Last Tuesday we had the second Skype chat session. Each student had to show his project proposal in order to receive opinions, feedback and references from the other colleagues.
I presented the summary of my MA Project Proposal: Los Caprichos in the 3rd Industrial Revolution.
My partners’ reaction was very positive. My hard work in finding a concrete topic and crafting a clear structure for the research was very well considered. But beyond the good response, there are few aspects of my proposal that need to be taken seriously:
- First of all, there are different kinds of humour in art, and it is important to choose one direction. It’s crucial to understand the differences between humour, irony, wit, comedy, satire or black humour, as well as the different artistic concepts like surrealism, absurdism or nonsense. This decision will help me to establish a style for my artworks.
On the other hand, it will be important to treat the subject of humor and contemporary social values in the widest way possible. One of the first reactions when talking about politics, society and humour is to relate them with political cartooning. It’s clear that newspapers are an important source, but in that media there’s the need of talking about the present, and the present has a problem of rapid expiration. Cartoon drawers like Steve Bell can bite hardly, but his stories have a short life. However, artists like El Roto or Quino (creator of Mafalda) have a more general vision. They talk about contemporary problematics with a wider approach. As Ed Kelly said, it is important to make a body of work that has to be lateral, but not literal. That will give me a deeper background to my artworks.
(The youth rallied the streets and suddenly, all parties aged). El ROTO
- Another aspect I want to pay a lot of attention on it, is to take humour seriously. There’s a danger that the viewers can receive my works as superficial, or banal, or just as a joke. Being humorous doesn’t mean being funny. It’s not about making someone laugh. It is one of the most human ways of facing problems and discussing about ideas. I have to be serious to connect with the viewer through humour.
- To end, a lot of references showed up:
- The artist Tibi Tibi Neuspiel has an interesting point of view, really close to mine. I didn’t know his work, but I found that there are a lot of linking points between us. One clear example is working with food and faces to celebrities.
Checking his work, I found that not only he has a website or vimeo account, but a Vine profile where he uploads small audiovisual pieces. That made me think that Vine can be an interesting platform to work, at least for quick ideas.
- William Hogarth and his political satire in the XVIII Century.
- Photographer HAL and his vacuum conserved couples.
- Richard Wiseman, a scientist who wrote a book about the Psychology of Humour.
- And Aparna Rao, whose speech in Ted Talk inspired me so much.
Second stage of the Project Proposal Review: Meeting with an Assistant Academic Support Librarian. Much more help than I expected.
After the Class Crit, I appointed for a meeting with Jane Mann, an Assistant Academic Support Librarian in Camberwell. My objective for this meeting was to show the bibliography I prepared for the Project Proposal and to know what other books can be interesting to read. More than just a simple search of books, Jane offered me a variety of references that may be really helpful for my research.
The British Cartoon Archive. The University of Kent curates this museum of cartooning in Canterbury.
Jonathan Swift, writer of the Gulliver’s Travels, among other stories. It will be interesting to read about him and the different interpretations of his novels. The text shown in his epitaph includes contemporary concepts like Indignation.
Hic depositum est Corpus
IONATHAN SWIFT S.T.D.
Hujus Ecclesiæ Cathedralis
Ubi sæva Indignatio
Cor lacerare nequit,
Et imitare, si poteris,
Strenuum pro virili
Here is laid the Body
of Jonathan Swift, Doctor of Sacred Theology,
Dean of this Cathedral Church,where fierce Indignation
can no longer
injure the Heart.
Go forth, Voyager,
and copy, if you can,
Champion of Liberty.
Richard Prince, his paintings, pictures, cartoons and jokes.
Also, she remembered a couple of exhibitions which are useful for my research.
Rude Britannia. Here is a review of the show:
Laughing in a foreign language. Review:
And last, but not least, a reference of Post-humour, the TV Series “The Office“.
Thanks to everybody’s help, my proposal goes on with more and better references. Thanks.