Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Urban Clicking

In NYC, art is never far away.

Today, the Edvard Munch show at MOMA.

Forget "The Scream" - instead, check out his "In Man's Brain" - a woodcut with red ink featuring a woman reclining on the top of his brain.

The Muse, no doubt.

But a blood red Muse, one that pre-dates all forms of brain scanning and that suggests that even Munch had babes on his mind.

Was he tapping into the unconscious neural mechanism that enflamed his imagination when playing?

Then there are the portraits: Mallarme, Nietzsche, and Strindberg.

Mallarme brings me the open space of field composition, a throw of the dice that never abolishes chance, typographical inventiveness that allows words to do more than simply mean. With Mallarme, the word is image. Visual text.

Nietzsche brings me style, passion, and the further investigation of Life Style Practice. Check out his "Why I am So Clever" and you'll see that he was ALL OVER open space, exercise, and diet. If Nietzsche lived in Boulder in the early 21st century, he would not have been a venereal madman, he would have belonged to the organically-inclined Boulder Co-op, mountain biked, and hiked in Boulder Open Space.

Strindberg, of course, brings me his dark, philosophical dreams, which fed off the brain of Stanley Kubrick for decades until the Kube finally gave in and made EYES WIDE SHUT. (Actually it's Arthur Schnitzler's Traumnovelle, not Strindberg - I must be getting old and confused).

The more meta-cinematic version of Kubrick's passion is actually played out in Terry Southern's Blue Movie. Dedicated to "the great Stanley K." the book is a brilliant satire of Hollywood film-making while remaining true to the vision of Kubrick.

Speaking of meta-cinema, I am writing this from Angelika Film Center (dig the k), with improvisational jazz recordings in the background.

Just saw Michael Winterbottom's TRISTRAM SHANDY: A COCK AND BULL STORY. A movie about a movie about a book about a book, the levels of "going meta" are delicately threaded throughout the duration of the film, which flies by and leaves me wanting even more.

Sterne's famous novel was the first work of what we now call metafiction and is still, in my humble opinion, the best one ever written. That is to say, Sterne brings me the core principles of my practice no matter what medium I work in.

Winterbottom, meanwhile, wants to turn Southern's Blue Movie into a movie.

But not if I can get there first!

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