On Friday, students submitted their independent Humanities projects that symbolically represented their understanding of Modernism. According to one definition, “Modernism was a philosophical and artistic movement of the early 20th century which portrayed the world of men as a harsh, hostile environment in which life had lost its meaning and men and women were isolated from each other, struggling to survive alone.” However, we also learned that the decades between the First and Second World Wars were a period of profound growth and powerfully positive change. Like the Modernist characters in literature who are on a quest to either understand themselves or to recreate themselves into something different than who they were born, InLab students are on a quest to understand and embrace change.
With that challenge in mind, students were invited to design their own projects in any medium. We had artists, musicians, computer programmers, and designers. With very few limits on their expression and two months to work outside of school, many students exceeded expectations.
We could highlight almost any students’ work to represent their effort and passion. Siobhan’s Tree of Life represents that the modern has roots in tradition. She demonstrated those changes by comparing statistics and facts from 1913 to 2013 on each leaf and used real bark on her tree.
A number of students pursued passions that they already possessed. Resident poets, Juliana and Kathryn, completed extensive research on poetry from the era and captured the voices of conflict and change in powerful and haunting ways.
Calvin designed a computer game “The 1920s Business Simulator” to simulate the risks that lead to the stock market crash of 1929. While Jari and Pierce returned to their love of music to write original scores.
Other students embarked on new challenges. Sofia tried her hand at painting and a multimedia triptych representing the trenches of WW1, the 1920s of Gatsby’s world, and the 1930s Dust Bowl.
All of the projects will be displayed and explained in the students’ blogs this week, and students will have the option of showing them at our public gala at The Bruce Museum on February 2.