During our student visit to Bristol in October 2013 we had visited Motorcade Flash Parade, BV Studios and saw the resulting exhibition of our tutor Steven Paige’s 8 week residency there.
The piece on display was called Moral Development, 2013 and included videos, projections, televisions, furniture and publications. The title and influence of this exhibition was taken from from “a re-enactment  of the infamous Stanley Milgrim experiment  on ‘obedience to authority figures’” (Outcasting, 2013). The projected film in Paige’s work is a further re-enactment using the script of the experiment with an actor answering the questions and “the authoritative ‘voice’” is substituted by subtitles (Ibid).
I was particularly interested in this work in connection to my current CURA300 project. In Paige’s exhibition he has used an educational film as his inspiration and further highlighted the educational properties in his use of objects. By doing so, Paige has created an environment which may evoke feelings of familiarity within the audience. There were several recognizable classroom style pieces within the exhibition – including the plywood tables, projector stand, desk, factual publications and desk lamp. In terms of phenomenology and perception – one could make connections to ideas of learning and knowledge by simply looking at the furniture – without first witnessing the projection.
In a similar vein to Paige’s exhibition, I also wanted to create a classroom environment or feeling by using recognizable furniture. By doing so, I hoped the school desk and chair would create a sense of nostalgia and memory as well as complimenting the film I had produced and give the overall installation more context.
I had decided I wished to create a film piece for my CURA300 studio practice and had already established that I wished to use the plimsolls and Newton’s Cradle in my work.
For me, the plimsolls had reminded me of my school days and as mentioned in previous posts, religion had played a part in how my experience affected me in a negative way. I thought about another visual I could use to create a further semiotic meaning to the viewer which may hint toward the idea of religion.
As I already had two visuals which were somewhat pendulum based in composition – I thought about using an apple hanging from a tree which could be comparable to the metal spheres of the Newton’s Cradle. The apple can have many symbolic meanings including:
Religion i.e. Garden of Eden > Eve > Temptation > Original Sin > Tree of Knowledge
Education i.e. the act of giving your teacher an apple – thought to have perhaps originated in early America when families would give apples to frontier teachers as part of their responsibility for looking after the teachers who taught their children – (Children’s Museum, 2013)
Physics – Gravity i.e. the story of how Sir Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravitation on witnessing a falling apple (Tiner, p28) – (this also links into my use of the Newton’s Cradle)
There are possibly many other meanings the apple can have, but I am happy for the audience to interpret the addition of an apple depending on how they personally perceive it.
Tiner, J. (2006). Exploring the world of physics. 1st ed. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.