ashley mask: artist.educator.photographer.maker of things

ashley mask: artist.educator.photographer.maker of things

loneliness is an unsatisfied thirst for illusion, 2005

excerpt from Loneliness is an Unsatisfied Thirst for Illusion, original video length 21:08

Inspired by the novel Woman of the Dunes by Kobo Abe, Loneliness is an Unsatisfied Thirst for Illusion chronicles a strange relationship between an artist, an actress, and the influence of film. In reading Woman of the Dunes, I came to know a woman so desperate for companionship that she would hold prisoner any man who fell in her pit during a time when I lived alone and yearned for companionship myself. At the time, I was working on a project dealing with the female body veiled by cloth and lit from behind. While working on the photographs in my home at night, I often played a movie in the background to keep me company. I played Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery most often. The movie, and specifically Diane Keaton’s character, became intrinsically linked to photographs as I took them. Her character’s control of the forward motion of the narrative in the film became increasingly important as I worked through the implications of using a generalized female figure in my work and recognized the distraction my photo shoot caused to the movie playing in my living room (enter the influence of Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”). The final product became a short experimental film documenting the relationship between the Diane Keaton character and the abstract, objectified-female poses I took behind the cloth.

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