The beginning of my Photography domain.
The topic of spectacle I find is both a very broad and somewhat complex subject. When first introduced to it I was unsure of what artefact I could create. The aspect of the task that put it more into perspective for me was that of the obstruction given; that it (your artefact) must relate to a theorist. This component gave more of a focus point, so I commenced my research in studying a variety of theorists. Mainly referring to ones introduced within the lectures. The ideas and studies of Baudrillard is one I wanted to develop my knowledge on, and through further readings I came across a quote that initiated the process and development of an idea for my spectacle artefact.
noun: spectacle; plural noun: spectacles
1. a visually striking performance or display.
“the acrobatic feats make a good spectacle”
The initial start to the process of my artefact, started from simply defining the actual word in itself, this was in order to get a more in depth understanding of it and hopefully trigger an idea. When referring to the words, ‘performance’ and ‘display’ they initiated thoughts of shows and events that would fall under that category. Then it came to light the time of year it was, in that of the events Halloween and Bonfire Night, they both could fall under the category of being a spectacle.
The event I thought I could capture the most effectively was bonfire night, as I could create impressive imagery within the fireworks display which would mount to being the spectacle. On the other hand also, the crowd watching would be classed as the spectators so it would deem two sides of the artefact.
‘There is certainly a chain reaction somewhere, and we will perhaps die of it, but this chain reaction is never that of the nuclear, it is that of simulacra and of the simulation where all the energy of the real is effectively swallowed, no longer in a spectacular nuclear explosion, but in a secret and continuous implosion, and that today perhaps takes a more deathly turn than that of all the explosions that rock us.’
This quote has gave inspiration to the means of my spectacle artefact. The words, ‘explosion’ and ‘implosion’, imply shock value which in respect is what the event of Bonfire Night fall upon. It sparred from the story of Guy Fawkes and if an event as such happened in today’s society a spectacle would in effect be made of it within the media. So for it to have happened many years ago and for a night to be centred on that event, it must have made some form of mark.
It just happened to be in my favour that it was that time of year to which I could forsee this singular idea I had, ‘Bonfire Night’. I wanted to create a piece reflected around fireworks and the meaning behind the night.
Compared it to how the night is celebrated in the present, I feel it has slightly moved away from its true meaning. It seems its main focus now is that of the fireworks and the ‘show’ the majority of people put on and mainly that it’s all money orientated and in some aspects be seen as a forced spectacle.
‘In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.’
I want to portray this within my artefact, in that the main focus would be on the fireworks and the spectacle in which they are seen to be by their audience. I’d present this by taking role as a spectator myself, and capturing imagery I feel any of the other spectators would wish to see. This would then make the artefact a clear representation of the immerse accumulation of the true spectacle of Bonfire Night that is showcased now.