Banchory art student stages live performance as part of Degree Show

A Banchory art student has explored how audiences consume cinema as part of his final year project, currently on show to the public as part of the Gray’s School of Art Degree Show.

Daniel Massie (22), who is studying sculpture, has seen his work exhibited alongside that of almost than 150 other students from all disciplines as part of the show, which runs until June 28.

The former Banchory Academy pupil has produced three different works for the show, the first of which is a video installation featuring a projection of three different films that he has put together and re-edited.

A Beautiful Mind, Kramer Vs Kramer and The Constant Gardener all picked up Oscars for in the Best Supporting Actress category and Daniel has re-edited the films to remove all footage that doesn’t directly include the winning actresses.

“It’s all about how we as the audience consume cinema and narratives, particularly from an underrepresented female perspective,” he explained. “By focusing on roles that depict the idea of the wife as figure of support I hope to challenge people’s preconceptions of cinema, performance and the way we process these things.”

The second piece of work documents a live project Daniel held at Banchory’s Woodend Barn. A one-man show using traditional theatre texts performed from a new perspective alongside TVs with pre-recorded monologues, Tennessee dealt with grief, loss of control and the human condition.

Daniel added: “It was also about pushing the boundaries of the cinematic and theatrical. I’m from Banchory, I studied at Banchory Academy and still live in the town, so it was great to have an opportunity to perform locally, which was entirely encouraged by my tutors.

“I’m packaging this work as a project that ties in with a feedback session I had afterwards with audience comments and critiques, which was so useful and interesting.”

Daniel will also be doing a series of live, improvised performance throughout the week of the Degree Show in which he explores different approaches to the same situation or character’s circumstance but through a different emotional lens.

He said: “To sum my work up, I’m mostly interested in how people consume cinema, theatre and performance in general. I like to manipulate traditional works that pre-exist and alter the viewing experience to crack open different possibilities of interpretation and meaning, different to each individual.

“I’m obsessed with films and actresses, namely Meryl Streep, so I relish any opportunity to show their work in a different environment. I’m so interested in the idea of female representation in cinema, my inner feminist wills me on to create work that helps showcase the richness and emotional complexity in such stories.”

Following graduation in July, Daniel hopes to secure a Graduate in Residence position at Gray’s to allow him to continue his own work while also helping current students.

He added: “Over the past four years at Gray’s I’ve experienced a lot, met many different people who I can now fortunately call my peers and a selection of great, resourceful staff members.

“I’ve grown as a person but also as an individual with a creative artistic practice. It might sound trite but it has really been an essential and affirming experience.”

The 2014 Degree Show, sponsored by BP for the eleventh year, runs at Gray’s School of Art, Garthdee, Aberdeen until Saturday, June 28.

See more of Daniel’s work

Release by
Jenny Rush

Communications Officer | Design and Technology

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