Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Exorcise that Yoga

Yoga Exorcism  (Brosie, 2013) was created in response to the book Wisconsin Death Trip by Michael Lesy.  The book is filled with black and white photographs of people, landscapes, and homes in Black River Falls, WI during the 19th century. The photographs depict realities of the time period and location. However, not everything may be as it appears in the photos. The blurry faces, awkward framing, and the strange photographer's vision present a mysterious, yet appealing quality to the book's themes. 

Michael Lesy, 1973

Yoga is typically thought of as a serene and pure practice alike the landscapes, whereas mud, although it is a natural material, is filthy and almost sinful similar to the presence of death and blurry faces in the photos. The video starts off in the mud and ends with the sun salutations sequence used in yoga practices.  Inclusion of both was important to parallel the mixture of appealing reality and gloomy reality displayed in Wisconsin Death Trip. The "exorcism" happens as the mud, the sin, being taken away from the yoga practices, the pure. However, the end sequences of the people bent over and dangling their arms radiate a degree of creepiness and unnatural human movement qualities. 

Darkness and realism is never able to be fully separated from the light and "beautiful." 

Repetition of short clips and people's awkward actions in my film mirrored repetition in the book. There is a very small repetition of dead baby pictures and older women portraits. The repetitions were not of the same image, but very similar images such as family portraits or pictures of people's valued possessions (bed, horse, house, etc).

I started with a film that starts out as a yoga practice turned into a mud fight and ends again in yoga practice. I got about 2 hours worth of film after two sessions and I did not want to leave a minute of it out. In order to demonstrate the dark depths that could be found in the playful footage, I completely reversed the video. This resulted in odd contortions of people's movements and reactions with one another.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Baden, Evan.

This guy could not be more awkward. 
Baden's (not) Google Search: Porn. Result: Upload home sex-tapes! Baden's thought: I have to go take some pictures.
Wwwwwhaaattt a Midwestern-groomed weirdo.

He's cool. Even with a neck beard.

Evan Baden the Minnesota-taught, internationally recognized, photographer makes leaps and bounds via his three series Illuminati, Technically Intimate, and Under the Influence in exposing the absurdity in intimacy with and through technology.

In his series Illuminati, the glow of the computers, phones, mp3 players, etc display the way in which the youth are intimate with their technological devices.  His contention is that the technology is a way for people to be connected via phones, computers, etc, but is used in physical isolation.  The physical isolation causes a need for the connection; the connection would be useless if one were not isolated and had people around to be social with. 

The next series, Technically Intimate, is titled appropriately. It focuses on the new world of using technology to be intimate with one another via "sexting."  The colors are bright and the lines are especially crisp and harsh in the photos. This is a great juxtaposition to the typical blurry, camera phone photo. Baden captures the ways in which people contort their bodies to fit in the frame of the small, handheld cameras. This series was the most interesting to me. I like that he does include one male picture in which the guy just casually opens his pants.  This also sets up the discussion for how the women overwork themselves to appear sexually appealing in their photos in contrast to the guy who quickly just takes a snapshot. 

The final series, Under the Influence, relates to how the media influences teenagers. Magazines glorify alcohol and sex just as Baden does in his photos.  The colors and size of the photos emphasize the ridiculousness of the extremes magazines go through in order to get a good spread of a celebrity in their magazine or an "appealing" cover page. This section relates to technology in the way the images are spread.  He looking mainly in magazines, but these types of photos of famous people are available everywhere because of technological advances such as the internet.