New York, NY
Kenyon Class of ’14, Studio Art major
Throughout my life, I have had periods where I am consumed by self-doubt. Where I have the persistent conviction that my memory isn’t recording life as it is happening, that my imagination is manipulating my perception of reality and that due to this, my personal narrative no longer reflects my environment. When I was younger, I assumed this confusion and self-doubt was a misfiring of the brain. However, I have come to realize that self-doubt is a survival tool. We doubt our perception of reality to create the possibility that our lives are better than they appear. By denying and fabricating our realities we may escape them and in some way gain control of our fates.
Things Will Smolder Down Beneath recreates the psychological environments of three strangers, exploring how they each utilize doubt, denial and imagination to mentally escape their situations.
Things Will Smolder Down Beneath surrounds you, encouraging you to physically and mentally enter the obsessions of the characters. The narratives, and likewise the projections, function as a seamless loop so that you may not notice what you have already seen. You leave with the feeling that you have missed or are currently missing a portion of the story, thereby exiting the character’s selfdoubt and entering into your own.
Animations inspired by:
Letter from Mr. Nick Runyon to Mrs. Dorothy L. Snedaker, May 31st, 1952
“I thought you would say no a thousand times. So we only have nine hundred and ninety-three to go.”
Letter from Mrs. David M. Deysher to Private Ellwood S. Deysher, October 20th, 1918
“The souvenirs you sent to dad arrived on Friday morning. I tell you that made him feel proud. Did you get the cufflinks from a living soldier or from the dead.“
Letter from Mr. Robert Pollan to Mr. Michael Pollan, date unkown
“We woke up from a deep sleep but thought nothing seeing a coffin on 2 chairs in the living room.”
– Hallie Bahn, ‘14