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The title of my project is Autobiographical. The definition of this being, “dealing with the writer’s own life”. I intend to look at the culture that surrounds me and in particular the exuberance of modern day life, in particular our vanities in relation to the way that we dress. This would allow me to link my project back to the theme of vanitas, and explore Humans preoccupation with the vanities of life.Vanitas comes from the latin v?n?t?s, meaning emptiness. Relates to a category of symbolic works of art related to still lifes created in the 16th and 17th Centuries in Flanders and the Netherlands. It ‘evolved from simple pictures of skulls and other symbols of death and transience frequently painted on reverses sides of portraits during the late renaissance’. The art form was created to remind the viewer of their own mortality, and by 1620 had become a popular genre. Early examples were sombre and somewhat monochromatic, they contained only a few objects and were executed with elegance and precision. Certain objects hold symbolic meaning, and are used in both classical and modern vanitas’. A few common examples would be skulls, Clocks and Rotting Fruit. The skulls are symbolic of the certainty of death, Clocks are a reminder that time is not stopping and allude to the brevity of life, while the rotten fruit symbolise the decay that surrounds us in the world.  A historical vanitas represents a traditional Christian view  of earthly life and the worthlessness nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. “Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity”; Opening lines from book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible.It highlights the fragility of our desires in the face of the inevitability of death and incorporates imagery that allude to the transience of life both in shortness and fragility, while also emphasizing humanity’s total depravity. Progressing through the century the pieces became more complex and the palette more diversified. Later paintings largely became a pretext for meticulous virtuosity in the rendering of varied textures and surfaces. Vanitas is linked to Memento mori, the translation of which is remember you must die. The idea of these artworks both classical and modern is to remind the viewer  their own mortality and exhorts them to repent. Themes within these artworks are often Morbid and explicit, containing various images of Death and Decay.An example of a modern Vanitas artist is Sam Taylor Wood, her work, ‘a little death’- 2002, is an example of a classical subject viewed from a modern perspective and using modern media. It still embodies the same meaning as earlier classical works yet is created using modern media and includes a modern twist, which adds meaning and is incorporated as being symbolic of the transience of life. The work plays with time, stretching and quickening it, which is distinctly modern. The idea of mathematical time introduced with the emergence of secular humanism after the enlightenment. This work was created using time lapse digital video and features natural elements decaying which allows the work to transform before our; the viewers eyes. The work is created in a endless loop, significant of an endless cycle where death and resurrection acquires endless appeal. The purpose is to remind the viewer of the shortness and fragility of their lives. Sam Taylor Wood accomplishes this as at the end of the cycle all that is left is a single Biro pen. This is significant as it represents the meaninglessness of our lives as after everything else decays naturally all that we leave in this world is worthless. The leftover pen asl prompts questions about humanities attempts at immortality, as the biro does not decay unlike ourselves. This imagery alludes to the absent self, where although you may be aware of your thoughts or your physical being there is no substance.Human condition is the positive and negative aspects of our existence as a human being, inevitable events such as Birth, Childhood, adolescence, love, sex, reproduction, agency and death. It includes all situations we may face throughout life, and look at how we respond to said characteristics so that we may get along in the world. Philosophically as Human beings we have both good and evil in our makeup and many times we will act in the opposite way to our life ideals. This can be seen as manifesting itself in the Modern Day by how preoccupied we are with our own and others status and wealth, when ideally we should be comfortable with what we have and look for happiness elsewhere. Consumerism drives the modern world, where many everyday objects become obsolete and we feel the need to upgrade. Fashion can be seen in the same way. In history fashion has been used to separate people by their status and wealth. Fashion in the modern day is an explicit manifestation of status and material success, this is part of vanity where there is excessive pride in one’s own appearance.  Consumerism has a role to play within vanitas, as a species we surround ourselves with objects that hold no personal meaning. They are instead a sign of our own wealth and status within society. Fashion is used to flaunt this to others. This has been true through History, in the 18th and 19th Century the term Dandy was given to those that placed a great importance on appearance, they wanted to imitate aristocratic life. Another similar term was a Fop, who was a man who is concerned with his clothes and appearance in an affected and excessive way, he was also considered to be foolish for wanting such trivialities.Iris Van Herpen Combined the idea of Vanitas and Fashion in 2011 with her work Skeletal Formation. The dress is a cross between Haute couture fashion and contemporary artwork, and would be suited to both a catwalk and a art Gallery. “Vanitas merges with vanity. The dress flaunts morality with striking immodesty. Showing the inevitability of death, the women in the skeletal dress lives fully.” This shows that Iris Van Herpen’s work links back to vanitas even though it is not created using a traditional medium, it highlights the fragility of our desires in the face of the inevitability of death and incorporates types of imagery that allude to the transience of life. The dress is a “explicit manifestation of status and material success potential for narcissistic self regard, fashion is a particularly apt medium through which to explore the exhibitions central theme.” This work clearly also links back to human condition. Where exuberance and wealth and status are the main themes. Unusually for both a vanitas and a item of clothing this piece is created using a 3d printer and is made from a hard white plastic. The design is coded both literally and figuratively. The design is conceptual and links to both vanitas and human condition.

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