Today I received a first for my dissertation. I cannot even begin to describe how happy this has made me!
Last year I began my research adventure by exploring humour in Fine Art within the realms of philosophical and theoretical thinking. Over time though I realised that not only was my subject based in a broad landscape but there were hundreds of different avenues which lead to thousands of separate pathways; some which ended abruptly in neat little cul-de-sac’s of theory, others which dramatically turned corners in a great tangle of ideas and then through it all were great highways which linked everything together.
Humour theory is not broadly discussed however within typical studies of philosophy or art theory. You really have to dig around to find the real gems! Surprisingly the thinker who gave me the most food for thought on the subject of humour was Friedrich Nietzsche. I have heard many people speak of Nietzsche’s work as “gloomy” or “depressing”, when actually a great part of it is quite uplifting!
The book I most admire was published in 1878 and is entitled Human, All Too Human
As part of my current studio work I have been conducting some research by performance work. This has meant I have been wearing a gorilla suit in day to day life. It began as an activity which was raising a little money for charity but also as a precursor to my studio work. It seemed fitting as this particular mode of performance raised many laughs and smiles to explore the humour in it a little further and so my studio practice influenced my writing.
Very recently in the Tate Britain I saw a short video of a man jumping about in a gorilla suit trying to escape and the deal was done! I absolutely loved this video and it became a lot of the focus point for my writing. This video was by Angus Fairhurst in 1995 and is called A Cheap and Ill-Fitting Gorilla Suit. You can see a bit of it here complete with adverse opinions of the viewer . In tribute to Fairhurst though, who sadly passed away in 2008, this video was made by the Tate, I recommend giving this a watch though as it speaks volumes about Fairhursts sense of humour.
If you would like to read my dissertation please click here to view the PDF version. It has its official grade from the university now but I am always happy to hear any comments or feedback about my work.