Thursday, October 23, 2008

new idea for puzzles: last supper

I have been thinking about what to do with the puzzle portraits, and I've decided that I definitely want to use the people I rely on in my present community as subjects. And I've also decided to include 12 people in the process, for a number of reasons (one of them being this number's direct correlation to time, both on a clock and in our monthly calendar system). These are the people I would like to incorporate (in random order):

my landlord (M), my doctor (M), my mailman (M), my hair dresser (F), my trash collector (M), my grocer (F), my teacher (M), my gynecologist (F), my pharmacist (M), my server (F), my accountant (M), and my repairman (M)

(M/F represents whether they are male or female)

This led me to thinking about the number twelve in relation to people, which obviously made me think of the 12 disciples. If I am going to include myself in the mix with the puzzles, there would be 13 of us, and I would want to be in the middle. 

One of the things I would like to accomplish with this project is to have all the participants interact not with just me, but with each other. I am the person that would act as a catalyst for the group, bringing these somewhat disparate lives together. I thought of hosting a dinner party, where everyone could meet. And then I thought of having one big long table, like the last supper. But instead of eating at the table, I thought we could all sit with our individual puzzles in front of us, and slowly start to trade and interchange puzzle pieces with other people. That way they each have an active role in creating their new portrait, they decide who's eye will replace their eye, etc. And then I thought, if I photograph this process - all of us at the table and me in the middle - I could parody the famous image of the last supper. So the final piece won't just be the puzzles, but the photograph of the process as well.

The thing I questioned about this idea was my role as Jesus/God in the photograph. Is that something I want other people to think that I believe of myself? Well, the answer I came up with was no, but maybe I could think about Jesus' role in a new light. He brought these people together, interacted with them (used them?) and then left them (died on the cross, rose from the dead, went back to heaven, as the story goes).  And a nice comparison can be drawn to my situation here in Alfred by the fact that my stay here is so temporary. The last supper is like a going away party. In Jesus' case, and in the case of the lonely soldier that is sitting in Jesus' position in the photograph above, it is not so much a party but a much sadder situation, because he - and the soldier, as is suggested by the artist - was about to die. In my case, I will just be returning to Portland (heaven!).

(Above images made by Adi Nes and Leonardo da Vinci)

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