So, around the topic of my ‘swear word’ imagery, my initial reaction was one of not wanting to offend; I wanted to approach the subject matter in a way that is initially visually approachable. I still want to do this, but I’m starting to wonder if perhaps the aim behind the idea is shifting a little.
Initially, I wanted to ‘pull down’ people’s initial reactions to the words; if the context is inoffensive, then what is it about the word that is offensive? Now I’m starting to wonder if perhaps I’m leaning a little towards the issue of censorship – the mass media approach of ‘softening’ or ‘dumbing down’ of everything, and are we being told the full story? This is something that is literally just coming to mind as I type; I’m still trying to wrap my head around what it is that I’m actually trying to articulate here.
Censorship is something I think we can all relate to as artists (or aspiring artists); the machine behind the industry oppressing and pushing back those of us that are perhaps trying to say something in a less than digestible format. I’m not suggesting what I’m trying to do is new, or breaking any boundaries here – are there any left to even break, that’s a whole other can of worms – but it’s an approach that is probably not as easily accepted as, say, a complete abstract, or a landscape.
On the flip side of that coin, it’s something that could perhaps become inherently ‘marketable’. I don’t view this as necessarily a bad thing – we all have to eat, right? And at the end of the day, most of us want to be able to do that without having to supplement our income by other means.
The marketability of something so polarizing – people are either going to like it or not – is a funny thing; the risk of it failing, and putting it out there in the first place is what I think makes it marketable at all. But that’s another tangent for a later date.
The irony of marketing something about censorship is not a new one – prime example being the overabundance of Che Guevara’s iconic image splashed across t-shirts, etc. Irony is something I’ve always enjoyed, whether it’s obvious irony and satire or less so.
Censorship is something I feel like I’ve been struggling with lately – who decides what is okay? What do we censor? Why? This is something we hit on lightly today with our tutor, regarding Michel Foucault’s writings about the difference between the ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ is purely our own deciding. It’s a funny thing; and I feel maybe a wee bit disillusioned with the whole thing (along with a whole lot of other things, but that’s another story).
I’m not sure I’m tying up any loose ends here, but I kind of needed to get that out of my head – at least to kind of get my head around what it is I’m really trying to say.
Til next time xx