Mother?  —  A material exploration

Self-Initiated Work, June 2018

Section-sewn and bound with an exposed spine. A variety of paper stocks used.

Front cover is screen-printed linen fabric.

Back cover is screen-printed sandpaper — to be struck with the matchstick supplied.

Mother? is a material exploration of Darren Aronofsky’s film, Mother! (2017). The objective of this project was for me to understand and appreciate the process of bookbinding — having bound the book myself — and demonstrate my attentiveness to materiality. My design outcome also relates the obscure biblical analogy underlying Mother!, serving as a companion to the film. The book maintains the mystery, stress and confusion of the film, inspiring understanding rather than delivering it.

The house in the film is a microcosm of the entire world and our treatment of Mother Nature which is personified as Jennifer Lawrence in the film. I decided to only capture shots of her face. From beginning to end, the progression of the film from calm to confusing is told through her facial expressions.

The form of a book is appropriate to demonstrate progress, the turning of pages revealing visuals to the reader in a way disparate to the time-constrained progression of film. Within the book, the size of the image frame informs the reader of the intensity of the anger and stress of Mother Nature at that point in the film. The frame grows larger as the film progresses to illustrate the growing anger of Mother Nature. The books final pages are laser cut for the placement of a matchstick which is temporarily attached. This involves the reader, giving them the option to enact the apocalypse on this small microcosm of the earth by removing the match from the book, igniting it using the back of the book — composed of sandpaper — and burning the book.

© Emily Kraljevic 2021