My life in boxes
Anyone who knows me knows about my ‘boxes’. As long as I can remember my life has been split into compartments that represent the things that are important to me. So, for instance, I have a ‘family’ box which I only consider to be ‘full’ if I have been seeing friends and relatives regularly. I also have a ‘gym’ box which is only full if I have done cardio twice a week and been for a swim; and a ‘reading’ pot that is full when I have indulged my love of literature. On those occasions that all my boxes are full, I feel at my best. Someone I know had a similar life view to me, but their ‘boxes’ were ‘guitar strings’, and for his life to be in harmony, all his metaphorical guitar strings had to be properly tuned.
I am very interested in how society puts people into neat ‘boxes’ depending on their characteristics, interests and appearance. Nikki S Lee and her work Projects shows how she integrates with a particular sub culture by adopting their appearance, gestures, mannerisms and language, in order to ‘fit in’. Endia Beale essentially asks which box her subjects fit into when they present for interview; do they fit the corporate box or not?. My research into these two practitioners encouraged me to consider my own personal ‘boxes’ and how someone could gain an insight into my life and personality through them.
I was further encouraged by Nigel Shafron’s use of everyday items (in his series, Washing-up) and how they can provide a self absented portrait, and I decided to show my own portrait using similar ordinary objects. My final choice of objects is significant. My choice of novels for instance shows my interest in classic literature, my choice of photograph frames perhaps shows a plain, rather than an ornate taste, my choice of trainers perhaps puts me in a particular economic bracket and so on. All these objects come together to form an impression of my personality.
This project is an attempt to articulate visually what is a light-hearted, but long-standing analogy of my approach to life … and together with a diary inspired narrative, I feel puts me in the picture.
My life in boxes
Final assessment presentation
I am aware that by including narrative in the assignment it has been necessary to consider the actual physical presentation of my assignment for future assessment. By submitting the images only, as I have done previously, the narrative would be omitted, so, I am considering:
- submitting either, a physical diary, in keeping with the brief, with images printed and displayed on one page and handwritten narrative on the opposite side,
- or I could take photographs of written diary pages (like Anna Fox in her Cockroach Diaries), and submit the narrative photographs as additional images.