Dawn Woolley (again)

Well hello Dawn, it’s been a while. We first met when I watched your video “Hysterical Selfies and Disruptive Bodies” and blogged about it on my EYV blog. I loved it, but truly understood so very little of it. I found your Looking at Adverts series on the OCA-student website and got a lot from there. It made me far more critical, curious and circumspect about ads and marketing. Late in EYV my tutor pointed me to your 2D work, she thought of it because of the cardboard smile prop that I used in my Heads assignment and my research into smiles within ads. Your work stays in my mind and I still can’t work out exactly why it’s so sticky.

Just a few hours into Context & Narrative and I meet you again, this time via your 12 days of Christmas series. It’s a series of tiny videos, which must have taken so long to put together, collaging press ads, audio, quotes, photographs (I think). It shows relentlessly the urge to spend at Christmas, the relentless sparkling, opulent and excessive vocabulary that we’re subjected to.  This is put into context by quotes from Walter Benjamin, Karl Marx, Jean Baudrillard, except of course we never see that side of the story in the ads. The series speaks to commercialism, consumption, manipulation, sexism, excess and extravagance. That was interesting enough, but then you followed it with another series – The 12 days of January. If December is about indulgence, January is about repression, about taking a hard line with our over-indulged and softened bodies and selves. The hurdy gurdy frantic music of the last day of December continues as the soundtrack to the first day of January, and I realise that invariably, someone else is running the rides at the fairground, and that there’s a whole industry of people dedicated to getting me on board.

I’m coming to accept that your work is going to influence me, it can’t fail to do so with its interest in the physical, the 2D, the object and the feminist. Thanks Dawn. Now I need to re-watch your video and look for anything that’s becoming clearer a year further into my studies.







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