With the view that I’ll be using back projection film I began to consider the kind of display system I’d have to build. Ana spoke about a student who build a rectangular plinth with a sheet of acrylic at one end with the projection film floated onto it, so I started with this model and included the extra aspects of the display I felt were necessary for the work.
Initially I was very keen to have the plinth built quite high, as I remembered the feedback for the very first formative assessment centred around exploring how to make the work ‘monumental’ if I were exploring the themes of memorialisation, remembering forgotten histories and giving voice to testimony. Through my experiments with projection size I noted that due to the fact that the projector didn’t have the lens in the middle (it was on the far right) that my plinth would need to be nearly twice as wide as the projector in order for the film to be centred on the acrylic. This suddenly turned my slim, monument-style plinth into a very wide, clunky form housing a very small piece of footage.
After discussing my concerns with Stuart he suggested exploring the possibility of installing the acrylic into one of the stud walls being fabricated for the degree show, treating it like it were an actual window.
This meant I could explore the idea I’d looked at previously, of the soldiers looking into the rooms imprisoning ‘comfort women’ within ‘comfort stations’. I spoke with Ana about the projector settings to ensure that I could ascertain the correct aspect ratio and dimensions for my film so the fabricator could cut it out of a sheet of MDF while building the stud walls.
I worked with some footage Ana had with her that was definitely 16:9 and measured the dimension of the film – 240mm x 135mm. I then gave these measurements to the fabricator, along with specifying the middle of the cut out needs to sit at eye height, which felt comfortable at 145cm.
After the fabricator cut out the hole in the MDF I worked on refining it with relentless sanding and filling. It didn’t seem like that big a job but I feel like I’ve sanded it for three days straight to make sure it’s perfect. After the show build team painted it I continued with sanding, more sanding, and more painting.
Eventually I began to worry that it wouldn’t resemble a rectangle any more so I called it a day on the sanding front and took my projector to test the display. The set up works well – I placed a piece of paper in the cut out and projected a older version of the film onto it:
It’s near impossible to quickly photograph the footage with a phone which is why there’s weird coloured lines. When I have my final display set up I’ll see if I have the chance to properly photograph it.
My next steps are to float the back projection film onto my acrylicsheets and fix that to the back of the wall. I wondered how I’d adhere the two surfaces and did some research into adhesives, finding that epoxy was my best bet, rather than just wood glue. Wood glue wasn’t guaranteed to work with acrylic, whereas epoxy works on all materials, is long lasting and fast setting, so I bought a 24ml syringe of Araldite.