8 hours of TBA: Serious and Seriously Fun Art
Yesterday was a near wintery Portland, but when you’re busy with Time Based Arts there is almost no time to pay attention to the weather.
I walked into the Guild before 6pm yesterday in time to catch Hans Weigand’s Jerry Cotton: The Portland Episodes. The film itself was a creepy, hip, stalker killing movie with the backdrop of Raymond Pettibon’s art work, gorgeous architecture, Austrian mountains, Tijuana’s gorgeous urbanity, and amazing, funny killers. To think about galleries all the world over as being fronts for killing mayhem, hit men, and achetypal “artsy fartsy” behavior (like a man licking his walking stick and gurgling), and truly makes the art world look a lot more spooky, goofy, and serious.
Speaking of serious, hearing and reading about the racism that actualized within the events of rescue and evacuation of New Orleans makes viewing and recounting DJ Spooky’s (aka Paul Miller) well planned re-edit of D.W. Griffiths Birth of a Nation even more pertinent.
How lucky we all are that Rebirth of a Nation was performed and played for a packed theater.
Throughout his re-edit, a white circuit grows over many of the frames, around faces, over faces, framing the film’s self proclaimed, “ideal woman.” I interpreted the circuit to be the moving force of racism: that like Griffith’s film claiming that the introduction of blacks to American planted the “seed of disunion,” but perhaps, as Miller introduced this he included the fact that this KKK recruitment film was the first ever to be shown in the White House, was it this film and other racist propoganda that propogated racism this way, and was Birth of a Nation a seed in and of itself that grows, like Miller’s white circuit grows, while ultimately be detroyed by the destruction, and post modern reinterpretation of the propoganda, and that by showing the film in it’s new form, the film takes on new and opposite meaning, ultimately reversing the original intent, and the seeds of UNION are planted?
Making one’s way from Newburg to the wonderfully awesome The Works sort of garden party/meet and greet/musical event is a truly wonderful cap to a good day of art and intellect. Of course the finale at the end of the evening with the Come Together event broadcasting “the ultimate guru” on a screen, and watching a group of cult leaders and followers mimic each other on a stage, shaking bells, hooting, hollering, playing tape loops embedded in their clothing, and stomping on the floor was the culmination in a celebration of life and living. I’m sure it looked like a big party, and it really was.
Posted by Amy Vecchione