Brittany’s Exercise

Hey guys!  This is my class exercise.  It would be great if you could do this on your own and bring your words and drawings to class this upcoming Friday.  If not we may be able to do the exercise in class.  Thanks!

Part 1:  For my exercise, I looked at Dan Graham’s Homes for America piece.  In his photographs there is a uniformity and sameness in the structures of the homes, and they are washed out photographs in color but appear extremely dull. These dry, dull pictures show houses, which are all the same, constructed with logical floorplans and architecture which are all blindly accepted by the masses.  After looking at this piece, I thought about why the structures we live in have to be this way.  For the first part of the exercise, I want you to close your eyes and start thinking of what the world home means to you.  You may want to visualize the actual home you grew up in, taking yourself through each room and watching scenes from your life play out in that actualized house.  Start to explore in your mind how that “home” has changed over the years, a time reel with scenes of yourself and how you have changed over time.  What does home really mean to you and how does it manifest? Open you eyes and proceed to make a list of all words associated with this concept of home and how it is represented in your mind.  I want you to take five minutes to draw out your own depiction of this concept.

Part 2:  Amanda also suggested I watch a film by Ryan Trecartin.  This film distorts the home and personal relationships between family and friends.  As I watched this film, I felt as if I was on another planet or as if I was on drugs.  Parts of it made me uncomfortable and really question what I was watching.  Everything in Ryan Trecartin’s world is an opposite, and the wild costumes and plot line are absurd.  The plot line is extremely hard to follow, and you aren’t meant to follow it.  When he created this film he wanted it to be synonymous to how one feels when surfing the internet, constantly being bombarded with images.  There is a lack of distinction between genders in this psychologically complex world in which nothing is formulaic.  The film explores many different spaces of the home, as well as those relationships between people that define home and space.  I have attached the film so those of you who want can watch it for inspiration for the second part of the exercise.

For this second part, I want you to close your eyes once again and visualize the same scenes, same words as you have just done.  Hold this in your mind, and then begin to distort your ideas so they become perverse, complete opposites to what you are thinking.  Once again make a list of words from this alternative “home” and draw what you see in your mind.

-Brittany Neff


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