For our next PICBOD task we looked at conversations and how they are able to directly effect the work we produce.
Through conversations we are able to unlock new information about a subject or even reveal a completely new subject. Whether we are collaborating with a person and they are the focus for the work or researching something different then talking to people is vital for uncovering knowledge that can influence the final outcome.
This week our task was to approach a complete stranger and engage them in a conversation. From the information we gain we were then to create a series of images that are directly related.
Approaching strangers is certainly unnerving and a challenging proposition in itself but I do enjoy talking to interesting people and I had noticed a student at university with a distinctive dress style. He often wore a long black leather jacket, large studded black boots and andored himself with large chains. He very much fitted a gothic/heavy metal persona and I thought that this person would make a good subject.
I approached him and found him amiable and happy to talk so I took the opportunity to record the conversation so I could listen to again later. Naturally Guy, the person I was talking with was a little nervous at first and his answers were short and lacked detail but then he mentioned that as a child he attended a Catholic school. Of all the things he had mentioned, about his music tastes, his dress style, the course he was studying,this was something he wanted to talk about. He mentioned how his mother was particularly religious and that the school he went to was a good one for the area but he was regularly subjected to indoctrination and proselytization. Guy was not fooled by this usual evangelical obfuscation and rebelled against the brainwashing techniques used by the school and has been rebelling ever since.
Naturally this caused conflict in the family and his mother found his atheism difficult to accept but over time they have repaired their relationship but Guy is still atheist and proud of the fact.
From this information I decided to create my images based on his absence of belief but I also wanted them to be light hearted and even fun. From his appearance you would think Guy to be a very serious person but he is quite the opposite and I wanted this to be reflected through my images too.
My first image was based on religious art. In particular a painting by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel ceiling called ‘The Creation of Adam’.
My image mirrors that painting but I have included the figure of Adam but ommitted god as this is meant to represent the fact that he does not exist.
My second image was a parody on how to spot an atheist. This was a joking way to look at how people can be judgemental and this is something that Guy has experienced on numerous occasions.
My final image was taking a laugh at the notion of prayer. The concept of prayer is really quite ludicrous and has never acheived anything accept making the person praying feel better. I wanted to highlight this ridiculous ritual that millions of people can be found doing everyday.
Although I have a anti-theist outlook I had no intention of making another set of images to highlight this. However on this occasion I was responding to the interview and the thoughts and feelings of the person. It was pure coincidence that his views were so closely aligned to my own.