Exercise for Sachiko Hayashi's
Last Meal Requested
The interactive video Last Meal Requested looks at different kinds of violence in recent history. The piece focuses on three incidents over a period of thirteen years: the Halabja massacre in 1988, the Rodney King beating in 1992, and the public execution of a woman in Taliban-Afghanistan in 2001. Images from these three incidents are mixed with different narratives and archival footage from other brutal historic acts. These images and stories present personal perspectives on the broader social conditions surrounding these acts of violence.
This work contains graphic material. Please make sure context is appropriate for use.
This exercise encourages students to explore the relationship between "real life" and artistic expression.
The educator will need to provide newspapers for the activity.
Warm-Up Activity (10 min):
The educator should give historical context for each of the featured incidents.
Play (10 min):
Students should spend time exploring Last Meal Requested and think about their impressions of it, considering how the different elements (both visuals and sound) relate to each other.
Follow-Up Discussion (10 min):
The educator should facilitate a discussion. Suggested questions could include:
- What is the experience like of watching this piece?
- Does it remind you of personal experiences that you have?
- Does it remind you of historic events?
- Is there a difference between art and documentary?
- Is Last Meal Requested art or documentary? And why?
- What is the relationship between the three different incidents that the work represents? How do these incidents relate to the other sounds and images used in the piece?
Activity (20 min):
In pairs, students take one newspaper and cut out pictures, words, sentences, advertisements, etc. and make a collage that combines the different elements. Discuss how the different elements of the collages influence each other and how they might be enhanced by adding sound clips, changing graphics, or adding other elements.