My response to one of Richard Taylor’s insightful comments on my last post was too long for me to post as a comment! Here it is:
The shop front / window display aspect of my work and life is really intriguing and something I really only started thinking more about in my third year of study, but it’s definitely become more pertinent as time goes on. I have always worked in shops, and usually mom and pop stores, small or independant places that don’t really have a budget for displays so encourage creativity and resourcefulness in that area. Creating displays out ‘nothing’, with materials to hand, usually cardboard boxes, paper, pens and paint, is something that has certaintly intermingled with my practice. Arranging and constantly moving objects around is also a big aspect of window displays, whether it’s keeping with the seasons, specific events, or some ‘great new product’ and this aspect had carried over into my work as well. A window display is always changing, it’s never fixed, always fluid, much like my own process. Generally speaking they are usually meant to be viewed from one perspective only, which might in some ways explain why I’m never very comfortable having my objects in the centre of a room, to be walked around and viewed from different angles. It was a criticism I often had at uni during crits, that I was making objects, yet ‘afraid’ to come away from the wall. I think now that it’s proving to be more deliberate, and is something that I need consider more carefully. Perspective is a huge factor in my practice (or lack of…?) Having the perspective chosen for you, as opposed to being able to view it from all sides certainly relates to ideas of how history is ‘written’, with historians choosing what facts they deem to be important and then creating a narrative linking them together.
Also, I think the relationship between my work and a typical window display has connections, although perhaps not as obvious,and I’m not sure how deep they run… Window display / visual merchandising has a very specific purpose, it’s commercial, to show products in the best possible way, exciting, eye catching, bold, so people passing by will stop and hopefully be tempted to purchase. It’s a direct link to buy more. Is there a similarity in how fictional accounts of history, or embellished history is ‘remembered’ in cinema? Hollywood’s wow factor, showing history in a more “interesting, eye catching, bold” account, eventually making people ‘buy’ into those accounts as well, rather than what may have ‘actually’ happened? I definitely have to chew some cud… Do people say that over here??? Thanks Richard!