For my project I have thus far collected the plants I will be using, have completed the basic structure and composition of the video I will be projecting and conceptualized the presentation style. I have decided not to use the trailer of Giant but instead create my own video using found footage from No Country For Old Men, Giant, videos I took in Texas and other footage of cowboys and other “Texan man” related things. I researched a variety of Western movies. I have also researched what the best plant to use for my project will be. The plants I will be using are Wax Flowers which have small white flowers and have a stronger visual impact than daisies would. The aloe I will be painting in the black “oil” material and placing outside the box. I have also collected the materials needed for the actual presentation. I still have to complete the video and construct the project. Because the flowers are perishable I will have to actually
Since last week I have attempted to construct the plastic box myself. However, due to the thinness of the box and lack of materials I was unable to construct a box that looked clean cut and professional. I then went to the Container Store and purchased a clear display box. I then stylized how the boots will be displayed inside the box. I decided that having them smashed in the box made it look more visually interesting than simply placing them side by side as planned.
I have also created a prototype of the “oil” I will be using in my project to reference the masculinity of the oil industry. Oil is an integral aspect of Texas and is really what helped create the idea of a “Texan Man”. When one thinks of oil the never think of women working in the oil industry whether it is mining or being a major oil exec. I believe this will be a key element in my project which explores gender in Texas.
To create this oil I used glossy modge podge mixed with regular black acrylic paint. This created a nice rubber-like texture which was easy to manipulate and once dry can be easily peeled off plastic.
I am still deciding if I want to include a coyote or other small animal skull in my piece. This object will reference the masculinity of hunting and how it is a major aspect of ranch culture. I would place the skull on top of the display box and possibly cover it in the oil too to make the piece more coherent.
For the flower element of the piece which references femininity and nature I will be using small wild daisies and cactuses. The daisies will be put inside the box along with the cowboy boots. They will not be covered in oil as I plan on also using them as a reference to “purity” and how it is expected of women. The flowers in my piece also allude to the idea of a “Southern Belle”. The cactuses I plan on placing outside the box and covering in the oil material as cactuses are a more masculine plant and are often seen on ranches in West Texas.
I have also finalized my decision with the video element of my project. This video will be project alongside the project. I plan on displaying the project on a table covered with white cloth to not distract from the piece and make it more aesthetically pleasing. The projection will not be over the piece but nearby.
Below is a link to the video I will displaying on a loop.
Prototype April 6: I collected the key object for my installation piece – my mothers cowboy boots. I have also purchased other smaller elements of the piece such as doilies and a miniature cactus. I downloaded the video element from the movie Giant which I rewatched and chose the specific scene for my piece. I am currently researching how to make an oil like substance to reference the “masculinity” in Texas.
Seminar topic: significance of drag in American Pop-Culture.
Message: I am exploring the harsh gender boundaries in Texas through the use of objects and the depiction of Texans in Western movies.
I am making an installation piece using a carefully curated selection of objects. I will be placing the objects in a clear box to show how these objects are confined to a specific environment. To create bring this environment to life I will be using audio and visual elements. This will include a collection of clips from western movies where gender roles are heavily emphasized. I will also be using a recording of my Texan grandmother discussing the objects I selected and her personal memories from growing up in Texas.
The materials I selected are effective as they are very literal. The main visual element of the work is something from the environment I am trying to simulate in my work and the audio/visual part creates a cohesive installation piece.
Since last week I have looked for more objects I could use in the piece and researched how I can construct this box so that it looks as sleek and high quality as possible. This week I am planning on creating my recording. I am planning on working on my project for around 6 hours this week including the time spent searching for more video components and recording my grandmother.