Saturday, 15 October 2011
@ Phil: Written Assignment Introduction
This assignment explores the social, cultural and symbolic concepts of female-to-avian metamorphosis, with specific reference to the harpy, the siren, and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. Case studies for investigating are Patricia Monaghan’s Goddesses in World Culture, Volume 1 (2010) examining the culture and symbolism of the harpy and siren, alongside Maxime Collignon’s Manual of Mythology in Relation to Greek Art (2003), which too discusses the context of the two mythological creatures. In conjunction with these resources specific art works bring a bolder understanding into play, this includes John William Waterhouse’s Odysseus and the sirens (1891) and Ulisse Aldrovandi’s Monstrorum Historia (1642). In contrast Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010) will delve into the contemporary portrayal of the hybrid, described by the director himself as a ‘wereswan’ and in detail dismantle the representation of women. To gain a fuller grasp of symbolism within Black Swan other valuable resources were investigated; Interview with director Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan (2010) and Natalie Portman & Darren Aronofsky Interview at Charlie Rose Show (2011). To conclude, the discussion will search to summarise the relation between female and avian, as well as look into gender stereotypes and symbolism within the hybrid.