Prattfolio Spring/Summer 2017

Page 6

Crit

Analia Segal, Adjunct Associate Professor of Fine Arts

Lindsay McAleavy (B.F.A. Film ’17)

als of the film could have pushed the your role as an artist—to raise awareexperience so much further. ness, but at the same time, to tranLM: I agree. I would have loved to do scend your own experience using a more with the installation. The final poetic approach. shot, when the girl—the pilgrim—is LM: For a long time, I didn’t know how approaching the screen, in an ideal I wanted to talk about what I was seeing. I’d started by doing long world, that’s where the film would be ANALIA SEGAL: There’s an interesting contrast here between fantasy and playing, on that screen [fig. 2]. shots of never-ending series of trash the reality of the interface in our lives. AS: I’m curious about the film’s title, The bags on the sidewalk. But I had to do The girl confronting another world, Plastic Pilgrim—the choice of identimore. So I came to this idea of beauthrough a screen, brings to mind Alice fying the protagonist as a pilgrim, a tifying trash. in Wonderland. Meanwhile, there are person who journeys to a sacred place AS: I find it fascinating, your experimoments that ground me in contemfor religious reasons. ence walking around the city, lookporary reality; to use an actual com- LM: I’ve always loved the book Siddhartha ing at trash. As artists, the question puter, for example—it’s a reminder by Hermann Hesse, and a lot of the often comes up, where do we get that the objects are what they are. film’s plot is based on a similar theme, inspiration? We’re not isolated in a LINDSAY MCALEAVY: The overthe search for enlightenment, a spirilittle room—it’s everyday life that arching idea was to create a synthetic tual journey. Before I made the film, we deal with. world, with high-key colors, vinyl I’d taken a semester off and spent a lot costumes, plastic plants, fake turf. of time doing street photography, and But it was also important to address I was starting to become aware of the layers of trash in the city landscape. I reality, the experience we all share in this world. I wanted the performers, would walk outside and think, this is and the audience, to feel transported sad, what do we do about this? The but also to understand that the story ultimate solution would be to elimiwas about something more real than nate all this trash, but first we have to accept where we are and who we are, the installed environment was makaccept the plastic world we live in. ing it seem. AS: So much here is about surface, which AS: Does the typography in the opening is incredibly contemporary. One of have a religious reference? my favorite scenes has the girl putting LM: Ricardo Hernandez, a graphic deher hands over the plastic fire, trying sign major, did the opening sequence to get warmth from it [fig. 1]. and made that typography, with a LM: She’s seeking anything real from Buddhist reference. Combining the it . . . There’s also the Mylar sheet, type and the lotus imagery with facsomething that actually does create tory footage was an attempt to conFig. 3 warmth, but on a deeper level, it’s not nect Buddhism and meditation to the warm or comforting at all. production of plastic bottles, finding AS: In some films, the physical distance spirituality in this repetitive process between the projection and the viewer [fig. 3]. adds to the work. In this case, a real AS: The lens you use to deal with this subject matter could also describe physical interaction with the materi“ A theatrical film showing a girl traveling through a landscape installation in search of enlightenment in the Plastic Age.”­— Lindsay McAleavy on her film The Plastic Pilgrim

Prattfolio

Spring/Summer 2017

4