Carrie Patterson, Chair
Associate Professor of Art
Phone: (240) 895-4252
Office Staff: (240) 895-4225
Alumni Where are they now?
Matthew Fishel (studio art, 2001) completed an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. Originally interested in painting, Matthew has expanded his practice to include animation, video, installation, and digital imaging. He is a frequent contributor to RedStarKGB, an ongoing collaboration of filmmakers in Baltimore. His own film, "A Short Film Regarding Possibilities", was selected by the Maryland Film Festival in 2006. See his work at http://www.matthewfishel.com
Navigating Pedro Almodovar's Labyrinths of Passion; The Collapse of Public and Private Space in Contemporary Media Culture
An exceptionally unique filmmaker, Pedro Almodovar is not afraid to take strong stances on controversial subjects in his work. His films, therefore, are full of his observations and opinions on important societal issues. In this paper I explore his commentary on the state of the contemporary mass media as revealed through specific situations within his films that involve issues of looking. By dividing these situations into three categories, I am able to compare instances that involve mediated looking to those that involve direct looking and then explore the implications of these differences. I use four main films to illustrate my points - Matador (1986), Law of Desire (1986), Kika (1993) and Talk to Her (2002) - because they contain situations that fit in the most effectively with my theme. On a few occasions, I bring other films into the discussion - High Heels (1990), All About My Mother (1999) and Bad Education (2004) - because they contain certain examples that support my argument. The three sections included in my paper are: instances that should be intimate that are exposed to a large number of people, instances that take place in public that have an intimate tone and instances during which characters feel a special connection to something that is broadcast to a wide audience. By contrasting the nature of relationships that are founded upon mediated gazes with those that are based on personal gazes and by making the boundary between public and private viewing spaces unclear, Almodovar successfully makes statements about the voyeuristic quality of the mass media and the personal displacement that is caused by mediated looking within in his films.