Friday, 21 May 2010

Influence of Freud

I read a few essays by Freud, two of which I found had particular relevance to my project, called On Transience and The Uncanny. In The Uncanny he spoke of doubles being uncanny, in the sense of if you have a double of something, how can you be sure which is the double and which is the real thing? Much of what he wrote related to ghosts, spirits or shadows, all of which are 'doubles' of something else. This related primarily to what I have already researched, however On Transience helped form a relevant but new idea.

In this essay, Freud tells us about his friends view that everything that is beautiful is doomed to death and therefore he felt no joy in it;
"...all this beauty was fated to extinction, that it would vanish when winter came, like all human beauty and all the beauty and splendour that men have created or may create."

However, Freud's view was that just because something beautiful may only last a short time, makes it no less valuable an experience; in the contrary, it makes it all the more special because we must not take it for granted and must hold dear every moment that we have with it.

I felt that this really could relate to fashion because in a sense it is so ephemeral. Styles and trends come in and out of fashion so fast that there is little time to appreciate what is 'in' at the moment, but that certainly does not mean that we do not embrace the 'current' fashion collections, for sure we can see that by the worth magazines still have in this age where fashion seems to either be repeating itself or constantly be looking for something new. In an interview my tutor, Susan Postlethwaite, did with Tracey Neuls in The Measure, she thought about the idea of fashion being over because 'it is so self-referential now, fashion repeats itself so quickly,' and I think it is true that fashion has become self-referential now, but this seems to be an age where more than ever fashion has become one of the most important aspects of culture. This may be because it is so readily available now, but that is another topic. It just seems to me that season collections temporal limitations does effect its value.

Considering all of this, I decided to use the idea of flowers in showing the 'death' of something beautiful. I picked some flowers and left them to die over a few days. It was interesting seeing how they drooped and became flaccid over time and shrunk too. Then I organised a photoshoot where the models wore the dead flowers in their hair:

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