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ARTIST STATEMENT    My photos aim to combine the aesthetic of the Italian horror film Suspiria with the lyrics of the song Reckoner by Radiohead. Suspiria is a richly colored film, using primarily the colors red and blue within both the mis-en-scene and in the lighting. Both the colors in the lighting and in the mis-en-scene are very saturated. Red typically signifies something evil or ominous that is happening or about to happen in the film, and blue represents good or safety. I chose this aesthetic for two reasons, the first being that Suspiria is my favorite film by Dario Argento and the second reason being its strong applicability to the interpretation of “Reckoner” as an allusion to the German writer Goethe's Faust. In the play, based off of a German legend, Dr. Faust sells his soul to Mephistopheles, the devil, in exchange for enlightenment and knowledge. Mephistopheles was to collect Faust’s soul at the pinnacle of his happiness from full knowledge. In the song, the “Reckoner” is Mephistopheles, and the lines, “Can’t take it with you” and “Dancing for your pleasure” refers to Faust’s reluctance to give up his soul and the pleasures bestowed upon Faust, respectively. The following lines from “You are not…to all human beings” references the flaws of humans and they cannot be responsible for temptation and Faust’s warning to mankind of Mephistopheles. My first photo is of a woman whom Mephistopheles has come to visit, just before he arrives. She is just waking from her sleep of innocence before her encounter with Mephistopheles. The blue light signifies the safety of her home, while in contrast; the brief spots of red light outside the window signify the approach of Mephistopheles. In the second photo, the woman is in her kitchen when Mephistopheles approaches her. The light difference becomes more apparent because of the proximity of Mephistopheles to the woman, and what that implies will come. In the third photo, Mephistopheles tempts the woman with jewelry. The blue light of safety is fading and Mephistopheles is always surrounded by the evil, the red. In the fourth photo, Mephistopheles has seduced the woman. The lighting is an intense red, as this is the last of his temptations. The last photo is the moment when Mephistopheles takes her soul. She has a blank stare and is placed below him, sitting on the chair. To create the red and blue lighting I used a blue light bulb in a portable lamp and red saran wrap on the lights in the ceiling. I wish some of the shots were more creative, but overall, I am happy with this finished project.



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