea, which we had as it had an element of making choices and this was somewhat related to the anime.
We realized that we need to focus on the sibling relationship and somehow think of how we can design a situation where students get to feel the emotion of sacrifice.
Group meeting 3:
to understand the theme better, we all watched Baby and me together and made sure to look for elements in the movie which we can use in our installation. We came with with a color palette of pastel colors as the whole anime was using these colors. We also recorded a few soundtracks that would be good to use in the space.
After watching all of us were really touched by the theme in the story and were thought of coming up with more ideas related to this theme.
At this point I was really out of ideas and did not know the next step. I was just thinking of spaces that we could use and so I thought of some areas like the 2nd floor, which had a lot of empty spaces. I thought that the MFA will be a good place to have as its usually empty and not occupied by many people.