Creating new meanings

Hi there!

Just over a month and I am still here, writing my 7th post. I wonder if I rushed with amount of posts that were published by now, but it seemed that I had a lot to share. Also, I was preparing for quite some time.

I am pleased with myself for keeping a promise to publish posts weekly, but from now on I will be doing it twice a month. I am sure, it’s fine!

When I speak of animation and try to explain my methods and narratives I come up with, I often like to toss the phrase creating new meanings. In the posts Unfolding, I have talked about building a world within a process and quoting William Kentridge as my answer to everything.

When working with narrative and recreating a version of my world, it isn’t about understanting what the world is, but what it means. Through process, new meanings can emerge and send different messages to each of us.

Objects that become symbols

Recently I finished my newest animation project ‘Dead end’ and I probably spend the longest time editing it. Which I think it took a month or so. I also kept going back to animating and drawing extra objects that could go along my setting. What was so different? Well, I had the need to experiment and build as much as possible from one animation sequence. I was curious of how far it can go.

This particular project was supposed to be simple and limited. Continuous loops of situations in an isolation – cube. Yet, I felt like I was able to do just a little more and more. Drawing and using objects primarily was just an idea to create a background, but it turned out as a way to tell a story. I hope it did.

Each and every object had its part and eventually in the setting it brought something to build a story. I mean, this is pretty simple – we know the purpose of using symbols. I have books about symbols and their meanings, and while it’s interesting – I never had an intention using the existing meanings in my work. Sometimes it happens, because it is so programmed in our minds, that it is just impossible to see the other way. And that’s alright. It’s really hard to invent something new, but without any pressure – I keep trying.

So, I had a go on picking objects from daily life and using them to create the narrative.

One object was just an object or a beginning of something, yet more of the same object was a fun take to create the intensity of the situation. For example, the sequence of a woman sitting in front of the PC could showing just this sad, desperate repetition of no willingness to escape. The use of empty glasses, clothes and bottles were able to add more to this story. One empty bottle can lead to misery and sadness, but more bottles can speak of an alcoholism. The appearance of empty dishes and mess around even complicates the situation more.

The camera stand in the twerking sequence, was another interesting factor that made the whole situation feel like her privacy is being invaded.

These are actually details, embellishments to create the setting, yet they became symbols and created new meanings for the situations. I don’t want to over analyze my own work, but a simple sequence of a girl twerking wouldn’t have delivered the same message. And it just happened.

Combining different sequences

I still rely a lot on the process and I am trying to avoid drawing storyboards. It isn’t useful and it is more enjoyable when there is nothing to look forward to. I enjoy making many animations at the same time. Often, they don’t make sense separately; they vary in style, material…Luckily, they can make sense together. I never plan this ahead, but after I complete a dozen of animated sequences, I have my play of combining them together.

Initially, I had a person standing still as I was looking for emptiness. Earlier before I created a water tank being filled up. The result was, that I almost drowned that person. Oh well.

The same thing happened with a cleaning sequence. I was thinking about vigorous cleaning that people experienced during isolation. Somehow the entire situation changed into cleaning up an opening hole or… blood?

Dead end’ is a perfect example to creating new meanings. I started by drawing situations that were consequences of isolation. Little did I know, that it is going to become a narrative about a murder. I might be wrong, but that’s how I felt during the process. I have twisted the innocent situations into desperation, hatred, violence, guilt and celebration.

I invite you all to watch full ‘Dead end’ here:

Symbols that I don’t understand, but keep using them

There are lot of motifs in my work that are keep repeating. I am not entirely sure what I am trying to say when using them, but I believe they help me to be metaphorical or create analogies.

Pickles, hot dogs, burgers, abstract masses and similar.

It’s the shape, colour, taste and image that makes me use them. Such motifs speak to me of consumerism, popular culture, desirability, guilty pleasure and sex. Sometimes of something else. Each and every object can have many meanings. It can symbolize million different things and have different meanings in different contexts.

Burger the savior

Once the restaurants reopened in Copenhagen, the famous Noma restaurant launched their burger as a way to treat the community and have time to prepare before the actual opening. They saw burger as comfort, warmth, family.

I enjoy eating burgers, but to me it’s a symbol of consumer culture.



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