PDP Constellation Year 2

This year I have been exploring an area of interest of mine which is humour within art. From my studies in understanding humour with Theo I had started to understand the basic structures as to why something maybe funny and why not through a variety of theories. Theo’s lessons tort me that humour cannot be forced on the spot and that it is often seen as a social factor of life that has little actually understood about it, however people still try to use it in order to either impress or mock another person in our everyday lives. Because of this I have planned an essay that looks further into what I have already learnt and why some artists may feel the need to incorporate humour within their own work. I suspect that it may have something to do with Henri Bergson’s theory of humour being a social thing, which is why people jump at the chance to impress their audience with the use of it and in my view it can also be used to hide offense. Why do people tend to not get offended if something is considered a joke? and where is the actual line as to what really aggravates the other into responding negatively like with the Charlie Habdo¬†magazine when they pushed the boundaries a little too far. Because of the nature of humans and the power illustrative images can have on the opinion of another, I feel that it is very important to understand where the moral line is in terms of joking around especially when working with people that we as illustrators are expected to do.

From what I found humour has a cruel side to it. Not only is it usually used to impress people but it all comes at a target’s expense. And as people think that humour can only occur when we relate to other people this usually means that its targeting another person for whatever reason. Even if you laugh at a dog it is thought that the psychological connection is you unknowingly linking it to a human and it is pretty hard to find something funny that isn’t. To test this theory we were even asked to find either a lifeless object or a sound that we found funny (for no reason) and to then ask why we found it funny. Turns out we did manage to find a funny donkey making weird sounds with his tongue so the theory as to humour only relating to humans can be challenged and incorrect. Not only that but theo did also mention that rats too can laugh and in his words ‘have been pissing themselves for years’ while scientists thought that it was only humans who had such a emotion. Either way as mentioned before what I learned is that there are millions of theories on humour and little evidence as to what it actually is in plain and why it exists in the first place, which is why I feel that I need to at least try to understand it and even how I can use it within my illustrations which is the main reason why I have chosen to write about it in my dissertation for the end of my third year.


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