Wednesday, January 26, 2011
"'Held' in my language means 'hero'", Tamzin Forster, 2009
'Held' in my language means 'hero' was created by animator Tamzin Forster for the Start in Manchester program, which exists to reconcile art and mental health. Students at Start in Manchester often are individuals who are prone to long-term mental distress – self expression and release from this distress are encouraged through artistic means. Forster's piece, 'Held' in my language means 'hero', was specifically created for an exhibition entitled “Held”, which explored the ideas of balance and well-being. In her animation, Forster probes into the dynamics of word 'held', investigating how language is entirely subjective and is shaped by each listener. The phrases we read on the screen contain common usages of the word 'held'. Forster, attempts to illustrate both the limitation and freedom that exists in our language by substituting other words for 'held' throughout her piece: 'stuck', 'clutch', 'took on'. Through this alteration, a layer of meaning is added to the original text, perhaps steering the reader to another understanding of the work (which happens to be an excerpt from a love story). Forster furthers this concept of layered interpretation by including animations that illustrate each phrase, providing another point of entry for the viewer into the story that is separate from text.