Posts Tagged ‘Postmodern Film’

“Triumph of the Walt” (Video Art, 2010)

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

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Video mashup of Walk Disney’s speech at the opening of Disneyland, one of Hitler’s speeches and Star Wars. All footage sourced from YouTube.

“Werner von Braun entered the consciousness of America as its prophet of space travel on a Sunday evening in 1955. He had been hired by Walt Disney to develop a series of stories for his Disneyland television program With his smooth German accent, von Braun came across as foreign as outer-space; yet with Disney as his patron, he became familiar as Mickey Mouse and he seemed as squeaky clean as Snow White. We eventually learned – if we did not know already – that von Braun had designed the V-2 missile that had rained terror on London during World War 2 According to his story, von Braun had little choice but to let his genius be exploited by the Nazis. Now, in the mid-1950s, he was working for the United States Army to build rockets that would defend us from the Communists. About a decade ago, as many government documents from the end of World War II were declassified, von Braun’s true story began to emerge. The documents told of the Nazi activities of von Braun and other German scientists who came to the US after the war. It was no longer credible for them to say that they were not dedicated Nazis and only did what they did to protect their jobs They belonged to the Nazi party, the SS, and other Nazi organizations. They were honored by the Nazi party and by Hitler specifically. They were indirectly – and in some cases directly – responsible for the deaths of thousands of concentration camp slave laborers.” (Dennis Piszkiewicz, The Nazi Rocketeers: Dreams of Space and Crimes of War)

In 1933, the German American Bund was founded by Fritz Kuhn. An association of German immigrants to America, the Bund had a definite pro-Nazi slant. Disney animator Art Babbitt claimed his boss had a strong interest in, if not outright sympathy for, the Bund; “In the immediate years before we entered the War there was a small, but fiercely loyal, I suppose legal, following of the Nazi party… There were open meetings, anybody could attend and I wanted to see what was going on myself. On more than one occasion I observed Walt Disney and [Disney’s lawyer] Gunther Lessing there, along with a lot of prominent Nazi-afflicted Hollywood personalities. Disney was going to meetings all the time. The German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, whose documentaries in the mid-30s had helped to glorify the Nazis, claimed that “after Kristallnacht [1938], she approached every studio in Hollywood looking for work. No studio head would even screen her movies except Walt Disney. He told her he admired her work but if it became known that he was considering hiring her, it would damage his reputation.” (Marc Eliot, Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince)

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“On Several Regimes of Signs: Carolee Schneemann and Paris Hilton” (Video Art, 2010)

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

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“I define feminist art as images and visualizations and actions which readdress the suppression, the marginalization and the denigration of works made by women for… for me, for over a thousand years. That’s the repression that I’ve been addressing.” (Carolee Schneemann)

“I have been thinking about something I’m been hearing, reading, everyday, especially now with politics, how he changed his mind, he changes his mind. Changing one’s mind as something bad, evil almost. I think that changing one’s mind is one of the best things that there is… Why I was thinking today about changing one’s mind — you won’t believe me — all the papers writing and making jokes about Paris Hilton. Paris saying that she changed, that she is not what she was two days ago, three days, changing her mind. And everybody making jokes, you know, that’s about her saying this. I was thinking how people don’t believe that any change can happen that would be positive. We have become so skeptical, so negative. We don’t believe anymore in slow or sudden changes… I am not saying that Paris has really changed – I am only reacting to the press, to their reactions, to their negativity and attitude towards changing of one’s mind, of becoming different.” (Jonas Mekas)

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“Monsterpiece Theatre: Waiting For El Godot” (Video Art, 2010)

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

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“The mind, placed before any kind of difficulty, can find an ideal outlet in the absurd. Accommodation to the absurd readmits adults to the mysterious realm inhabited by children.” (Andre Breton)

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“Andy Warhols Eats A Hamburger [33 Scenes From YouTube RECON]” (Video Art, 2010)

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

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Reconstruction of Jorgen Leth’s “Andy Warhol Eats A Hamburger” (from the documentary film “66 Scenes From America”) using 33 amateur remakes posted to YouTube over the last 2 years. Part of the ongoing RECON project. Many thanks to Contemporary Art Truck and IconoTV for featuring this on their blogs.

“The most beautiful thing in Tokyo is McDonald’s. The most beautiful thing in Stockholm is McDonald’s. The most beautiful thing in Florence is McDonald’s. Peking and Moscow don’t have anything beautiful yet… What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.” (Andy Warhol, From A to B and Back Again)

“He is told that he has to say his name and that he should do so when he has finished performing his action, but what happens is that the action takes a very long time to perform; it’s simply agonizing.I have to admit that I personally adore that, because its a pure homage to Warhol. It couldnt be more Warholesque. That’s of course why he agreed to do it.” (Jorgen Leth, in Mette Hjort & Ib Bondebjerg, The Danish Directors: Dialogues on a Contemporary National Cinema, p70)

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“On Several Regimes of Signs: Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant vs Sister Wendy” (Video Art, 2010)

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

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Part of a series of film adaptations of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s “Capitalism and Schizophrenia 2: A Thousand Plateaus.”

“If Andre the Giant had been the enduring icon of pro wrestling in the ‘70s, the ‘80s belonged to Hogan. It was inevitable that the two would meet so that Hogan could officially take over the reins. The clash took place in 1987 at the legendary Wrestlemania III, where millions watched Hogan bodyslam the 7’4”, 520-pound colossus. “I felt like I needed an ambulance after that,” says Hogan, who tore several muscles in his back performing the move. Though he was already the champion, and by no means a runt by any standard, Hogan emerged from the match as wrestling’s David, having vanquished Goliath and thus anointed the king of the ring.” (Caroline Ryder, Hulk Hogan)

“I’m sure everybody has this capacity. But it’s not activated… I think a lot of it is the fault of art critics who speak in a kind of highfalutin way… that unless you’re highly educated and very bright and know the right language you really haven’t got any rights to be having an opinion, so people are frightened, they feel they don’t know.” (Sister Wendy in Conversation)

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“Of The Refrain: Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful” (Video Art, 2010)

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

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Experimental video art mashup of Britney Spears and Marina Abramovic. Part of a series of film adaptations of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s “Capitalism and Schizophrenia 2: A Thousand Plateaus.” Many thanks to the fashion blog Eternal Optimist for reposting this recently. One of two works exploring Britney Spears shaving her head and its relation to gender.

“I have to tell you something – they say she is about to go through a nervous breakdown. I mean I am going through, almost practically every day, through a nervous mini-breakdown and nervous breakdowns are very necessarily. And artists who don’t go through nervous breakdowns I don’t trust them. I don’t think I even like them. They are no good. They are just square, too normal. For an artist to be normal is a disaster. So, leave her alone, you square, normal, boring people… It has nothing to do with what she is singing or not singing. I am talking about her as a person… I am talking about the inside.” (Jonas Mekas on Britney Spears)

“I suspect that the day Britney Spears shaved her own hair off represented a kind of Sartrean or Socratic argument (rather than, say, a nervous breakdown). She was, in effect, by the use of appearance, shrewdly de-mythifying beauty. The hair lies on the floor, “inexplicably faded” (Sartre), and the conventional notion of femininity likewise.” (Andy Martin, The Phenomenology of Ugly)

“I brush my hair with a metal brush held in my right hand and simultaneously comb my hair with a metal comb held in my left hand. While so doing, I continuously repeat ‘Art must be beautiful’, ‘Artist must be beautiful’, until I have destroyed my hair and face.” (Marina Abramovic)

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“The Death of the Author [Psycho Shower Scene RECON]” (Video Art, 2010)

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

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Reconstruction of Alfred Hitchcock’s famous shower scene from Psycho using amateur and professional YouTube remakes. All 55 shots sourced from different YouTube remakes and recombined with the original sound to create Hitchcock’s literal death as an author. Part of the ongoing RECON project. Many thanks to JazJaz for featuring this on their blog. Re-cut in 2011.

“We seem to have a compulsion these days to bury time capsules in order to give those people living in the next century or so some idea of what we are like. I have prepared one of my own. I have placed some rather large samples of dynamite, gunpowder, and nitroglycerin. My time capsule is set to go off in the year 3000. It will show them what we are really like.” (Alfred Hitchcock)

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