Ever since I was a child, I loved sitting down in front of the television to watch old re-runs of UKTV Gold shows, such as: Only Fools and Horses, Open All Hour and Are You Being Served? I was, and certainly still am, fascinated with the characters and the socio-political context in which they are situated in. Additionally, I am also very interested in the aesthetics of situational comedies, ranging from the stage set to the branding, from the costume designs to the notable catchphrases. All of these aspects of production play an important role in my personal artistic practice.
The focal point for my artistic practice is to conduct a deep exploration into humour theory, with particular consideration for the conditional relationship between the joke teller and the joke hearer. I refer to this exchange as a negotiation found in between the two parties when a joke, gag or jest is performed. The teller performs a joke with the aim of receiving a ‘verdict’ either in the form of laughter or an understanding of the subject matter of the joke. The hearer, on the other hand, has the power, to some extent, to decide the verdict. If they do not understand the joke’s context then their reaction would be negative. If they are aware of certain aspects, such as the linguistics, the subject matter or stereotypes for example, then usually the hearer laughs. I believe that this then creates a kind of intimate relationship between the teller and the hearer as they laugh together; a quasi-community relationship whereby they share a set of beliefs, prepositions and prejudices.
This negotiation, I believe, should not be underestimated or ignored, as this examination tells us a lot about the individuals taking part, mainly the representations of tastes found in the aesthetics of British sitcoms. My practice explores this negation and wishes to develop this further by exploring the impact of who is laughing at the joke, as well as considering the tellers position in this situation and the problems they can cause. It is rather interesting that we laugh at all, yet feel the need to make a joke, and this is what my practice is exploring and wants to consider in further detail going forward.