keep reading this article here: http://www.vice.com/read/a-new-breed-of-asshole-0000327-v21n5
February 1, 2015
January 31, 2015
1. Do you think art can be didactic in a good way?
Perhaps being/becoming didactical could be seen as the artist’s (those that try to make a real difference at any rate) last stand without becoming fascist? I think the left has failed because it has shied away from a fascists’ determined energy.
Animal Farm springs to mind.
However, I am at a point now where I am seeing that the suppression of art globally (through any channels – parents, teachers, governments, religions, mainstream media) has been entirely and supremely successful. In spite a plethora of anti war art/films/novels/poems/plays/dances/documentaries/photographs/articles/exposures etc etc etc WAR still proliferates, the warmongers still have willing fodder, fascism constantly morphs into a new guise. Capitalism continues to be the modus aperandi. How did we end up with these shameful world leaders? We have no leaders of conscience. The one’s that have get taken out.
Thomas Sankara springs to mind.
The left has not learnt to recognise the underlying immutable truths of fascism, or if they do, the message is suppressed. Incredibly dark forces are determined to befuddle logical thinking, rational deductions, and sound values.
This has lead me to the conclusion that no matter what political machinations humans are presented with, we are all at different stages of consciousness and hence perception. Without knowledge, information, mankind is manipulable. The majority of people do not know how to make their own decisions and the ballot box has effectively been reduced to an illusion of ownership. Being able to discern a lie from the truth seems to be impossible to learn in a society that has been conditioned to abdicate their responsibility of thinking for themselves. The primary role of ALL education should be about addressing these issues. We have regressed and education has failed the free world.
It is a vicious cycle……
There is sufficient proof in history that man (collectively) cannot learn from his mistakes, has failed to remember the past in any constructive way. This is either a built-in trait of humanity…..or humanity has become so punch drunk with mind manipulation, relentless financial onslaught that binds them to the grindstone, that they have become willing participants of their own destruction. Nobody in any effective political position seems able to learn that violence breeds violence. Politicians get into power and then seek revenge. Deeply negative traits of human nature constantly triumph….
Perhaps this is all very simple really: the world is overpopulated.
While there is evidence (?) via FB that the world is waking up, how much of that is just a smoke screen to make the left think ‘something is happening’ whereas in fact its business as usual? I don’t think we should ignore this aspect. I am thinking of those memes where we see “Happening in New York right now!” and we see an image of 1000’s of people marching through the streets? If these things were true, why do we not see EFFECTIVE CHANGE? Look at the hypocrisy of “je suis Charlie”.
I think it is beyond the 11th hour.
2. What is this need to document? Of what use is it?
I think that the NEED to document is driven by a creative urge to make sense of, to ‘order’, to understand aspects of ones existence. To extract the light from the dark. I think it is a fallacy in psychological terms to say that light BANISHES the dark.
The mere act of thought (stemming from self knowledge) and writing it down becomes revolutionary.
Documenting is a statement against invisibility.
Documenting is participatory, an affirmation.
As a child, all my creative endeavours were given no credit to the extent that I was ‘frowned upon’. My father was mostly absent and my mother gave absolutely no encouragement. I suppose I can blame them for me becoming ‘multi-talented’ as no matter in what direction (singing, making dolls dresses, creating a ‘nature book’, making up plays, getting high marks at school) my creative endeavours unfolded, they were simply not impressed…..hence I kept exploring. I therefore took my creativity for granted (which I still do) and generally need to galvanize myself into creation. I always face an inner panic. In that sense I am a reluctant artist/performer/creator. Strangely, I feel this has helped me survive apartheid – where my drive to create was not matched with a drive for recognition. In 1998 my solo play The Come-Uppance of Punch came up against a total onslaught at the Grahamstown Festival.
Even with ‘Faces’ and my 15 year career as an ‘alternative’ dj I have very little, if any, personal photographs of that time. All the photographs I have (for example) are those that were given to me.
Of the Body of Despondent Artists (1984-87) the photography (mostly by Peter Hart-Davis and Andrew Yates) was done for press release, rather than for the purpose of documentation. It never struck me that any of this should be ‘documented’.
However, I kept diaries for many years – from around 1980 up to 2000 at which time I acquired a computer. I thus had a lot of material for the writing of my five plays – three with the Body of Despondent Artists: I HAVE NO! (1984), MASTERS OF CEREMONY (1985), DARK CORNERS OF A NEW MIND (1986). And then of course my two solo plays BLOOD (1988 -1990) and THE COME-UPPANCE OF PUNCH (1995-1999). Today I cannot read those diaries – they are filled with utter pain, excessive compulsive repetitions, insanity.
I have only recently acquired some photographs of my parents and I do not have a single photograph of my maternal grandmother who parented us (sister and brother) over a five-year period. I have very little knowledge of my maternal and paternal grandparents. Males did not feature in my family set-up. I have very little sense of ‘ancestry’ via conventional family ties. Given that my fellow black South Africans in particular live THROUGH ancestry I struggle to understand the import of ancestry to one’s existence. I feel that IF I have any ancestry it is the link through other artists. I respect my parents deeply, but they were totally dysfunctional as parents.
I was immensely disturbed by the apartheid mindset to the point of a manic and morbidly obsessive interest and had little idea at the time of the universality of my understanding (and hence depiction) of fascism. Looking back at those times (and particularly since writing Tell Tale – Pine Slopes Publications 2005 ISBN 978-0-9584874-1-2) I have realised I was psychically out of control and painting/writing/djing/fashion prevented me from spinning out completely. My oil painting “Beyond Good and Evil” is a particular example of this depiction/survival: an attempt to gain distance and rationality from the turmoil and the ever conjoined dynamic of the ‘opposites’ merry-go-round.
It was from 1990 that I felt a need to begin documentation of my performances and thus have videos of my solo play BLOOD filmed at the Natal Playhouse, a fashion show at 330 (1992) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogkT67B34Fs&spfreload=10)
and the ‘Come Uppance of Punch’ filmed at the Bat Centre 1999 amongst others.
In 2007, the ONLY person with whom I shared the most intimate moments of my life for eight years (Brain Vincent de Kock) was killed in a horrific motorbike accident. I have spent the last eight years writing a novel of these times set against the decline of our Education system: I returned to teaching in 1997 and it struck me that the classroom was the ‘coal-face of change’ and I felt intensely privileged to be in this space during this time. Bearing in mind that in 1997 there was a strong sense of euphoria in education….and I was dealing with a generation of South Africans that had, for the first time in their lives, access to a quality education. Yet by 2001 things began to get hectic. Changes that swept through grade 8 and 9 Natural Science syllabus were disastrous where content became a dirty word: it was all about process. For eg. it was not WHAT the graph depicted it was the UNDERSTANDING of the graph that was important. Not a single educator at any of the workshops understood this concept. There were no standardised textbooks for any of the years that I taught Natural Science. As a result the CASS assessment tasks were meant to be set so as not to favour any one school. Many schools could not complete the tasks causing the assessments to be meaningless. Initially, the over zealous Education Department in Natural Science created assessments that took about an hour to mark a single script – and with 300 Grade 9’s? Compare that with other subjects like Home Economics (for eg.) that took about 5 minutes to mark! The irony of those same children needing CONTENT for the Matric exam escaped them completely. Changes that swept through grade 10 to 12 Life Science syllabi were mostly phenomenal and headed in the right direction but were too fast, too uncoordinated, badly delivered. Adding to the confusion, between 2006 to 2009 Biology was changed to Life Science and the syllabus was changed three times. And, by introducing Evolution and Environmental studies (two fantastic moves which represented half the year’s work) the Education department blithely ignored the fact that they had just rendered all Life Science educators under qualified. What this says about the Education Departments contempt for educators is alarming – without so much as a murmur from the press or parents. To me, this was the REAL reason why the pass mark was lowered: Educators had to get up to speed while floundering with new content…….and a high failure rate would have made them (the Ed. Dept.) look like idiots.
Stepping into a matric classroom in May 2009 (after 3 ½ years at a deaf school) was a shocker of note. That coalface had become one-dimensional, immature, unknowledgeable. I was facing a form of xenophobia and began to believe that the pupils thought they had stumbled upon the very person who had master-minded apartheid. Malema was in full cry taking private spats with the white right into the public arena. There was constant pandemonium in the school: learners wondering around corridors during lessons free to interrupt at will, strikes, sit-ins by pupils and parents to have the headmaster re-instated. He was suspended pending an investigation regarding him caning a pupil. These strikes and sit-ins were arranged by the ‘illegitimate’ GB. Added to this it was utterly impossible to have a class discussion on evolution, to discuss the dynamic of abortion being seen as a method of birth control, to discuss the effects that alcohol and drugs have on the nervous and muscular system….all standard discussion topics…..to mention but a few! And, if you realise that discussion is a time to exercise knowledge, broaden one’s perspective and plumb some ‘commonaltiy’ of perception, you may get some idea of how dysfunctional that school was.
Attempts to document the court procedure (2010 to the present) of ‘unfair dismissal’ from the Ed. Dept. has become a major 5-year ‘installation’ artwork. I found support structures ineffective, out of touch and dismissive. I have had to constantly wade through mounds of paternalistic presumptive attitudes and formulative responses from presumably intelligent people. No lawyer was able to engage contextually with the matter at hand. I had to laugh when, three weeks before my court date (19th November 2014 – the judge ruled that my case be sent back for arbitration!) I had a two-hour interview with a top Durban advocate (who was white, by the way). I told him that I found that the notion of CONSEQUENCE to be a virtually non-existent concept amongst lawyers when he said, not without some pique: “The legal system is about consequence.” In spite of an extremely positive meeting, three days later he backed off from this case.
The court papers, all of which have been done by myself, serves as a LEGAL account of this insanity. This procedure has pushed me beyond the limits of endurance. I have had to look to Mandela’s statement: “It is you who must take the defence of your rights, your aspirations in your own hands.” – and to take control of my understanding of the constitution. Mandela’s message has become alarmingly cryptic in the light of the bizarre twists and the perturbing failure of leadership in the ANC. I have been driven by the fact that I would not die in peace if I did not follow through with this abuse until justice has been served. While this procedure has been understandably fraught, it has been empowering….and I am supremely happy with this work. The more I researched, the more I delved, the more ‘truths’ came to light. I am currently awaiting a second arbitration hearing and I have already been subjected to collusion in this new setting. The impunity is shattering…..and seemingly endless.
I would like to add that I feel that change has dragged out so because people do not/have not taken personal responsibility for change and have absolved themselves through a collective amnesia and collective bargaining which has smothered the real issues we as a nation need to face.
3. Can art be a means of historical elucidation, an apparatus for constructing truth?
My paintings/plays/writings are a direct application of this statement. ‘Art’ has to be an apparatus for constructing truth: it has no choice. But, as in my opening statement, it has struck me that art has been successfully suppressed by the corporate states globally. We have become blinded by the big bling billboard. The Ray Bans on Cape Towns Waterfront? We are also at an extremely dangerous juncture in terms of global mind control and manipulation. The vilification of Muslims which began almost forty years ago and which has gone unchecked, has lead to the ardent drone annihilation of the Palestinians and the bizarre wars in the Middle East.
And, since the demise of apartheid, I constantly encounter the vilification of the LIBERAL where there is a determination to confuse liberals with closet racists. It is all coming very close to home.
If there is ONE immutable truth that apartheid has taught me it is t his:
“A lie is a lie,
no matter how much you try
and look at it with fresh eyes.”
What does this mean? Apartheid was premised on a lie. The Apartheid Regime bent over backwards trying to prove the lie to be NOT A LIE and all they did was poke more holes into their own façade. It is bizarre, now, 20 years later to even have to say this!
4. Is South Africa a productive field for art today? In what way? How would you describe the art scene here?
There is creativity taking place in SA today……inevitably so….but very little of it is taking place in mainstream circles.
Twenty years into our new dispensation silly people with silly agendas are still muddling to control art. The art market (as in any country I suppose) is determined by curators who need to make money out of artists. This has lead art astray and has undermined the deeper power (in the short term at least) of what art is about.
The art scene hence lacks risk and is thus anything but vibrant. There is a huge lack of viable critics who carry any effective weight in their perception of art i.e. the gap between artists and public is a gaping chasm.
In Durban in particular I am seeing too much predictability when it comes to people getting ‘important’ appointments where they have no sense of the past, let alone the present, let alone a ‘radar’ for what is needed. They might have once HAD a radar: but that radar has become tainted with compromise of the wrong sort. They are simply being paid to maintain the status quo within the realm of appearing new and different.
Instead there is a DEEP sense of everything that is OPPOSED to art: amnesia, selective memories, closed circles, ideological miss-wiring….middlemen muddling the way…..
Political events seem to pointing me in the direction of once more becoming a ‘performance terrorist’….of which the image of the RED BULL 1983-2005 (representing the blindness and fear mongering of apartheid) and the APARTHEID DEMON (1988 – 1998) have become the most iconic.
Art has proven that it is too dangerous to be left in the hands of artists.
5. What is the role of music in film?
Music to film is like walls to architecture.
6. What can art tell us about Marikana? What can art do with Marikana? With “democracy’ after Marikana?
I think your film “Night is coming” – a threnody for the victims of Marikana, expertly answers all aspects of this question and for which I wrote the following review:
What has struck me most deeply these last 20 years is that for democracy to function there is a desperate need for people to be well informed, open minded, able to debate, to be transparent so that you are not driven by a need to hide information, to be honest and not corrupt, to not be threatened by differing view-points. How did the ANC get this so wrong?
I don’t think anybody understood the concept of democracy. The first thing the ANC should have done was set up task teams knowledgeable in the hands-on functionality (i.e. import) of democracy and these should have been sent to schools to educate educators, to pupils, to parents in an onslaught of dissemination, consistently, over a five year period. Instead all we had were (for eg.) seminars on ‘conflict management’…..and a misguided/mishandled policy to get ‘old school’ educators to remove themselves from the system by taking huge severance packages laughing all the way to the bank. Who thinks these things up? Well it’s way too late now to be bothered!
this article first appeared here: https://movie.douban.com/subject/5949084/
January 29, 2015
keep reading this interview here: http://www.pocko.com/stacy-hardy/
This book mixes absurd, far-fetched fantasy (e.g. about transplanting the “memory bank” of a dead person into a living person so that he takes on the personality and life style of the dead person) with more realistic scenes such as the convincing bar scenes. There are realistic scenes of violence as well as phantasmagoric scenes of violence. The novel glorifies gratuitous homicidal violence, especially the killing of women. The characters are one-dimensional grotesques. The author revels in making them as ugly and off-putting as possible, and the book seems to have been written mainly for the purpose of inducing in (sadistic) readers a sick thrill of revulsion (e.g. p 16-17, “A cluster of bulbous blackheads on her chin was on the verge of turning into a collection of full-blown pimples. Her gums had receded and were bleeding from an advanced case of gingivitis caused by a deadly combination of her tik habit, cigarettes and alcohol. In short, she was perfect. … I went and had a shower so as not to catch any diseases from that huge cold sore I had been munching on.”). There are several first-person narrators — the Rasta-locked taxi driver Tsunami Lou, a bar fly/drug addict called Skaface Cupido and one Jihad Rashoon — all of them killers. The author speaks through these first-person narrators, using them as mouthpieces to give voice to his (nonsensical) ideas or standpoints, justifying murder and extreme violence. At the start of the book Skaface Cupido leaves a bar with a woman and wakes up the next morning covered in a lot of dried blood, with no recollection of the cause, and realises that he’d probably killed her: “I wouldn’t have killed her unless I had to. And I had to. Some people say that success is the best revenge, but I always maintain, ‘revenge is the best revenge.’ I murder these women because of my Psyche. Well she’s not my Psyche anymore and that’s exactly the point. … Psyche Peacock was a cheap bar slut. … I made the mistake of falling in love with her.” Psyche Peacock, a tik addict, is presented as the archetype of the ruthless, dangerously attractive woman, but her character is unconvincing, presented on the one hand as a hopeless drug addict (a pathetic figure who leaves Skaface Cupido for her drug dealer), and on the other as a cartoonish female villain who seems to be fully in control of her life and to cold-bloodedly decide that she wants Skaface Cupido dead. (The basic plot [the plot within the plot, which constitutes the largest part of the book] is that Psyche Peacock wants Tsunami Lou to find her missing boyfriend Skaface Cupido and kill him for her.) Later in the book the murder of one’s mother is seen as justified if the mother had been neglectful. At one point Tsunami Lou is implanted with the memory bank of a South African serial killer called Coffin Deadly, who teams up with a girl called Sugar Moon, a former abortion-clinic receptionist. They go on an extended killing spree, mowing down anyone they meet, as the urge takes them. They are deeply, truly in love. In the end they are caught by the police and Sugar Moon betrays Coffin Deadly, turning state witness. At another point Tsunami Lou is implanted with the memory bank of a man who regards himself as a “snuff porn artist”. Known as Citizen Kohen, he is a film producer who specialises mainly in “kiddiesnuff”: violent pornographic films that show children being sexually violated and then killed. In the book this is presented as perfectly normal and reasonable. Tsunami Lou travels to New York where he meets up with a Japanese child porn distributor (p 83-). It is here that “Citizen Kohen” gruesomely murders Brandy Gemini, a glamorous woman he picked up at a bar (and captures it all on film). A graphic description is provided of the event, from beginning to end. A brief sample (p 96-): “… Wanting to hurt his mommy real bad. … She grunts in pain. Tears well in her eyes. He doesn’t care, holds himself in her, slaps the back of her head hard with his left hand, spits a huge gob onto her head, covers her face with his right hand, smearing her anal grime over her face mask; soiling her. Now he withdraws his cockmeat, lunges back into her butt depths, begins the fucking in earnest, hisses into her ear – ‘you pile of crap, you excrement heap, you shit!’ He keenly observes her reactions in the mirror, begins to choke her … shoots his load watching her die. Eyes popping out of her shit-stained face. Pumps cum load after cum load into her tightly spasming dying ass ring. Bites deep down into her neck. Blood fuck. Shit fuck. Death fuck. Endgame. Her body slumps onto the bathroom sink. He extracts his cock out of her ass. It’s covered in a heady mixture of shit and metallic-smelling blood. Twists her lifeless corpse sack around. Still tangible and visible gross body kosha. He shoves his messy cock into her sagging mouth. Desecrates her, grimy yellow piss flowing out all over the contorted face. Drops the corpse to the floor. Her head knocks out a mad percussive rag. … He plants his butt over Gemini’s face. Farts. Shits. Runny turd covering her necro-beauty. He vomits. Puking onto her cunt. Smears it in. Packs it into her hole. Creates a Heathrow baby all of his own. Shoves the shitty little baby all the way back into Brandy’s womb. This is a security announcement: please do not rip out other people’s babies from their fucking trash wombs. Dead. Dead whore. Mommy dead.” From New York Citizen Kohen flies to San Francisco to meet a West Coast collector who is willing to pay big money for his specific kind of kiddiesnuff (the collector happens to be a curator at the San Francisco Museum for Modern Art). At a hotel Kohen listens to a coded phone message from the collector (p 103): “Murder is immensely exciting because it is precarious, an interplay of personal psychic reality and the experience of control of actual objects (people). This is the precariousness of magic itself. Magic that arises in intimacy. This develops into the capacity of the child to murder the mother in a relationship that matures into the ability to murder alone in the security that the mother was never there when needed. It is in murder, and only in murder, that the individual adult or child is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being a murderer that the individual discovers the Self. Culture then, is essentially creative genocide. Murder is older than culture. Purer.” The main story is sandwiched between a prologue and an epilogue that are both signed by “Aryan Kaganof” (the author of this novel). Kaganof thus indicates a strong authorial identification with the story — a strong personal involvement with it: “Doctor Beckett [one of the characters in the book -- a Valkenberg psychiatrist in drag] told me to write down everything that seems appropriate or important.” Kaganof pretends that this book is the result of this instruction, written while he was supposedly undergoing treatment at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital. It seems to indicate that he is blurring the line between reality and fantasy [fiction and non-fiction]. In the epilogue he says, “Dr Beckett wants me to be more explicit about the voices.” Yet the novel with its jumbled, helter-skelter plot and self-conscious efforts to shock the reader certainly does not read like the record of one man’s experiences (even if that man were insane). As for the title, the vuvuzela theme seems to have been inserted as an afterthought, possibly to make the book more “African”. The sound of the vuvuzela seems to indicate that the particular first-person narrator talking is in a murderous state (e.g. p 14, p 159). There is a nonsensical sentence on page 159 where the author says of vuvuzela sounds: “Their glissandi and secondary chord clusters transgress the listener.” There are no such things as “glissandi” (fast-running series of notes) and “secondary chord clusters” when vuvuzelas are blown, since the vuvuzela (or even a collection of vuvuzelas) can only make one sound. Once again an indication that attempting to impress readers with cheap effects seems to matter more than to create something meaningful. Although this book is written in a fluent style, the content is nonsensical. The extreme misogynism and violence is unjustified and sensational. LEAVE — the novel does not meet the standards set out in the Selection Criteria. We do not have any books by Aryan Kaganof or Ian Kerkhof in stock. According to Wikipedia, the author was born in South Africa as Ian Kerkhof, but changed his name in 1999.
Uncompromising artistic values
NAAR DE KLOTE! (WASTED!), Aryan Kaganof’s previous film, was an attempt to reach a large audience. The film clearly foregrounded Kerkhof’s strong and weak points as a director and it is positive that a broad audience got the opportunity to become acquainted with his unique manner of filming.
But happily Kaganof the uncompromising iconoclast is back. With his newest film RON ATHEY: IT’S SCRIPTED (the original title RON ATHEY: SO MANY WAYS TO SAY HALLELUJAH had to be changed because there is already a 2 hour documentary in production under this title) he has delivered a convincing artistic achievement. Those without strong stomachs will probably find the overwhelming amount of injection needles and razor blades a bit too much, but the film is so cleverly constructed that one cannot look away.
Kaganof has discovered that by doing the camera himself he can enchant the audience with mysterious hazy shots that evoke a murky and frightening effect. This is one of Kaganof’s most effective powers. In this documentary Kerkhof takes the viewer into a bizarre underworld, the sub-culture of blood art and body piercing performance art.
Kaganof’s camera registered a performance by the American “blood artist” Ron Athey which took place during the FREAK ZONE festival in Lille, France in May 1997. The camerawork is so freaky one would almost suspect it is under the influence of heroin. The film includes interviews with Athey as well as shocking live fragments wherein Athey works his face over with injection needles. The crazy, maniacal clamour of the HIV positive priest/performer gives us insights into the motives and goals of this group of masochistic performance artists.
Somebody who entertains his audience by cutting and stabbing himself; is this art? Who can say? What is beyond question is that Kaganof’s masterful use of the camera and editing not only obscures the images but also the boundary between art and unbearable filth.
Jeremy Ian Anderson
SKRIEN nov 1997
January 28, 2015
first published here: http://www.park.nl/park_cms/public/index.php?thisarticle=106&page=1
“My own thinking about art and values is far more disillusioned than would have been possible for someone 100 years ago. That doesn’t mean, though, that it’s more correct on that account. It only means that I have examples of degeneration on the forefront of my mind which were not in the forefront of men’s minds then.” Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1946
24. When we think of the cinema’s future, we always mean the destination it will reach if it keeps going in the direction we can see it going now; it does not occur to us that its path is not a straight line but a series of curves and tangents, constantly changing direction.
23. The RE:MIX is one of those tangents. It is a possibility of cinema.
22. The RE:MIXER creates an emptiness of cinema. But this emptiness was already there, potentially. It merely needed to be filled, to be actualised.
22.1 I still find my way of RE:MIXING new, and it keeps striking me so afresh; that is why I need to repeat myself so often. It will have become second nature to a new generation, to whom the repetitions will be boring. I find them necessary.
21. The RE:MIX is a practice of diluting, or haemorrhaging the subject in a fragmented, particled sound/vision language diffracted to emptiness.
20. The atomic unit of the RE:MIX is not the shot, but the fragment , – which is a clump, a volatile conglomerate. Granular, dense and stuck together. Division of this fragment occurs only to produce still another irreducible cohesion.
19. RE:MIXING is precisely the act which unites in the same labour what could not be apprehended together in the mere flat space of representation.
18. The RE:MIX reminds us that the rational is merely one possible system among others: it suffices that there be a system, even if this system is apparently illogical, uselessly complicated and curiously disparate.
18.1 Each of the RE:MIXES I make is trying to say the whole thing, ie. The same thing over and over again; it is as though they were all simply views of one object seen from different angles. This is the metaphysical aspect of RE:MIXING.
18.2 A RE:MIXER is very much like a metaphysician whose aim it is to represent all the inter-relations between things.
17. The RE:MIX has the fundamental characteristic of a denial of development. All one can do with it is to scrutinize it, not to solve it as if it had a meaning, nor even to perceive its absurdity (which is still a meaning).
16. The RE:MIX’s accuracy obviously has something musical about it (but not necessarily a music of sounds ).
15. The RE:MIX never describes: its art is counter-descriptive. A collection of literally “untenable moments” which constitute themselves as nostalgia for the future.
15.1 Working on RE:MIXING – like work in philosophy in many respects – is really more a working on oneself. On one’s own interpretation. On one’s way of seeing things.
15.2 I really do think in the medium, because my head often knows nothing about what the editor is doing.
14. The space of the RE:MIX is one of pure fragments, a dust of events; this is because the RE:MIX’s time is without subject.
13. One might say that the collective body of all RE:MIXES is a network of mirrors in which each mirror reflects all the others and so on to infinity; without there ever being a centre to grasp.
12. In the RE:MIX, what is abolished is not meaning, but any notion of finality.
11. RE:MIXING is by nature intransigently unfinishable: the process could, in theory, go on and on.
11.1 RE:MIXING sets everyone the same traps; it is an immense network of easily accessible wrong turnings. And so we watch one man after another walking down the same paths and we know in advance where he will branch off, where walk straight on without noticing the side turning, etc.
11.2 I don’t believe I have ever invented a line of editing. I have always taken over one from someone else. That is how Standish Lawder, Kenneth Anger, Marguerite Duras, Sergei Paradjanov, Richard kern and Franz Zwartjes have influenced me.
10. In RE:MIXES density of texture frequently obliterates the contours of the original sound/vision line.
10.1 RE:MIXING ought really to be performed only as a poetic composition.
9. Joyce’s technique of verbal fragmentation provides the essential background to any understanding of the art of the RE:MIX.
8. As in Joyce, fragments, often chosen to represent salient features of the source material, develop a strikingly individual resonance in isolation and combine to generate new and unexpected meanings.
7. In RE:MIXES, isolated phrases can give rise to new semantic affinities.
7.1 You must say something new and yet it must all be old. In fact you must confine yourself to saying old things – and all the same it must be something new! A RE:MIXER has constantly to ask himself: “but is what I am RE:MIXING really true?” – and this does not necessarily mean “is this how it happens in reality?” Yes, you have got to assemble bits of old material. But into a building. In this sense, Schwitters Dada masterpiece, the merzbau, is the first RE:MIX.
6. The RE:MIXER poeticises the image by emphasizing its musical values (chromatic oppositions, dissonance and compositional rhyme).
5. Semantic stutterings (loops) galvanize the source material into nervous life.
4. The RE:MIXER compounds his audience’s estrangement from the structural relations of the source material by presenting different fragments simultaneously, forcing them to grasp at momentarily comprehensible gestures within the general sound/vision overload.
3. The RE:MIXER is fascinated with working at the very limits of coherence.
2. Massive clusters, dynamic contrasts, aggregate rhythms, layered imagery, chromatic quagmires, major audio-visual dislocations: these are the characteristics of the RE:MIX.
2.1 One’s style of RE:MIXING may be unoriginal in form and yet one’s images and sounds may be well chosen; or, on the other hand, one may have a style that’s original in form, one that is freshly grown from deep within oneself. (Or again it may, of course, just be blotched together out of old bits and pieces – like mine.)
2.2 Sometimes a RE:MIX can be understood only if it is experienced at the right tempo. My RE:MIXES are all meant to be viewed slowly.
1. The RE:MIXER is a man condemned in advance. He must have neither romantic relationships nor object to engage his feelings. He should even cast off his own name. Every part of him should be concentrated in one single passion: the RE:MIX!
1 I didn’t want a manifesto about RE:MIXING. I wanted a manifesto that was itself RE:MIXED. Burroughs’ cut-ups provided an historical precedent; although it was probably Kathy Acker’s work on Dickens that gave me the confidence to plunder at will. Cage’s absurd vertical texts “lifted” out of Wittgenstein were also of use. Finally I always remembered Gertrude Stein. Barthes, Camus, Wittgenstein, Fritjof Capra and Gary Zukav were my plunder sources. (Remember, this has happening in music for a long time now, ie. John Wall’s groundbreaking Plunderphonics.) RE:MIXING can be poetry but in the wrong hands it runs the danger of becoming propaganda. SAMPLE AT WILL THERE IS NO COPYRIGHT!
aryan kaganof’s manifesto “nostalgia for the future” was first published in february 2000 as part of the sonic fragments manifesto “the digital future is now”, published in amsterdam by allegri films. the manifesto was later published in the netherlands in interakta, a publication of the erasmus university, rotterdam
By ARYAN KAGANOF
Where, then, does the RE:MIX idea lead us? This, of course, nobody knows, but it is fascinating to speculate about its ultimate fate. One can imagine a vast network of future RE:MIXES covering an ever-increasing range of natural phenomena with ever-increasing accuracy; a network which will contain fewer and fewer unexplained features, deriving more and more of its structure from the mutual consistency of its parts.
Some day, then, a point will be reached where the RE:MIX will no longer be able to express its results in words, or in rational concepts, and will thus go beyond cinema.
Instead of a RE:MIX theory of cinema, it will become a RE:MIX sound/vision of cinema, transcending the realms of thought and language; leading out of the cinema and into the world of acintya, the unthinkable.
RE:MIXES have an auto-hypnotic function.
The prime characteristic of the RE:MIXER is that he does not tell a story.
The RE:MIX discards with the subject; there is no “I” for the spectator to I-dentify with.
The RE:MIX may be likened to a hall of mirrors, endlessly reflecting its anti-eschatalogical celebration of form for form’s sake.
RE:MIXES are never finished. Their highest aspirations are anti-judgemental.
RE:MIXES always beg the question: when may we begin again?
The RE:MIX is what emerges when the machine haunts the ghost.
The closest a RE:MIX gets to once upon a time is always now.
The RE:MIXES of value always invoke deja-vu.
RE:MIXING is addictive.
The moment of the RE:MIX is superluminal.
It arrives before it was sent.
The RE:MIX is never on time.
Its time is a perpetuum mobile of memories of what happens next.
The RE:MIX is Zarathustra’s Eternal Recurrence, vibrating fast enough for your ears to see it and slow enough for your eyes to hear it.
A true RE:MIX is best regarded as already existing before it has been composed: with editing as the act of deducing its entirety from a single key phrase/sample/fragment that swims into the RE:MIXER’s mind.
RE:MIXES have an auto-hypnotic function.
the interview took place a few days after the opening of Matthew’s first retrospective exhibition which took place at the Booyman van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, 1995. The interview was conducted as part of a documentary film about Matthew that Aryan was commissioned to make by the VPRO (a Dutch tv station). The film was shot on 16mm colour stock by Joost van Gelder and Wiro Felix and broadcast under the title “Matthew Barney in the Emperor’s New Clothes”. a Japanese art distributor released the film as a vhs called “Three Art Documentaries”. The other two artists portraited on the tape are Ron Athey and Baby Kain.
matthew barney in the emperor’s new clothes
Aryan Kaganof: I’m going to jump around. I want to do that to try to keep the train of thought fresh, but also because I’m very scatty. So there I’ve developed a theory too…, to accommodate my own scattiness. I’d like to start off with a point we spoke about last week. Your movement towards narrative and I’m particularly concerned about the development your work is making to Hollywood cinema and to narrative cinema.
Matthew Barney: Yes, what I said was that, at this point at least, I’m much more interested in thinking about these projects as sculpture… I believe that Cremaster 4 and Cremaster 1 are both sculptures and I think that they’re starting to take on some of the language of film in a more conscious way, but I guess that the threshold lies in some kind of character development and in some kind of value system of what it means to make a sculpture or to make a form that doesn’t have that kind of pressure to resolve itself and in fact, when it does it dies, as a form. In that way the characters and the videos aren’t about…, in a typically narrative fashion. I think that they stop themselves, they’re doing their jobs, basically, within the world today, they have a job to do and they execute it. Certain characters have more will than others. But in a certain case, none of them have any will at all. They simply do, and… Yeah, on the other hand, narrative interests me, in a way that it pulls me further and further away from the limitations of making sculpture. In terms of feeling free to lie versus constantly dealing with gravity, and always having to tell the truth, and somehow allowing the work to become more narrative, and thinking more about storytelling is in that way really liberating.
I think the characters are aspects of a larger organism that’s been in a kind of a growth process for probably about eight years, and in that way, those certain characters are constantly in conflict with one another. Yet they describe the same organism. I mean, they’re from piece to piece as well as within a single project. This was one of the reasons for making an exhibition like this and making a pageant like we did and this notion of bringing together unlikely combinations of characters which are really likely in terms of the body of work being the single organism.
The character Goodyear (Cremaster 1, red.) was in the state of the reproductive track before the point of differentiation and the opening of the piece has the two blimps hovering over the top of the goal post at the end of the football stadium. In that way define the drawing of the reproductive track that hadn’t differentiated itself yet. The air hostesses within the blimps and the blimps themselves were obligated to do their jobs, which was to descend and to define themselves, and to grow. In that way, Goodyear was in conflict with the blimps that she inhabited, so she was in way kind of a regressive, almost a regressive virus inside this organism. But very much a part of it. So Goodyear’s projection becomes the field of choir, who execute the choreography of Goodyear, which again ends in the drawing of the reproductive track before the point of differentiation.
Well, I suppose that if the narrative is pared down and distilled down to its purest form I think what we’re really talking about are very simple notions of equilibrium, or more specifically, the impossibility for equilibrium and pure freedom. So in that way yes, as representations no, they’re not. I don’t consider them representational.
AK: Are you infatuated with glamour?
MB: No, no. I think the different aspects of several of the projects really that have taken on, have taken on different codes of fashion or glamour or Hollywood cinema. Have really taken it on in the same way that they’ve taken on Jim Otto, for instance. A personality in American sports, who’s not particularly glamorous really. I think that the narrative ends up inhabiting these forms. Not to say that the form is completely empty, but within the language of the work it exists as a form that can be inhabited. So in that way it has nothing to do with Jim Otto. He’s a carrier in a certain way. But with athletics I think it was something that I was involved with. And in that way, it gives a kind of foundation for the work, that kind of behaviour of athletics and this notion of capturing potential within this organism and how this builds itself and perpetuates itself through training and a kind of a discipline and loses its energy and spends it all really in the field of competition. Those ideas were the ideas that developed the first narratives in these videos in terms of creating a division between something that existed more as potential and something that existed as a kind of a release and how characters were then assigned to these different zones.
AK:I’d like to use this rule to get slightly more anecdotal. What really impressed me on Saturday, what I found unusual, was the care and deliberation and precision of your team. I wondered whether this reflects your process in terms of setting an example to them and then they taking up on that, or have you deliberately chosen a group of people who are as precise and detailed as you are in your working?
MB: Yeah, I would say the latter. I would say, neurotics attract neurotics, something like that. I think that they are all extremely good at what they do and they are very obsessive in their own way. So much about these project, particularly a video projects have to do with…, they can’t operate really without a focus on detail which… everybody has. That’s for sure.
…to the sculptures, to the video projects, to the characters themselves, that I think that it’s almost like talking about the openings in the body or something like that. I kind of…, always think that if those details are correct that it provides some kind of a valve. Whether it’s for receiving energy or letting energy escape. I think about those details that way, that if they’re not right, then energy is either trapped or can’t be accepted, you know, by the form whatever the form happens to be at that given moment.
I think that there’s certainly, certain artists that deal with a kind of cosmology, a certain kind, but there are probably far more film makers that work that way. In that way, I’ve always looked at a film, but I guess it’s sort of recent that I really feel like eh… It’s been fairly recent that I feel that film’s become really essential in the way that I think about developing form. I guess in the past I’ve always sort of considered myself a horror film junkie or something, and I’ve have taken certain aspects of particularly that genre and kinetic movie making. People like Sam Raimee. And really, probably more in a sort of sculptural way that, framing like somebody like Berkeley, things like that. But I guess more recently I’ve been feeling…, in terms of this idea about storytelling and relieving a situation of its gravity and learning to lie, really. I mean film has become a lot more important for me.
I suppose I got interested in that for a variety of reasons, but eh… I think that the aerial view or the overhead perspective on action has been something that I’ve been thinking about for a while really, and how scale leaps from a diagrammatic situation to a… whether human scale is still recognised, to something that starts to become really more microscopic and how this happens a lot in the perfectly… kind of ninety degree overhead. And this is something of course Berkeley used a lot and used really beautifully. In that way thinking about the Goodyear blimp as really a camera dolly that changed the way athletic events are viewed and understood really again as a diagram for action and as a dynamic camera dolly. But further with Berkeley I guess I… a couple of things…, I really started feeling like maybe this was one of those moments in cinema where somebody got really close to being free in a certain way. And he really went for it. He was doing incredible things with the camera and with his subjects. And of course these days, looking at these things and thinking of course all of this could be done by computer, and looking at those films and seeing the wire carrying one of these show girls up in the cameras swinging them across the room or seeing the irregularity in the car turn, you know, which brings up the portrait of F.D.R., or listings were all manual. In that way the error in them was I think really beautiful, particularly when they were attempting to make organic forms that of course can’t be perfect. In the same you look toward a person…, they keep promising you that they’re symmetrical, but they never are. Yeah, I thought a lot about that, and it changed the way that I would look to Leni Riefenstahl for instance and of course the grid of Olympia, the Berlin stadium and how much more beautiful that made the flower of Busby Berkeley, somehow more honest, more free.
AK: It seemed to me that there were different sets of parallel tensions going on in different rooms on the day (21 October, red.), and you were physically moving from space to space, and sort of overseeing too much, in a way. I wondered, do you deliberately pose yourself impossible challenges in order to not quite meet them, because you need to be stretched to the extent to realise yourself. Or is it just a miscalculation on my part that it seemed just beyond reach in a way?
MB: No, I think that…, well this isn’t at all an answer to the question, but I think that it’s relevant, … I think that really one of the exciting things about having… these projects move more towards a cinematic language and that more and more people are involved and that the ego of the project starts to get distributed among a group of people and in that way, and particularly that moment, when it’s recognised that that’s happened I feel a real release, and I think that is really nice. And I think that that is a little bit like a drug I suppose, you know that the projects keep getting larger really, and more complex. I suppose in a way that it’s some kind of insurance that that moment of release will continue to happen really. And also there’s the fact that nothing can really be pure, or nothing can really be perfect. I mean this is always a battle I think with object making and with working on something that is very distilled, the way that sculpture is. That somehow opening things up and making them very very difficult to pull off, sort of releases that… It doesn’t remove that kind of drive toward that problem and really butting your head up against that problem, but it somehow makes it easier to deal with. And it’s more clear, it’s easier to understand that kind of, just that fact that things can’t be perfectly symmetrical, things can’t be perfect, you know. And thank God. You know, why would we keep doing what we’re doing, you know?
AK: In that sense the work almost implicitly needs to be unfinished?
MB: Well, I think that the work implicitly needs resistance. And that is really one of the foundations of these narratives as well really. Without resistance a form can’t grow. And so much of the kind of trials in the work, even, whether it’s the image of that kind of effort or the effort, you know as well as I do, of actually making a film really all has that same kind of meaning for me, that it’s really much less interesting to think about a finished form than it is to continue to impose resistance on this growing form and to try not to, you know, look too long into the toilet, you know, you just gotta kind of keep moving, and not really look at what you’ve done so much. There’s time for reflection in everything but I really, it’s like, ideal at stasis is death, you know, the form has to keep moving, it has to keep growing, and it has to have resistance.
AK: Matthew, could you tell me about horror films?
MB: Horror films… I suppose I’m interested in the way that a horror film creates a landscape out of the inside of the body, or effectively turns the body inside out in certain cases. Cronenberg works that way sometimes.
AK: Are your installations scripts for horror films that are waiting to be realised?
MB: No, no. I actually don’t eh… well, waiting to be realised by somebody else? Or by eh… I mean, is that a literal question?
I think that they operate in a lot of similar ways to the way that horror operates. In to that sense of place, that some of the classical horror films have to the summer camp, the Friday 13th movies, to The Lodge, or The Shining, to The Cabin in the Woods, The Evil Dead movies, and that kind of restriction to site that those films depend on really. So that this architectural situation becomes organic and injected with behaviour really. And I think the same kind of ideas go into some of these installations, particularly in their primary site, which we are not standing in here. Obviously, The Shining, you know the lodge becomes really a part of the behaviour of Nicholson’s character. And that conflict with his wife, really, and child and it gets…, those aspects of this character really become part of that architecture.
AK: I wasn’t quite clear about the definitions between the idea of a pageant, a fashion show, a liturgical event, Catholic event. Lots of images came through my head, but at the end of the day, I didn’t feel any clarity. Is that okay?
MB: Eh, I think that happened on Saturday was really… It felt to me very similar to the way I feel when I finish filming something. Immediately finish filming something. You have moments that you know are strong and certain far less clear moments in between those things. And some of the ideas that went into it in terms of letting the procession happen, letting each of these characters come out, letting the stage be emptied and playing one song and having there be an interval really which functions like editing does, and that if it works, the viewers would then edit the piece themselves in a certain way. And I think that there are a multitude of different ways that that event could be edited a certain way.
No, I think it was, that this space functioned much more clearly with a load of people in it, it also would have been nice with nobody there at all, but eh… beyond that, it isn’t really something that interests me. I was very happy to see a lot of children there.
AK: I heard from a number of people after the event had closed and they had looked through the installation was that they felt they needed to get to terms with the ground rules. They wanted a set, you know, of ten points of how to participate or observe this event. But it struck me that that is precisely what’s interesting about the work…
MB: well, I suppose eh… One has to keep working really and I think that eh… I just think it’s important to feel free enough to do something like that parade really. To continue to develop hybrids of things that are really understood as, you know, isolated events or single projects or even single stories. And it’s certainly a way that I’ve always felt about them, but probably very important to continue to make more visible experimentation with that. ‘Cause I think that’s really important for people to understand if they’re interested in approaching the work from a kind of narrative way, which I think in the end is very important.
AK: … the relationship with narrative and place, a set of relationships with meaning. I guess that’s where I feel a drift in your work is that constantly ascribing meaning to surfaces and textures but I have no confidence that my set of ascribed meanings as actually anything to do with your intentions or your work at all.
MB: Well, I guess I kind of feel like, I mean, that’s the nature of eh… of a sculptural language, that’s trying to drag with it a kind of a narrative or a story that eh… It moves very slowly. In that way I feel very confident that that story will make sense, but I think it’s gonna take years and years and years to build.
…So I’ve no choice really.
AK: You mentioned the word neurotic, and on the day I heard the phrase control freak used a lot.
MB: Did you?
AK: Do you feel comfortable with those descriptions?
MB: Well, I suppose it depends on who’s saying them. I feel very comfortable with something like that coming from the people that are working with me. It’s definitely something we joke about all the time. It’s like that other question you asked me, really, which is, you know, without allowing a process to become a piece of therapy, I think that there are a lot of things that can happen within the creative process that can actually deal with real problems that way. And then there’s the notion of dealing with problems that are bigger and bigger and you know, projects that are bigger and bigger. Sort of building something into the project that starts to take on some of these other problems of control or problems of fetish, or problems of, some of these things that potentially could really kill off the work I think, and… I mean if it were allowed to be focused on, you know what I mean?
AK: I sometimes, but perhaps it’s my hearing, I sometimes find your talking about your work seem very removed from your work. Perhaps that is your dispassionate way of talking. But I do also get a feeling that there really is a Matthew Barney, a construct, in the fields of art, in the fields of media. And there’s you, this sort of guy sitting here with green hair, you know, blue eyes and a smile. Is there a space between those two things, or is the work aware of that space, or is Matthew aware of that space?
MB: Well, I think there’s certainly a… You know, again there’s that kind of distance from the ego that I think is really critical. I don’t feel like the work can function without being able to step outside, you know, also some more to the notion of turning yourself inside out, you know, I think there is a purpose for it, it’s not just about creating viscera, metaphorically, I think it’s, that’s important. Especially with the faith that the envelope can be turned back. But it is one of the things that I like also about good models, the same thing happens, probably with actors as well, but I don’t really know actors so well, this idea of being able to evacuate your body, leave, look back, and understand it is a form. That is I think really important with these projects, that I feel I really have to leave.
AK: Matthew Barney is a mutant form? A constantly changing construct. It has nothing to do with you anymore?
MB: Well, I think it has everything to do with me at the same time. I think you have to feel free to come and go.
AK: What really struck me, as the two (Barney and Helena Christensen during the parade, red.) of you walked together away from the camera, I thought, it filled me with the idea of the Emperor’s new clothes. Literally, as the audience was gushing. Am I being cynical? Was there any reference to that at all in the mythology?
MB: Keep going. Other question
AK: There you were, walking, covered in an enormous amount of work of make-up, but you were also nude. Helena was walking next to you, escorting as if you weren’t nude, as if you were wearing a lot of make-up. But the creature that you had been made up to be was nude. I saw as a kind of envelope, an invisible envelope, and it made me think of the Emperor’s new clothes. And I thought for a second, he’s duping us all. And it’s great. And we’re loving it. And then I wondered whether that’s got anything to do with what you’re doing at all?
MB: No, I don’t think so. Other than the notion of the prosthetic being flexible, in terms of being architectural, sort of in the world of costume, or wardrobe, or the internal world of the body or eh…
AK: The quality of your work. It seemed so much fun. It seems to me very relaxed, very uncynical, and yet at the same time it is not totally integrated into a kind of…, you mentioned viscerality earlier, but it is visceral and yet distanced, it’s through the media that the viscerality comes to us. That fun quality, that knowing quality. Is that a reflection of your personality? Or is that something you work to?
MB: I think humour ends up being one of the valves in the work. (…) Yeah, I suppose that’s the kind of humour that I like, really. That kind of laughter that you have when you’re not quite sure if you’re supposed to laugh.
AK: That probably is the sentence you’ve said today that most clearly connects me with the feelings I had on Saturday. Because very often I looked around me and I saw various states…, various hybrid states of confusion and a lot of people were not daring to allow their instincts to go into laughter. I enjoyed that. I wondered if you enjoyed that?
MB: Well, I wasn’t there. You have to remember. I was in the back room. So eh… I just saw the tape this morning for the first time. And I did enjoy it. I enjoyed the gaps and those moments of awkwardness.
AK: …in the wheelchair, downstairs watching the pageant through the sort of plastic curtains. I wondered if you were contorting the kind of agony, or you had absolved yourself from the space and you were just given up to whatever the dynamics of the space were. I couldn’t find either or in what I saw but it could have been either of it, you could put captions on the two photographs, and it could be any one of them.
MB: Yeah, I think at that point I was much more about letting it go. What else could you do really.
AK: …end at the exhibition. Or is there a residue, a spill off, that you take back with you to America?
MB: I definitely bring things back with me. I’ll probably bring back with me the walls in between each of the rooms. In a certain way that’s what I kind of think this exhibition is about. Or those walls. Just the walls that divide each of the rooms in the exhibition. And I think those are the things that I take with me from this. More than anything else. And the children.
AK: …What I see as a problem in terms of critical reception. At least, as I’ve been reading. It seems to me that art critics can’t give up being moralists. And that can be kind of inhibiting I guess as an artist. Trying to investigate new mutant forms.
MB: Yeah, I think it’s a real barrier. I guess you just continue to believe in abstraction, and to believe in transformation, that the most loaded image in the world has the ability to be transformed into and accepted into another language.
AK: …American artist?
MB: Sure. I think eh… If I understand your question, I think that, I grew up in America. America is the place where I started to understand… how forms can be developed and how forms can be invented. I think I learned about those things on the football field, an American football field. In that way I feel very connected to those spaces, still. And they are very specifically American.
AK: In terms of sort of autobiographical anecdotal material, I have been told by various prominent art critics that your mother is of inestimable importance to your work. Would that be true, and if so, could you clarify that to some extent?
MB: I suppose that to the extent that she introduced me to art. You know, in that way she remains one of the more inspiring artists that I’ve looked at. As a painter, that is.
AK: Is your development in the future going to be more and more towards cinematic narratives? Storytelling, perhaps even working on film?
MB: I really have no idea at this point.
AK: The parade on Saturday reminded me a great deal of film making. I recognised it from large sets I’ve been on. Although it had a more volatile field. There was lots of control and organisation, but also a genuine volatility, that I sometimes find quite dangerous. Do you need elements of danger to keep you going? Sort of challenges to set yourself?
MB: Certainly. I find, you know, arguing with camera men a very invigorating conflict. yes, I suppose it’s in the end maybe it is the same as, you know, as jumping thirty or forty feet off of a pier. The same kind of push.
AK: …that you put your body through, I guess involved a certain amount of physical pain. Is pain important to you in terms of breaking thresholds? In terms of the mutant quality of the art form?
MB: I guess I never really think about it in terms of pain. As much as I do, some terms of that notion of resistance. I mean, pain is a relative. I’m very interested in resistance. And particularly in a kind of a self imposed resistance. And that I think is essential.
AK: The testicles with the kind of steel rings through them. Has that got anything to do with contemporary fashion? Piercing, scarification? Or is that a pre-Christian mythology that you’ve unearthed?
MB: Maybe neither. It’s the anatomy that I character. At that given moment.
AK: …that the clothes or garments that the characters wore were absolutely essential in terms of determining the states of mind of the characters. To that extent, what fabric and textile be of extreme importance in terms of the narrative?
MB: It could be, sure. What else did you say?
AK: I found it very interesting for you (revealing), ’cause I see a great attention to texture. And obviously I imagined in the editing as well. A kind of textural editing.
MB: Yeah, well there’s certainly types of fabric that dress couldn’t be out of. It’s something I enjoy very much actually, the costume making.
AK: There’s a level of aesthetic enjoyment in costume, make-up, and that preparation, which is actually outside of the experience of the work itself.
MB: Well, I don’t think that any aspect of the work excludes itself from just joy, or the joy of making something. I don’t think there is really any difference between that. You know, between the picking of fabrics for the dress or editing that way.
AK: On Saturday there were times watching you when you looked to me like a kid who’d been given three wishes and the first wish was to have a lovely costume party and invite all his friends around, and celebrate. Does that make any sense to you?
MB: It sounds slightly to the left of where I would hope that piece ended up. That sounds a little decadent to me, which it may well could have been. But I kind of feel like that the project is a little more interested in, well in celebrating in a certain way. You know, but once again, not really allowing itself to reach a state of resolve. I suppose more than anything that I’ve ever done or put out. I think, I don’t know, I feel that the piece was kind of gestural. It had to do with that kind of, with celebration.
AK: If Matthew Barney was a mutant kid, and if the camera was a genie, what would his three wishes be?
MB: Boy, I don’t know. I suppose I have, you know, the same wish as anyone else, really. And that’s just, to get closer to feeling free, really. It hasn’t anything to do with a genie or a camera, but it certainly has to do with why, you know, we all bust out ass doing what we do, you know? Makes sense?
Thank you very much.
the interview was originally published by the vpro laat op de avond
Stig Wikander told us some fascinating things on the history of “Aryanism” in Europe. He found the origin of the idea of the superiority of the Aryans in the anti-clericalism of Jules Michelet and Edgar Quinet. It is because they wanted to disparage Christianity (directly or indirectly) that Michelet and Quinet exalted the Vedas and “Aryan wisdom”. Their anti-Semitism and that of their admirers was only a reflection of their anticlericalism. Their Aryanophilia was of a religious nature. The brother of the celebrated Sanskritist Eugène Burnouf, Emile, who was a professor at Nantes, wrote a history of religions in which he demonstrated the important and the antiquity of the Vedas. The book had an enormous influence. Even Mallarmè read it and affirmed that Homer had ruined epic poetry. But what came before Homer? He was asked. The Vedas, answered Mallarmè.
The Aryanising anticlericalism had no connection with the political anti-Semitism that arose later. The origins of this anti-Semitic current are located in Austria-Hungary and in the Germany of the second half of the nineteenth century.
first published here: http://blackafricanliterature.blogspot.com/2015/01/adieu-charles-matorera.html
more information is here: http://www.napovednik.com/dogodek320125_ne_zahodni_anti_kanon
January 27, 2015
took this shot at a Madala Kunene gig on Friday night. The drummer is Mabi Thobejane .. very shamanistic dude!
the venue is African Freedom Station .. nice mix of folk of all colour .. I guess music is the best way for people to forget
their backgrounds ..
I like the mix of emotions and attention in this shot ..
keep reading this story here: http://iceflow.com/riverbabble/issue26/FICTION-KAGANOF-26.HTML
Sound Cloud 2 tracks FREE AS SOUND / ZIMUNGU
with: Pat Matshikiza – Piano Vocals & Grunts / Kevin Gibson & Lulu Gontsana (RIP) – Drums / Zim Ngqawana (RIP) – Sax / Victor Masondo – Bass / Johnny Mekoa – Trumpet.
Recorded in the 3rd Ear / Tusk Music Mobile in Durban by David Marks & Produced by Darius Brubeck,
PAT VUYISILE MATSHIKIZA – (20.11.1938 – 29.12.2014) RIP. Sad to open 2015 with the news that another obscure SAfrican musician friend and legendary jazz pianist has departed into the great unknown, and, unheard of within the confines of our shallow commercial music media mainstream. Pat was an iconic, hidden living treasure. One of South Africa’s jazz greats he was part of a music family dynasty: son of pianist Meekly Matshikiza, nephew to Uncle Todd ‘King Kong’ Matshikiza and cousin to the late John Matshikiza (author & Journalist)from Queenstown, Eastern Cape. 3rd Ear Music suspects that in 2015 the music media and the commercial record industry pack will fall over themselves to look, learn and listen to what Pat Mat The Hat was about; too little too late, again. He was extraordinary – that’s who and what Pat was – and you have only yourselves to blame for missing one of SAfrica’s legendary and colourful jazz musician characters. These 2 tracks were part of a 10 track recording session on the 5th November 1990 and were never issued: FREE AS SOUND / ZIMUNGU featured Pat Matshikiza – Piano Vocals & Grunts / Kevin Gibson & Lulu Gontsana (RIP) – Drums / Zim Ngqawana (RIP) – Sax / Victor Masondo – Bass / Johnny Mekoa – Trumpet. Recorded in the 3rd Ear / Tusk Music Mobile in Durban by David Marks & Produced by Darius Brubeck, and re-mastered in 2006 by David from a VHS PCM Audio tape. HY ARCHIVE AUDIO CDR ONLY – NOT FINALIZED (p)(c) 1990 – 2014.
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
The culture of war banishes the capacity for pity. It glorifies self-sacrifice and death. It sees pain, ritual humiliation and violence as part of an initiation into manhood. Brutal hazing, as Kyle noted in his book, was an integral part of becoming a Navy SEAL. New SEALs would be held down and choked by senior members of the platoon until they passed out. The culture of war idealizes only the warrior. It belittles those who do not exhibit the warrior’s “manly” virtues. It places a premium on obedience and loyalty. It punishes those who engage in independent thought and demands total conformity. It elevates cruelty and killing to a virtue. This culture, once it infects wider society, destroys all that makes the heights of human civilization and democracy possible. The capacity for empathy, the cultivation of wisdom and understanding, the tolerance and respect for difference and even love are ruthlessly crushed. The innate barbarity that war and violence breed is justified by a saccharine sentimentality about the nation, the flag and a perverted Christianity that blesses its armed crusaders. This sentimentality, as Baldwin wrote, masks a terrifying numbness. It fosters an unchecked narcissism. Facts and historical truths, when they do not fit into the mythic vision of the nation and the tribe, are discarded. Dissent becomes treason. All opponents are godless and subhuman. “American Sniper” caters to a deep sickness rippling through our society. It holds up the dangerous belief that we can recover our equilibrium and our lost glory by embracing an American fascism.
keep reading here: http://www.truthdig.com/report/page3/killing_ragheads_for_jesus_20150125
I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he siimplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau