Sunday, 8 May 2011

Statement of Intent

From the beginning I wanted to highlight the idea that 'the everyday' need not be average or mundane; many people's daily life is normal to them but would seem absurd to outsiders. Initial ideas led me to examine my own daily routine. As a teenage girl in 20th Century Western cultural, vanity and self image is a huge focus. make up is an essential part of my day, along with almost all of my peers. Rituals like applying makeup are often overlooked, simply because they are so commonplace.

I want to show make up in a more drastic and unusual context, reflecting how unsettled I felt watching TV documentaries about child beauty pageants, which fuelled my final idea. With this film I am aiming to capture this feeling, along with ideas of inappropriateness and excess of make up, emphasised by a fairly abstract setting as oppose to the shows I researched. After looking at the work of artists along with my own wider research, it seems obvious to use a doll. This was cemented when I chose to use clips of real little girls talking about the make up they wear, and one was saying "I look like a dolly". She sounded thrilled by this, but what did it really mean? These girls are literally being turned into inanimate, artificial dolls by their crazed, shallow, prize-hungry mothers.

I want to use these carefully-selected sound bites with interludes of classical music (the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy - what else) to add drama and a tiny bit of humour to my animation, which could end up being very dark and creepy an amusing edge. I will achieve this by picking phrases that are almost too ridiculous to be true, and using strong lighting so it's not too dingy. I want to use real speech as it grounds my piece in reality, a reality which would be impossible to believe without this proof, to shock the audience. Though my approach is fairly lighthearted, I am also intent on negatively portraying the adornment and exhibition of children as objects. Dolls like the one I'm using are already grotesque fetishizations of real babies/todders; they are made to look unnatural for appeal. Let's see how much worse I can make it, using images of baby beauty queens to gradually pile makeup on to its face until it looks ridiculous.

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