Monday, May 29, 2017

Make art that prides itself on its unreality

Fargo opens with a disclaimer:

The movie a true story, that the events depicted in this film actually did take place, and at the request of the survivors, the names have been changed, and out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred. 

What’s interesting, though, is that once the movie is over, the end credits bear the opposing disclaimer. It states: 

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious, and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. 

What should the audience believe? 

Turns out, the film’s plot is completely fictional. Coens claimed that while they were inspired by true events, they weren’t interested in that kind of fidelity. The basic events might have been the same as in the real life case, but the characterizations were fully imagined. 

If an audience believes that something is based on a real event, they said, it gives the filmmaker permission to do things that people might otherwise not accept. 

It’s a fascinating case study on the power of expectation. Choreographing attention to meet your own objectives. Create a focus on what people might normally overlook. 

Because it’s not only the work, but the frame in which we present our work, which ultimately affects the receptivity and perception and experience of the people who experience it. 

Without building that kind of expectation from the beginning, people end up looking at too narrow of a spectrum and miss totality of the work. 

I’m reminded of a brilliant photographer who launched one of the most innovative projects I’ve ever seen. Myoung photographed solitary trees framed against ginormous white canvas backdrops in the middle of natural landscapes. Centered in the graphic compositions, the canvases define the form of the tree and separate it from the environment. 

By creating a partial, temporary outdoor studio for each tree, these portraits play with ideas of scale and perception. 

And through the power of frame and expectation, the artist transforms otherwise unremarkable parts of nature into art.

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How are you framing people into the picture you want to paint?
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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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