All entries for Thursday 03 March 2005
March 03, 2005
During this session, we had pre-organised that we would continue our individual gathering of marital, and not realising that the rest of the group wanted to meet as a whole, this is what we did. We were then called and asked to discuss some ideas about the collage. The rest of the group wanted to use two collages, instead of one collage and two shadow images. These two collages were to have one showing bias towards men, and the other showing bias towards women. The idea was to give the audience both sides of the argument, which ties in with how we want the audience to be free to create their own perspective.
So I began to focus my reading specifically on male bias, and female bias.
One way I did this was to find the different rights men and women have with their children (to link the play [killing of the children] to the contemporary issues i.e. ‘fathers 4 justice‘).
Research on the internet:
This website was the most useful in terms of finding male bias. I wanted to find anything to do with male rights with their children, because I thought it would be interesting if the collage incorporated the Jason vs. Medea battle, focusing on the children.
This website was mainly useful in giving me images that I thought would look effective on the collage.
This website was useful in giving insight into a female role in gGeek society, which I thought would be effective on the ‘female bias’ collage.
This website was poor for information, but it did provide some interesting Greek images of the different genders.
This website was also only really useful for classical Greek images.
During this session we again split off into our little groups, which for the moment is the most effective way in which to work. Our group took a trip to Homebase to gather materials to use on the collage. We spent the rest of the session nailing a protective plastic layer, and then a cover sheet to one of the flats we wanted to use. We then tried to pinpoint a image/theme that would be central in the collage. We decided on a Greek painting (one similar to that off the cover of ’Classical Tragedy’) that we would place slightly off centre on the collage.
Perhaps something looking similar to this:
We had the idea of using newspaper clippings to form the border around the painting, the idea being to create a link between the classical (painting) and the contemporary (newspaper clippings). We felt that the rest of the canvas could be made up of materials and images/words that connote whatever we find interesting about gender oppositions. We set ourselves the aim to finish the collage by Friday, and so move onto creating two shadow displays behind the collage. Then once again we each went to do as much research as possible, to gather whatever we could to use on the collage.
Research sites I found useful on the internet:
I found the images on:
Other websites I found useful were:
This site was interesting as it had lots of interesting stuff about Greek sculpting, as well as beautiful images.
I used this website mainly for its Grecian images.
This website was particularly interesting as it had the question- why do men kill their children, and why do women kill their children.
This gave theories of the gender differences in child murder- I found this really interesting.
This page was pretty anti female and pro male-so it had loads of good quotes that we could incorporate into the collage.
The group has worked really well so far, we are all coming up with some cool ideas, and I’m really looking forward to the performance. I have the impression that everyone feels at ease with each other, and that nobody holds back from voicing their ideas or views to the group. This is great, and means we can work so much more productively. I think this piece is going to work really well.
My little group of four plans to meet Tuesday to get started on putting the collage together, I think once we get started things should move pretty quickly.
During this session we clarified our ideas and decided that the theme we would concentrate on would be oppositions. For example we saw the play as an opposition to the myth, and of course Medea is in opposition to Jason. We also wanted to give the audience the chance to make up their own mind, which is aided by the fact they can walk around and view the installations in any order they please, building up their own ideas about what they are seeing.
We then split off into our little groups again, and in the collage group we discussed the research we had gathered, and we thought of some ideas of how we wanted the collage to look, for example, there was talk of creating a booth with the collage on the walls, but we decided this was neither practical or really the effect we wanted to create. We decided that we would best use the rest of our class time gathering as much research and material as possible to use on the collage, so we each went our separate ways to find material that was interesting and potentially useful.
I researched on the internet and in newspapers. On the internet I found modern art on the subject of feminism which I thought was really interesting, and I could visualise it really adding to the collage. The website I found most useful was:
Thursday 17th February-Session One.
Medea vs. Jason.
Within this first session we were given the point of discussion: “who does the text sympathise with, Jason or Medea?” This split the group in two, and I found myself siding with Jason. I felt that the text was not particularly emotionally engaging for the reader, as Euripides portrays the myth as a rather quick paced chain of events. Euripides also presents these two characters to show that they both deserve censure and perhaps a little sympathy. Medea is presented as dangerous and vengeful, and comes across as unfeeling in her murderous acts and her behaviour towards Jason. Some would view the murder of her children as a ‘mercy killing’, with the knowledge that if Medea hadn’t killed them, someone else would. I however feel that this fact does not in any way make Medea seem less evil. Jason’s crimes are not so dramatic. He is guilty of leaving his wife and children and showing ingratitude towards Medea. Alike to Medea, we can see not only how Jason is to be blamed for his actions, but also how he is to be pitied. He looses his future wife, Father-in-law, and when his children are murdered he is not even allowed access to them, even once they have been taken from him.
I found however that neither character made me directly empathise with them, it was more of an indirect sympathy, associated with the situation and events that had made me support Jason’s cause. I felt a hate for the actions of Medea, (mainly the killing of her children), but I also disliked her calculating and manipulative nature, and these factors made me think the text was sympathetic towards Jason.
Then Hugh Denard pointed out the context of the play and it seems apparent that logically the play would favour Jason, as the audience would be male only, and the society itself was patriarchal. Why would Euripides present a woman as being the subject of injustice? This got me thinking about gender issues not just in the play, but also within the society from which the play was created. I asked myself if Euripides could be considered an early feminist, a few years ahead of his time, discreetly nudging the idea that women are not a lower class of humans, and deserve to be treated with respect. However, although Euripides may have been considering the poor situation of women in his society, I don’t think it can be claimed that he was in any way a feminist, if only because the idea wasn’t really created for a few hundred years after. I did however later find an interesting point in my research, which suggested that the society viewed it perfectly reasonable for a man to leave his wife if she had not given him children, but once she had provided him with a child he was expected to support her and their children.
I still maintain my sympathy towards Jason, but I can also see a valid argument for empathising with Medea. She is subject to a patriarchal society and found her only means of a voice was to be extreme, and commit murder. However, I would not say that the text itself empathises with Medea, as she is portrayed as irrational, extreme and dangerous as opposed to Jason who seems calm controlled throughout Medea’s atrocious acts.
The Medea Project.
Having split into two groups, our group (Jason sympathisers) began by discussing which themes and issues from Medea we wanted to raise, and how we thought we could portray these in our performance. It was suggested that we could explore the oppositions of gender that are apparent in the play, perhaps drawing on the idea of Medea vs. Jason that we had discussed. An other suggestion was to show the parallel between the myth and the play, using a film screen behind the action on stage. We then separated into little research groups for a few hours to find out what we could about the play and its background. Anna and I used the internet to research what we could about the myth behind the play, which was surprisingly hard to do. We found there were many different versions of the myth, and none on the internet were particularly concise or helpful.
We then rejoined the group and shared what each of us had found, and we began to talk about how we wanted to perform. The idea of an installation was favoured, and we soon split off into sub groups depending of which part of the installation we wanted to work on.
The sections of the installation were:
- A monologue with a film behind it, showing the killing of the children, and including the Medea vs. Jason idea.
- A collage, again depicting issues of gender oppositions, but perhaps more specifically to do with mothers, and how they are viewed by contemporary society.
- A tableau, which was perhaps constantly moving and changing, but not in an overtly apparent way, perhaps incorporating some of the chorus speeches.
- Some live performances out of the text.
- Recordings of public opinion of the play.
I was interested by the collage, and within this group (Nick, Holly, Hannah and me) we decided to each go off and research whatever we liked to do with the oppositions of genders, and societies view of a mothers responsibility in comparison with a fathers.