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May 10, 2012 / emmabashforth

Using lyrics as titles

After some trouble with selecting titles, I found myself with a complete decision of wanting to use lyrics to go with the triptychs I have made. When I presented my work to my peers, mentor and tutors, the lyrics were what everyone responded to the most. For Picturing The Body, I ended up using titles and dates for the work I produced, but I really wanted to do something a little more personal and relative to my life this time. After trying to think of words or paragraphs I could write for each triptych and coming up with nothing, I started think about other ways in which I could go about titling my work. And after talking with Harry about how it says something more about my life and gives an insight into it, I think that the lyrics are really the best way to go for titling my work.

In that I am documenting my life here, I started to think about something that is a big part of my life; music and lyrics. At first I thought it would be easy to pick a lyric that went with the subject matter of the images, but then I decided that I wanted to keep it more personal, so I thought back to what I was feeling or something that might have been happening at the time. Some I chose might seem irrelevant to the images, and others more literal, but each song means something to me, which is why I decided to put the song title, artist, album and year along with the lyrics. This was something that was suggested during my presentation at university, but something that makes sense, pairing the moments of my life with the songs, albums and artists that mean something to me and that moment. Below are the final lyrics and track information I have chosen for each triptych, shown in a ‘tracklisting’ type style.

1. “Morning paints the bedroom in a faded grey.”
Virginia, Ron Pope, Daylight (2008).

2. “I pulled myself out of the day we ever had to meet.”
The Patron Saint of Liars and Fakes, Fall Out Boy, Take This To Your Grave (2005).

3. “Beautiful things never last.”
Fireflies, Ron Pope, Daylight (2008).

4. “Take my hand and drag me headfirst, fearless.”
Fearless, Taylor Swift, Fearless (2008). 

5. “Another’s eyes, another’s laugh and skin and bones.”
Skin and Bones, Charlene Kaye, Things I Will Need in the Past (2008).

6. “Don’t hold back, don’t hesitate, don’t disappear.”
Show Me Everything You’ve Got, The Rocket Summer, Hello Good Friend (2005).

I really like the fact that these lyrics and songs are so personal to me. I don’t really think anything else needs to be explained to the viewer. They can see the lyrics and they can take what they want from that. I think it would be too difficult to try and explain what they mean any further to the viewer, as it is always impossible to get other people to see why a song or a moment means so much to you. I think I’m realising that this work is very personal to me, and there’s no real way to explain it, but I can give people some insight and a little peek into these moments of my life and the songs or soundtrack that went alone with it.

Having discussed the images and lyrics creating a sort of “photographic mixtape” of my life, I ended up reevaluating my decision not to produce a book, and have thought I would quite like to create a small book which includes the 6 triptychs and the songs/tracklist next to them. I am also going to look into getting some vinyl printed for some kind of ‘tracklist’ to go with the images when hung up on the wall at the exhibition.


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