For our first group project we had to create 2 posters 120×85 cm of our chosen environment showing either a dystopian landscape or a utopia.
To be honest I was really excited with that brief and the contextual references that we were given. For example, I have watched most of the films on that list many times in the past, like 2001 Space Odyssey or Blade Runner, The Truman Show, Ghost in the Shell, Twelve Monkeys just to name few.
Our first step was to decide on the theme: a dystopian landscape (either post war or more psychological).
Then I searched for some other dystopian films that I didn’t know about and watched them like “La jetee”and “The Happening”. “The Happening” was about many mysterious suicides that took place in parks and places with trees and plants. As the story unraveling the movie explains that the plants take some kind of revenge on humans by releasing a toxin that infects humans in a way that push them to commit suicide. I was so inspired from that film so I used next day’s (Tuesday) intaglio rotation to create some draft images with my initial approach on the subject.
I looked for that in etching and work created by Pieter Bruegel and Hans Holbein and the totentanz or Danse Macabre (dance of death) artistic genre in general as I was always inspired by it. Danse Macabre was an artistic genre of late-medieval allegory on the universality of death. Also I looked in “The disasters of war” by Fransisco Goya (the Dover edition).
Then, with the group (only3 of us on Tuesday, second day after the new project) we came up with the idea of a world where we can have whatever we want cause it is a materialistic world placed in the future but we luck on human emotions and humans use them as a currency as they are the only commodities that are left. Humans are so consumed by life in cities with anxiety etc that they have forgotten to actually live. In addition to that they are destroying nature without thinking about the consequences and they are living their lives completely detached from nature. The first thought that came to mind was to express it in a surreal way.
For that reason I was inspired a lot by the work of Salvador Dali in general with all these surreal landscapes and distorted scenery and buildings. I’ve watched again “Destino”, an animated short film released in 2003 by The Walt Disney Company. Destino’s production originally began in 1945, 58 years before its eventual completion. The project was originally a collaboration between Walt Disney and the surrealist painter Salvador Dali. So, I’ve created 2xA3 initial drawings just to show to the group my idea.
I recommended to the rest of the group to look to brutalist architecture and to one video game called “Mind Path to Thalamus”, released on 2014. It is a first-person puzzle video game where the protagonist finds himself exploring a dream-like world which looks like a utopia but it’s not-a more psychological approach to the subject. Here is a link of a walk through that I found on Youtube, as I have uninstalled the game years ago.