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  • Marked

Baseman, Jordan, 2016, Show, Exhibition or Event, Marked

Abstract or Description:

Marked, will present the narratives of breast cancer survivors and their individual responses to cancer, trauma, treatment, surgery and their survival of breast cancer in the form of an experimental cartoon: an animated film-based artwork.

Marked, will explore various complex and personally challenging questions/ideas: What are the boundaries of choice as a medical patient? How important is the construct of identity? What role does symmetry play in our physical and psychological understanding of ourselves and our gender? What are the boundaries of both physical and psychological loss? Marked will ask difficult questions about womanhood in the early 21st century: What does it mean to live as a woman with a tattoo where her breasts once were? How is identity and self-image determined by physical embodiment and forms? What happens to our bodies after surgery?

Mastectomy tattoos represent direct body activism - a personalized, political statement that speaks of survival and loss, of women reclaiming their bodies from the traumas of having survived life-saving medical procedures and the physical scarring of surgical interventions. These tattoos represent a different response to societal conventions: the demands and expectations of body shape, a symmetrical female form, and additionally, these tattoos exist without reference or allegiance to any existing tattoo culture (or ever-diminishing sub-culture).

Visually, Marked will reference the classic stop-frame hand-drawn animation of Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Ren and Stimpy (among others), combined with the digitally created landscapes and built-environments of films like Pixar’s 2015 film Inside Out, with additional references to the experimental abstract spaces created by artists such as Stan Brakhage and Len Lye. Archive medical and scientific materials, etc., will also be used and combined (possibly) with still and live action moving-images of the participants.

Marked will be exhibited internationally, through significant platforms created by Matt’s Gallery London and myself.

Presently, the project has received £27164 from the Wellcome Trust. Marked, as a project, is designed to be funded in stages through the Wellcome Trust Small Arts Awards (Research and Development Phase) and Large Arts Awards (Production and Exhibition/Dissemination Phase). The current Small Arts Award for Marked, was solely for research and development. At the time of this writing, all of the interviews have been recorded, edited and transcribed. The Research and Development phase of the project is now complete and I am in the process of writing and submitting my Final Project Report to the Wellcome Trust, while simultaneously preparing for the writing of the Large Arts Award.

RCA RDF funding was recently received to create a 120-second clip that features the main character of the cartoon. This clip will be submitted as visual support for the application to the Wellcome Trust Large Arts Awards. I believe that this 120-second clip will be a powerful visual aid that will bring the application and therefore the project, to life. Through the production of this clip, we will be able to visually manifest the main character of the film, to give her life and presence. This clip will capture the essence of the film and will visually, conceptually and emotionally convey the potential of the project to discuss this complex and challenging subject matter in an imaginative manner.
Ignatz Johnson (RCA Animation 2014) will draw and animate the character after she has been fully developed (September 2016).

The open-ended fantastical nature of animation itself will allow the character to tell her story and for the narrative to reflect her very real, extreme, exaggerated state of being. The final script will be a composite of the experiences of the different interviewees funnelled through a single character, with the contextual viewpoints of the academics presented by other animated characters (as imagined and/or encountered by the main character).

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
School or Centre: School of Fine Art
Funders: Wellcome Trust, RCA
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2016 13:07
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2017 16:24
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2082

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