By Christine Fitzpatrick
For my response to Jeremiah Dohn’s project, I reflected on Professor Kennedy’s assignment and chose to walk in Jeremiah’s shoes by developing a composition using multimodal text. My response examines the memory represented in “A Beautiful Rose,” making an argument about my own life experiences, perspectives, and role with respect to a memory made public through the film. The assignment allowed me to test my own abilities to compose with discursive and non-discursive text. Having done this, I have a greater appreciation of Jeremiah’s journey of understanding, exploration, composition, and reflection, and I have great respect for his accomplishments in this project – rhetorically and technically.
My multimodal narrative incorporates imagery and artifacts from Jeremiah’s project and reveals my own struggle with the nature of the remembered incidents that he so vividly describes. My first viewing of “A Beautiful Rose,” resurrected a memory of suffering inflicted upon a loved one. The events – or more specifically the recollection of them – are interpreted through the lens of a compassionate other. In keeping with Jeremiah’s choice to enable the viewer to “’walk in the shoes’ of the ‘rapist’,” I offer the viewer the vantage point of one who empathizes, one who attempts constructive influence on the memory and, perhaps, a path toward healing.
I set out to explore visually the ideas of constructing meaning and bodily knowing, which Tammie Kennedy’s assignment encourages. I sought to explore the senses of sight, sound, and touch through elements of text, imagery, movement, and music. In the spirit of Jeremiah’s selection of “Moonlight Sonata,” I selected the second movement of Beethoven’s “PathétiqueSonata,” which suggests sympathy, sadness, and grief – while offering glimmers of hope. Over this, I lay a story of struggle and sensemaking, by which an account of the recollection, through continued rumination, falls out of sequence and blurs about the edges, yet prompts action. My response is to confront some of the most overtly violent imagery in “A Beautiful Rose,” to take it in hand, and very literally make something of it. A new rose evolves from the remnants of suffering, enfolded within a memory.
You will see that I also attempted to alter the narrative further, to deconstruct the text to form new messages. In editing these sequences and reviewing my footage, I struggled with the concept that this memory, now public, was mine to remake (Justin Hodgson’s response to Gould’s Oral History Video expresses well “The Struggles and Ethic of a Response”). Subsequently, I abandoned the idea, and discarded much footage, though a small segment of this thinking remains.
(I gratefully acknowledge and thank Don Fitzpatrick for his videography and Sarah Fitzpatrick Anderson for her technical consultation.)
Beethoven Pathetique Ensemble. “Sonata Pathetique.” Beethoven Sonata Pathetique and Other Classical Music Favorites. 2010.
Dohn, Jeremiah. “A Beautiful Rose.” The JUMP. 2011.
Hodgson, Justin. “The Struggles and Ethic of a Response.”TheJUMP. 2.1. (2010): n. pag. Web. 10 October 2010.
Kennedy, Tammie M. Assignment #3: Movie Memory Memoir. The JUMP. 2011.