APING BLINKING SEEING

ANIMATION SERIES 2015

APING BLINKING SEEING

ANIMATION SERIES

2015

 

Image by Megan Erasmus

 

CONCEPT

The second part of the aping blinking seeing body of work is a stillframe animation series. The first three animations depict identities of chimpanzees used in scientific research experiments. These created chimpanzees were animated to appear as if they are awakening to life. Each animation is compiled of 10 images per second, resulting in approximately 500 images per animation. Each layer used for the animation was carefully selected and slightly manipulated to create a minimal movement, mostly of the eyes. The metaphor behind the integration of medium and subject matter is as if genetic engineering is applied. The artist comes in to play, as the wizard in the mentioned Borges tale, breathing life into a new creature over a period of time. Every part of the chimpanzee’s face is dreamed up, considered, reworked and placed carefully in order for the chimpanzee to wake up from an ordeal. I try to show my sympathy towards my own creations, almost becoming responsible for them, trying to establish a platform for the voiceless chimps. By mimicking the chimpanzees through the self-portrait animations, the metaphor of ‘monkey see, monkey do’ is in play. 

Once again, I try to open the debate of whether the public is aware of the realities of biotechnology and transgenic art, so that these living creatures will not remain voiceless. Secondly, I attempt to portray what would happen if the notion of biotechnology is applied to humans in research experiments. If physical and psychological pain is inflicted on a sentient being over a period of time, surely that being deteriorates to a point where the body becomes somewhat mechanical, an automate-like apparatus. 

The sound included for the animations is abstract in nature, reflecting sounds of metal being bent, tools being sharpened and chains being rattled. These sounds were chosen to contribute to the loneliness and uneasiness associated with being kept in a cage. The sound also includes obscure piano notes to mimic an old carnival tune, to comment metaphorically that we play with the lives and genes of animals for our own advantages and entertainment. 

The animations are portrayed 3 in a row, with the 3 human animations mirrored in the space. The animations are played on loop, carefully created to show the act of mimicking one another. Other exhibition options have been explored and can be discussed.  

For more information on the creation process, please view the exhibition catalogue below.

ANIMATIONS

Untitled

Megan Erasmus

Still Frame Animation (Approximately 20 images p/second)

Duration varies

Edition of 6

2015

Copyright reserved by the artist. Price upon request.

INSTALLATION DETAILS

Installation details

MVA exhibition

Unisa Art Gallery

2015

Copyright reserved by the artist. Price upon request.