Now that its come to an end looking back i have rather enjoyed #Phonar, maybe not as much as #Picbod but i think that it has taught me some valuable lessons. At first i wasn’t its biggest fan i didn’t like that i wasn’t taking photographs and it was more video based but then as we went through the lectures i began to see that as image makers we need to progress and follow the times and now in a age when anyone can take a photograph and claim to be a photographer near enough we need to set our selfs even more so apart from the instergram photographers and film and video is a way to set your self above the rest. Some of the tasks i didn’t find useful but as we got to maybe task 3, 4 and 5 i started to enjoy them, i found by that point i wanted to share stories with the class maybe more then before. I find especially with task 5 when i did the story of a very close friends death, which is a subject i try to keep close to my heart. I don’t know why but i think that through hearing other peoples stories it made me want to open up and tell the story, though people may not have listened i feel relived that it is now out there and i have developed the strength to tell Sarah’s story through media. And i think thats why (even though they where sad subjects) i enjoyed doing the personal story and task 5 and i feel i let more go in them talking about subjects i don’t think i ever have shared with the class. I feel that other then work wise i feel that this class has also brought us as a group together more with the genius idea Jonathan came up with of having cake in a break really brought us together more as well.
My final project i am very proud of, i loved doing it and i feel i really managed to connect with my self. When i started the project i knew i didn’t want to sort of follow Robbie Coopers work and look at virtual worlds, i mean i knew i would have to put Rei in there just because i needed to start materialising her in the world even if it was virtual. I also found it helped me a lot start to imagine her in some kind of real space. I also think it was here that i started to think about how maybe it shouldn’t be her leaving her world, it should be people meeting her? Up until this point i had been so excited by the prospect of becoming her for half a day i hadn’t thought about how the Alex after the shoot would feel and its something i didn’t take into consideration until after when i saw the images. Making the dress was a pain, i realised my imagination and my skills in sewing where well off on each other so i had to simplify the dress but im still happy with the end result it was the closest i could get and it still looked pretty good, baring in mind it was hand sewn. On the day of the shoot i was nervous to say the least, i know i picked a close friend of mine and a very talented photographer to collaborate with but still, up untill this point i am still being called crazy for this idea which most people mistake for some kind of mental disorder. So i was nervous to see how id act as her because thats what this was about, the photographer- someone who has no idea about Rei, never knew about her until this point would react to it. And Josie did really well i was impressed. I had clear ideas about what i wanted and when it came to lighting ect i knew what i wanted- i just needed the “intruder” i guess this is where the 3 gazes come into play to an extent. I wanted to see how the viewer/ photographer would react to the subject and i wanted it shown in the images. The shoot went so smoothly and the images that came from it where fantastic, truly some of my favourites ever taken, even if it was a collaboration. It was at this point though i started to feel slightly disconnected from Rei, who has been a present figure in my imagination ever sense i was about 8, almost like ive been clinging onto her and now i’m sort of letting her go. It seems like becoming her i feel like i’ve for filled some part of my wish ( which i never thought i had) to become her to an extent. This feeling was exacerbated when i edited the images and chose my finals, i just felt like she was coming to and end and it inspired the surreal dream like colours and how she was almost bleaching out into the background. I intended her to look lonely and as if she was drifting into the corners of my imagination but it seemed so much more prominent when it came to edit time.
Now its all done with i still have the dress and im seriously keeping that, through #phonar i decided to make a dress and show off something ive kept hidden in my mind, even from my parents and my closest friends, ive been called crazy and everything else but i think what has made it worth it was not just the fantastic images at the end, but the journey this class has made me take through my self starting off by making me relive and retell stories i would rather forget and letting me feel safe, safe enough to open up about things that before i would never tell people. Im not crazy i feel i should point out ha! For me, my alter ego Rei is a childhood friend, an imaginary friend i created to help me get over my dyslexia. And she has grown with me, i think its a wonderful thing having an imaginary friend when your young but i also think its nice to have that space in your mind where you can escape and become totally different being. For some people actually embodying their alter egos is a great reward, for me i want to keep Rei with me in the worlds i make for her because its also a great escape for me. So thank you #Phonar for letting me open up through narratives. If i decide to carry on this project i am defiantly going to try harder to get in touch with more people that have alter egos and try and get the opportunity to photograph them as their alter egos, i think it would be fantastic and a wonderful opportunity to open up to the world with something most people keep to them selfs.<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/55411000″>Rei</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user14531772″>RRAlexi</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>