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KS5 Art and Design: Manipulation (1991)

Consider the relationship between the artist and his art

Main image of KS5 Art and Design: Manipulation (1991)
AuthorPoppy Simpson, BFI
Topic Ownership and art
Key Words ownership, intellectual property

A cartoon character is drawn and then rubbed out. He reappears, tries to stay on screen and then tries to escape his creator's clutches.

While the artist behind the pair of white gloves that control the cartoon creation in Manipulation remains off-screen, this short Oscar-winning film offers an interesting opportunity to consider the relationship between the artist and his art as well as the relationship between art and its audience.



Watch the extract through before asking students to answer two questions:

  • What is happening in the extract?
  • What is the extract about?

The second question is likely to illicit a range of responses - is the film about the powerlessness of animated characters? Or the power of the artist? Why is it called Manipulation?

Having heard a some ideas from the class move the discussion one step further. Ask students to read the following statements and rate their agreement on a scale of one to 10 (where 1 = strongly disagree):

  • A work of art has a 'life' beyond its creator (ie. A 'life' that the artist cannot control)
  • A work of art never ceases to be the property of the artist who created it

This activity can then lead into a broader discussion about ownership and art in general


Some more ideas

  • Focus on animation techniques. Ask students to watch this extract and some further examples from the Animation collection (link on the right), making sure they read through the Screenonline analyses which explain the various animation techniques used. Students can then feedback what they have learned to the rest of the class.
Video Clips

Related Films and TV programmes

Thumbnail image of Manipulation (1991)Manipulation (1991)

Read more about this film

See also

Thumbnail image of AnimationAnimation

Funny ha ha and funny peculiar

Thumbnail image of Women's AnimationWomen's Animation

Women animators with a distinctive feminine and/or feminist perspective