Last month, we had discussed identity in relation to materiality and location through the work of Mark Bradford. For October's Art Exploration program, we continued to investigate work in Open This End with our young artists that centered on the overarching theme of identity and the creation of self. With Halloween on the horizon, we found it would be appropriate to address some of the more haunting pieces in the show, particular Douglas Gordon's Monster Reborn. Through guided questions and conversation, students interpreted Gordon's reflection of a split personality as a signifier of the complexities in which our own destinies manifest. Gordon's reflection is based on the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, though students were able to relate to alter egos in their own scope of cultural knowledge - such as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Clark Kent/Superman, etc.
For the project portion of the program, students were asked to create an object, prop or extension of their own body that they felt would either enhance or contrast an element of their identity, the way a superhero may have a utility belt or a special costume to help them succeed in fighting crime. With a variety of materials, students created these extensions, and transformed before our eyes!
Rough Lesson Outline by Hayley Lasko and Grace Galvin
Photos by Ada Matusiewicz