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Babette
Verhulst

DE ANGST VAN ___

Project details

Year
2020
Programme
Graphic Design
Practices
Autonomous
Minor
Critical Studies

DE ANSGT VAN___ is about making invisible fears tangible and visible. The research investigates sound and image and the power they posses when they are combined in a certain way.

 

Because fear is invisible, it cannot be identified in any object or form. Fear is personal and unpredictable. That’s why it is difficult to empathize with the fear of another.

The project exists of four short videos that translate the personal experience of: a panic disorder, fear of commitment, fear of failure and fear of flying. The videos offer a new and broader perspective into the feelings of another. They make the invisible visible. This can be an important new factor, that can play a role in the emancipation of fears and mental health in general.

Stills form the video DE ANGST VAN NIHAL: over de beleving van faalangst (THE FEAR OF NIHAL: about the experience of fear of failure).

The meaning of an image can be changed according to what you see beside it or what comes after it”

John Berger
Stills form the video DE ANGST VAN RICARDO: over de beleving van bindingsangst (THE FEAR OF RICARDO: about the experience of fear of commitment).

The research also focusses on the social aspect of this topic. Anxiety can affect many forms of our lives. Some people experience a lot of pressure from society and keep their fears a secret because of that. Many people who do share their fears are quickly put away in a suitable box, because they deviate from the norm. If these limitations are constantly seen as deviations, the norm can never change. The origin of this problem is partly found in the media. The way mental health has been portrait in movies, tv shows and books have given us a certain idea of this difficult topic. These days social media makes it even harder to normalize the problem, because the idea of an ideal life is constantly thrown in our faces. Mental health problems do not fit in this life and that creates the idea that it is not healthy to experience those kinds of issues.

Stills form the video DE ANGST VAN JULIA: over de beleving van vliegangst (THE FEAR OF JULIA: about the experience of fear of flying).
Stills form the video DE ANGST VAN LOES: over de beleving van een paniekaanval (THE FEAR OF LOES: about the experience of a panic attack).

In order to visualize the fears, I asked the interviewees for shapes, colours, sounds, songs and typefaces that they associate with their fears. Combining them with an example of a situation in which the fear arises, resulted in the four videos. The visuals and the sounds translate to an experience that can help the viewer to better understand these fears.  

Ideally the videos would be shown in a closed off small and dark space, projected on a big wall. This way the viewer can really experience the fears through the sounds and visuals. Before viewing the videos, visitors can read through the exhibition guide. This guide gives a short description of the project and the four different videos.

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