Bridge Project #2

Initially, this project started out small. First, we had to come up with a random persona from our field trip to the Roz Chast exhibit of her Cartoon Memoirs in the Museum City of New York. The persona could be a person at the museum or a person we saw on the way there or back. Afterwards, we traded our persona with a designated partner. With the help of questions and a poem, we each had to create a piece that someone could wear – specific to our partner’s persona.

The persona my partner gave to me was a complicated one. The girl’s name was Harlow and she was, without a doubt, one of the most confusing people I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know. When I asked questions to my partner about Harlow, the most interesting fact that stuck out to me was that if Harlow were to die, she would want to be reincarnated as Alexander McQueen. The rest of Harlow’s attributes were dull and not nearly as captivating, so I decided to play off of her McQueen dream.

Harlow’s actions showed that she was quite ruthless and dark. She was a friend you couldn’t trust. I came to the conclusion that the best way to capture her clandestine personality was to recreate one of McQueen’s famous pieces in a much more wicked tone. I finally set myself on the idea that I wanted Harlow to wear a hat. Hats are not a piece that everyone in the world must wear. If you decide not to wear a hat, you wouldn’t be looked at in a particularly different way. It’s a piece that Harlow¬†chose to wear because in her mind she believes that if she wears the hat when she dies, in her next life, she will surely be reincarnated as Alexander McQueen.

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I had this original idea in my head which I quickly constructed into a paper prototype. The idea was to have dark branches in the shape of a crown that Harlow could wear with utter pride. I felt as though branches and twigs would be the best choice in making something appear much darker than it actually is due to the idea of it having been broken from a tree – the ending of a life and the ending of a bigger picture.

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As you can clearly see, the final looks much more different than the prototype I had originally thought up. I began by collecting different types of branches at Union Square Park. After I had enough branches, I began to construct the head piece. As I was going along, I immediately realized that there was no way I could assemble the branches in a way that would accurately follow my prototype. That was easily the biggest challenge for me and I was extremely disappointed in the fact that I could not surpass this block. I pondered over a new model and decided this was the next best idea. In the new form that the hat took, I wanted to truly capture the essence of Harlow’s pain. She desired to be Alexander McQueen so badly that she believed if she put herself through constant pain, her chance of death would increase. I grouped the branches together and tied an excessive amount of twine to hold it in place. The strings on the sides are for her to be able to strap the hat down and tie it in an efficient fashion. The branch hat in itself was too heavy to place on a model head so the best way to showcase the hat was to lean it against a box on a model stand.

Placed next to the hat is the truism I hand wrote. It reads, “we’re all going to die someday” which is as true as a statement can get. I also have confidence with the idea that my chosen truism is very self explanatory with the project at hand.

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My headpiece was chosen as a point of interest for a group critique. For the most part, people were just confused as to what it was and what it possibly had to do with Harlow’s character. I did take my idea out a bit farther than what my partner had wrote in her poem and my only wish was to be able to clarify for the group what I had made. Overall, I felt as though people were reading into the hat way too much and dwelling on ideas that had absolutely nothing to do with what I had produced. I felt as though if I were allowed to lead the discussion on my own creation, the critique would not have been only helpful for the group, but to me as well. I realized that I took nothing out of the critique strictly because what people had been saying had absolutely nothing to do with what I had created. I felt as though it was not a beneficial critique. Instead it lingered over false ideas and – in a sense – made the slightest mockery to my depiction of Harlow.

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All in all, I believe this project was a success. Although it was nearly impossible for me to stick with my initial design, I still assembled a hat I was proud of and purely made sense to only my eyes. I was aiming for my content to be misleading and questionable. I wanted people to ask, “Why would Harlow wear that?”; I wanted my project to arouse uncertainty; I wanted to stir up a discussion. My 2nd Bridge Project did exactly that.

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