Tableaux Vivant meaning Living Picture is a static scene containing one or more actors or models. The actors form a stationary pose that creates the scene, often these are taken from classic paintings or other works of art. The output of this work is often a live performance on a stage or a reproduction in the form of a photograph. This type of performance was also used to provide erotic entertainment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by featuring scantily clad models in flexible poses. A more modern expression of this art form can be seen in places like Covent Garden in the form of living statues.
Several traditions like this are coming together to drive my body of work forward. I am drawn to the idea of Tableaux Vivant as this is very similar to my original concept of following the style of Kirsty Mitchell and Derek Galon. It is also a methodology I have reservations about due to the cost and availability of models.
This is something I have written about a lot and even discussed in my first CS essay, the solution for me is to replace live models with CG models.
The next tradition that comes into play here is the satirical style of artists like Hogarth where a small series of images is very carefully pitched to deliver the key points of a story, but more importantly, to transmit a message, not a subject, as extracted from Roland Bathes Essay ‘Diderot, Brecht and Eisenstein’.
I have to confess, I am late picking up both Hogarth’s images and Barthes’ essay. They were suggested to me by my tutor in the A1 feedback, and I sort of skipped over them in my excitement to explore the graphic novel. There is a sharp lesson here, to read the feedback carefully, for little did I realise that the solution to my body of work lay in the first feedback from my tutor (my apologies Jane).
Let me, therefore, sum up my current state of thinking for my body of work. I will continue with the theme of myths and legends as this is a rich hunting ground for subject matter, I will portray this in the style of a Hogarth Satire, i.e. as a short series of images carefully selected to tell the key points of the story in just a few images. I will finally create those images in the style of a Tableaux Vivant except I will replace the living with the virtual using the CG techniques much discussed elsewhere on this blog.
I am quite excited to push these Ideas forward and discover where they lead me. In the beginning, I had the ambition to create a work that covered myths and legends from around the world, leading me to root out and document a very large selection of subjects. At this point, I feel that I must put the effort into fully developing each myth I select and accept that the scope of this body of work may be restricted to a suitable subset of the myths I initially identified.
I am feeling very comfortable that my sails are again set and we are headed in the correct direction, that is until the next storm.