What’s in a name?

I have always struggled to invent suitable, concise and striking titles to go along with any of my work and any projects in particular. My (lazy) thought being that we are in the medium of visual communication and if your message does not come across, or at least begin to fascinate, in your images then you have not succeeded. I have been confronted with far too many bodies of work where you are expected to read 24 pages of foolscap before beginning to interpret the mind of the artist. The reader will always bring something to the image that you probably were unaware of, so it is possible safer to be limited with how you describe (or title) your work.

With regards to my Final Major Project I came across the word Concupiscence fairly early on in the research stage and it described my intent a little too accurately to be left aside. It still has the working title Secrets & Lies (see the Mike Leigh film – you really won’t regret it) as the folder on my hard-drive. Even though I think of the project as Concupiscence. Several people have suggested I take one of the quotes from the interviews I did with a subject to use as the title “When I was married I used to watch men” and for a subtitle it is wonderfully apt. The problem being as a main title it is open to misinterpretation; it could easily be applied to women & in today’s societies gay men or even lesbians (just to muddy the waters still further). I also feel that, like ‘Homosexual’, it is a cold, clinical type of word and therefore an anathema to the torrent of potential emotions it describes.

CONCUPISCENCE – “…it refers to longing for that which God has forbidden, namely, lust. It is not limited to sexual desire, but includes all going forth of heart and will toward what God would not have us to have or be, as its use in the Septuagint of the Ten Commandments clearly shows, for “Thou shalt not covet”” (H.E. Jacobs)

Jacobs, H.E. [online] available at https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/concupiscence/ [accessed 20th Aug. 2018]


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