Destruction is defined as the action or process of causing so much damage to something that it no longer exists or cannot be repaired. It could be the demolition of a building, or perhaps it can be interpreted in an alternative way, which was what I decided to base my video project on. Rather than focusing on the negativity that is associated with this word 'destruction', I wanted to portray the sense of improvement and creativity that can emanate. When I began to consider the various ideas for my video, I realised that the world revolves around development and enhancement through means of demolishing the old.
There is a myriad of forms of destruction that can be for expression and creativity, one of the main focal points in my video showing this being tattooing. Religions, for example Christianity, state strong beliefs against the art form of tattooing, shown in Leviticus 19:28, "Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord." It was seen as a form of witchcraft, and some are still strongly against the destruction of ‘virgin skin’. Of course, having a tattoo myself, I disagree, so long as the tattoo has significance. As my brothers, father and I all have tattoos, I felt that including this aspect of destruction was crucial.
The introduction to my video, a quote from Ecclesiastes 9:10, spoke to me as I reflected on the message I was trying to evoke. Although it may not be in the way the Bible intended, I feel that all messages should be interpreted how the reader feels relates to themselves, which is why I incorporated this specific quotation, as it has a darker underlying message, with speak of Sheol, the Hebrew name for the abode of the dead. What I took from this is that whatever we may choose to do with ourselves in out lives, we must do to the fullest, with all our might, conjuring imagery of extremities, reminding me of tattooing, smoking, and more sensitive subjects, such as self-harm.
My choice of music, a song by one of my favourite bands, Joy Division, felt like the most suitable. Ever since I was young, I have listened to them, as my parents raised me with the music from their hometown, Manchester, which resulted in my strong interest in Joy Division’s lead singer, Ian Curtis, and his tragic premature death. Disorder, the song used for my film, was my only option, as the first lines of the song seemed to communicate a message that was ideal for the story of my video. “I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand, Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?”. All humans look for something that makes them different, or something that makes them fit in with everyone else. Either way, we are all looking for some form of happiness and contentment with our lives, and I saw that destruction was one of the ways we go about finding this serenity within ourselves, and the world.
Despite dealing with the consequences of clichéd videos and photographs of people smoking, I felt this was another significant destructive ritual. We are constantly exposed to advertisements and warnings about the dangers and effects of smoking, however it has been shown that almost $23 million was spent every single day on cigarettes in 2011. The cost and hazards are side tracked every day because it gives the smoker a form of pleasure and relief. Therefore, as I contemplated whether or not to include this glamourized habit, I felt that I should include footage, as I personally understand the perilous effects it has, yet I still appreciate the beauty of smoking.
Building sites are around every block in New York City, which is one of the most obvious examples of destruction for creation, making some improvement by abolishing the old. Union Square was holding a boxing match between a fiery red headed woman and a stern-faced man. They both knew that damage could be done, yet the adrenaline and rush of pure euphoria a fighter feels when in action overcomes this fear of disaster. Lastly, I wanted to include a more personal and sensitive subject, which is self-harm. Unfortunately, it has become more and more common for teenagers over the past decade, and I have supported many people very close to me who have felt this was their last resort when filled with self-loathing and sadness. Using footage of some one covering old scars reversed felt more revealing, as it uncovers something that not everyone notices on a person.
To conclude, my video demonstrated aspects of the modern world that I feel all portray a certain ethos of the human race; destruction is essential for creation, and sometimes for pleasure. Again, it may be slightly controversial, including aspects of Christianity, Bible quotations, and tender subjects like self-harming, but if my art doesn’t pose any questions or debates, then what would be the point?