Friday, 30 November 2012

Initial Discussion and Ideas

The initial starting point of our discussion was Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

This parable describes a group of prisoners who had been chained in a cave all their lives, they are chained in a way so that they are compelled to stare at a blank wall ahead of them. Behind them is a raise walk way which they cannot see, and behind that an enormous fire. The shadows of the passing people on the walkway are projected in front of the prisoners, this is all they can see and all they have ever seen. 

This is their reality. They don't know the shadowed shapes are of men and that the sounds that they hear are just echos.

(Source: 29/09/12)

Then the analogy continues; a prisoner is taken out of the cave and shown true reality. How could he ever return to watching shadows?

From this parable we took the idea of the prisoners initial view, only being able to see the human form in shadow. An outline, a template of the human form.

(Source: 29/09.12)

Template of the human form moved onto manekins and the perfect body shape.
This idea of perfection is an interesting one. What is perfection? Is there a perfect person? Does it exist? Or is it just an opinion?

According to Swiss plastic surgeon Dr Pfulg, Kate Moss is almost perfection. This has been calculated by Leonardo Da Vinci's illustrations of perfect proportions, measuring beauty.

"Dr Pfulg uses the golden ration 0.618 – a proportion found in great works of art, from the Pyramids to the Mona Lisa – which supposedly signifies physical harmony. In the human body, for example, divide the distance from the head to the navel by the distance from the navel to the base of the feet – the closer you are to 0.618, the hotter you are.
Our eyes are particularly seduced by proportions that respect this magical number; according to tests, babies appear to prefer features judged handsome by adults. Forget about pining for a perfect size 10 or scary size zero; 0.618 is the number we should be aiming for. To find out if you have the perfect
features, divide your face into three segments:from top of forehead to the eyebrows,from the eyebrows to the base of the nose and from there to the top of the chin.
proportioned measure.
In a perfect face all segments are of equal length. For the perfect height must be equal to the distance
nose, the width at nostril separating one eye from the other. If your eyes are ideally positioned the distance between them should be equal to the width of one eye. The equation a/b=b/a+b should give you the golden number of 0.6198.This is a 15th-century formula that we’ve simplified to marks out of 10 – and if you’re not cross-eyed by the end of that, consider yourself a genius."
(Pg. 126. Glamour Magazine. Oct 2007.)


  However, it's not just a physical measurement we seem to measure 'perfection' by, it is also a social perception determined by the media and stereotypes.
So, is the physically perfect woman thin or curvacious? Blonde or brunette? Black or white?
Is the perfect man tall and dark, or fair and lean? Who knows, it is down to personal preference surely.

The media and consumer industry do market products in a certain way to attract customers. For example Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister.
These two American stores project an idealized perfection upon the public, trying possibly to somehow reflect  this image upon the customer. The employees job titles are indeed, 'models that serve', this gives you an idea of their phyiscal appearance They have been picked because they are good looking, and have good bodies, therefore obviously making the clothes they are wearing seem more attractive.

However the most interesting thing almost is actually visiting the shop, something which I have not done probably since I was 13, but, for the sake of this project I will return and report back!