For the 3rd Art Assignment we were asked by artist, Toyin Odutola (who by the way, seems really cool and is my favourite artist so far), to create a GIF:
Now, I’ve tried to use tumblr (where GIFs are used, a lot) before, but got a bit confused by the whole thing. As such I don’t really know what a GIF is or how to make one. But that’s what google is for. Turns out that a GIF is basically an image file, which didn’t help. But I knew what one looked like, and I vaguely knew the principle, so I downloaded an app and tried it out. Turns out that it was actually very easy to do.
Now, in her GIF Toyin used her own artwork, and this is what a lot of other people did. I considered this, I also spent a long time considering what was intimate and indispensable to me. I could have made something deep and worthy and artistic but the fact is, what is actually intimate and indispensable to me, is film. Now this doesn’t sound like a great answer, I know. It sounds like I haven’t thought about the brief properly or that I’m hamming up ‘my great passion for film’, but I’m not. Since I was a toddler, film has fascinated me, and comforted me, and inspired me, so much so that I now have many initials to put after my name because I’ve worked so hard to learn more about it (those initials being BA (Hons), MA, PgCert. I don’t get to use them that much so I thought I’d take the opportunity). I thought about all the poetic ways I could describe my love/dependency on film in a GIF but then I remembered how I overly complicate things. “Make things as simple as possible” said Albert Einstein “but not simpler”. So I decided against poetry and artistic expression (or at least the expression everyone else was making) and went for me, and what I would do if someone was standing in front of me.
Would I make a GIF featuring my favourite films? No, ’cause that’s always changing and there are various complex reasons to why I choose some films over other films. Do I love ‘Waking Life’? Absolutely. Would I take ‘Waking Life’ to a desert island? No, I’d take ‘Amelie’. And that’s what it came down to. There are a clear handful of films I love because they make me feel good, they make me feel understood and comforted and entertained and all those other lovely positive words. What is more, I’m a big believer in film as therapy and thought that everyone else should know about these lovely, life-giving films as well. And so that is exactly what I made my GIF about. My love of film, simply, offered up to anyone who wants to share in it.