owen land

"This touring exhibition celebrates the work of Owen Land (formerly known as George Landow), one of the most original and celebrated American filmmakers of the 60s and 70s. The films made during this period fuse an intellectual sense of reason with the irreverent wit that distances them from the supposedly ‘boring’ world of avant-garde cinema. Land’s early materialist works anticipated Structural Film—the definition of which provoked his rejection of film theory and convention—and include explorations into the physical qualities of the celluloid strip. His attention soon turned to the spectator in a series of works that question the illusionary nature of cinema through the use of word play and optical ambiguity. In several of these films Land constructs ‘facades’ of reality, often directly addressing the viewer using the language of television, advertising or educational films, and by featuring characters that are often the antithesis of those we might expect to see, such as podgy middle aged men and religious fanatics. Experimental film itself is also parodied, as Land mimics his contemporaries and mocks the solemn approach of theorists and scholars. Later works draw on the filmmaker’s experiences with Christianity but are far from evangelistic. Throughout, Land’s films contain numerous cross-references to the art and culture of our time, giving them a relevance and vitality beyond the hermetic avant-garde."
notes adapted from text by Mark Webber from Lux Films

i just saw owen land´s latest project dialogues in berlin at "kunstwerke" and you could have literally wiped me off the floor after haveing seen it. it´s a brilliant collection of little sketches and parodies on video art, art and artists in general, and everyday stereotypical and awkward behaviour of people from big, occidental cities.
this is a true work of a genius.
he put a quote from steve reich to run before the episodes, "all music is ethnomusic" (so true), contextualizing these cuckoo and strange as strange little sketches in the realm of the autoethnographical, and indeed the artists and art work being parodied are shown from their most vain and apish sides.
in the same exhibition you could also see works by godard and farocki and baldessari, and i became so sick of the pretentiousness of godard´s les histoires du cinéma after having seen these light and whitty and in the end so much more smart and self-reflexive videos of owen land who isn´t taking himself for GODard and instead mocking his own narcissistic, phantasmatic desires as an artist.
his form of critique is the sublimest form of critique at all: reflecting the ego pronouncing the criticism. and not giving so much of a fuck about it all.
if you have the chance: go see this film!



my friendships are not psychological, they are epic

glauber rocha

critique as discerning of affection

"In any case, if the editorial board shared an opinion on such and such a film, or if a cherished film or filmmaker was regarded lukewarmly by some and passionately by the others, it was the passionate ones who were most often given the privilege of writing about it, for we knew that the writing would be more vibrant and therefore more interesting if the film had affected us more, whoever it was, because being affected creates knowledge, as Jean-Louis Schefer has said so well."
sylvie pierre in an interview with bill krohn

reverse ethnography

Synopsis : Damouré, the manager, along with Lam and Illo, of an import/export firm in Ayorou called “Petit à Petit”, decides to build an apartment block and leaves for Paris to find out there “how people can live in houses with more than one storey”.
In the city, he discovers the curious lifestyles and thinking of the Parisian tribe, who he describes in “Persian Letters” sent regularly to his companions, until one of them, believing him to have gone mad, sends Lam out after him. In Paris, Damouré and Lam buy a Bugatti convertible and meet Safi, Ariane and a “tramp”, Philippe.
The group decides to go back to Africa and build a new house. But the two women and Philippe are unable to get used to this new life and leave. The only thing left to do for the three friends is to withdraw to a cabin on the river banks and meditate upon “modern society” (from www.alliance.org)

a masterpiece.

it takes courage not to work


the shrine

one thing i have almost intuitively done since i was very small was to build altars or shrines in my room.
i used to have a shrine of animals and trolls and clocks, a hamster altar, i drawed lobster altars with crayons, later i had a curt kobain altar when i was eleven, i had one for c.g. jung and one for my experimental pottery sculptures. now i have a little one for a white, old, french horse out of plastic.
i love making things holy. i love the museum. godard once said we (the occidental cultures) are all from the museum. it´s true. although that makes me think of the horrible, colonial history of theft and exploitation throughout the world to get the european museums full. you can´t walk through the louvre without having to puke because of it.
really special altars i unspeakably appreciate are the altars from the "dia de los muertos" (the day of the dead-celebration) in mexiko. they make skulls out of sugar and chocolate and build the coolest, insane, flashy altars with laughing skulls and flowers and cakes and candles and all kinds of nice things.
or the balzac altar of antoine doinel in truffaut´s "the 400 blows", i really love that one too (and uh how i love this film)
(i could only find the film scene in spanish...)

joseph cornell´s wonderous, holy, little bird boxes and shrines are mere, melancholic, delicate beauty all along.
putting something wonderful in a box. i like the boxes.


david claerbout

In early works such as ‘Kindergarten Antonio Sant’Elia 1932’ made in 1998 and the last in a series, he presents an old, black and white photograph as a large, mute projection. A moment frozen in time…Children playing in a courtyard… The trees gently swaying in the ‘non existent’ wind create an acute sense of the uncanny and challenging the viewer’s perception. In another, well known piece, ‘Vietnam, 1967, near Duc Pho (Reconstruction after Hiroshimi Mine) (2001) time is suspended as an airplane caught by the camera moments before it’s crash, floats, the sunlight gently moving over the green and hilly landscape. In the book ‘Visible Time’, David Green writes: “What one actually experiences or indeed what one sees in this work, is not the conflation of photography and film but, a conjuncture of the two mediums in which neither ever loses its specificity. We are thus faced with a phenomenon in which two different mediums co-exist and seem to simultaneously occupy the same object. The projection screen here provides a point of intersection for both the photographic and filmic image.”
With works such as ‘Villa Corthout’ (2001) and ‘Piano Player’ (2002), Claerbout’s work moves towards forms of narratives to describe ‘moments in time’ within the moving image, taking a more cinematic dimension. In the ‘Bordeaux Piece’ (2004) actors repeat a given dialogue and a set of given movements, deconstructing cinematic time. The piece is in fact a 14 hours film made out of 70 shorter films shot at 10 minutes intervals throughout the day. The narrative slowly collapses, giving way to the movement of the sun over the landscape, architecture and people, thus creating a different temporality. In ‘Sections of a Happy Moment’ (2007), Claerbout seems to ‘dissect’ a moment in the life of a Chinese family in the courtyard of a nondescript estate. A group of people are gathered around a ball suspended mid-air, all the faces turned towards it, smiling happily. Over the course of 25 minutes, this moment in time is analyzed from a multitude of different angles and perspectives, allowing the viewer an omnipresence that is paradoxical. The fragmentation of time in this piece, through freeze – frames of the same moment, creates 'visible duration'.
(quoted from wikipedia)


a sentence i love

il passa le plus clair de son temps à ne rien faire.
(he spent the greatest amount of his time doing nothing)

ma nuit chez maud



“This is something very rare: films that show thinking. Like thinking is shown in art, Michelangelo´s Pensiero oder Rodin´s Thinker. You also find this in Murnau´s work. (…) He expresses thinking -that´s one of my favourite ideas- by beauty. A face, a body is beautiful to the extent that it is rich in ideas. Body and soul find each other. Thinking fulfills this union of soul and body, in the movies this is what is most precious.”
Eric Rohmer (20.3.1920- 11.1.2010) said this in a conversation with Frieda Grafe and Enno Patalas, in the Murnau book of the Hanser series. (quoted from www.newfilmkritik.de)


arthur russell

arthur russell was born in a place called oskaloosa.
he played the cello, sang, and combined disco with folk and country and rock and dance and experimental music and poetry and odd beats. he died way too early of aids.
he was never afraid to try something peculiar and new. and he didn´t like his face that he thought was ugly.

run dmc

there are several things i really like about this interview:
1. it´s on a car
2. the sense of integrity, open-heartedness and honesty
3. the way run dmc talk about mixing everything no matter how contradictory or far apart the different music styles appear to be (in a way they´re performing ted nelson´s "everything is deeply intertwingeled" in rap. and i´ve always said hybrids or bastards are the best dogs.)
4. "what ever we feel we wanna make, we just go ahead and make it"
5. "so there´s not really much emphasis of political matters in it?" "oh no. no. we try to make you laugh."
6. "the king of rock rocking without a band" (how cool is that? and pretty postmodern, defining the thing through it´s absence. doing rock but without a band, so it´s more rock than any rock band could ever be, because it´s the pure essence, the idea, of rock and not just the phenomenology of rock. kind of plato´s theory of ideas.)
you got to love run dmc.


getting high off whipped cream

somehow i can really understand how whipped cream can get you high. whipped cream kind of does get you high.
this white, fluffy, strange stuff like a foggy, wet cloud or a foamy, big cluster that kind of tastes like greasy nothing, but isn´t nothing. it´s something. and it has indeed always made me feel rather strange.


After God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone.' He then created a woman for Adam, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air.
Adam stood in prayer before his Creator: 'Sovereign of the universe!' he said, 'the woman you gave me has run away.'
(Genesis 2:18)

pierre molinier

pierre molinier (1900-1976), french photographer, painter & poet.
in 1950, molinier built himself a farcical "premature tomb" topped with an engraved black cross:
"Here lies Pierre MOLINIER
Born on 13 April 1900 died around 1950
He was a man without morals
He was proud of it and gloried in it
No need to pray for him."



pasilalinic-sympathetic compass

jacques toussaint benoit believed that when two snails touch, they form a "sympathetic bond", a permanent telepathic link that has no physical limit, allowing communication to be possible over any distance.
i believe in this too, i think. even though his communication revolution is considered a failure. i don´t mind.
when two things touch, something obviously fundamental occurs that i cannot explain and don´t even wish to explain.
it´s strange. and it´s lovely.
and aren´t snails the coolest animals anyway?
snails making love is the freakiest, science fiction, alien film i have ever seen.

pietro longhi

pietro longhi (1701-1785). the son of a silversmith who loved to depict venetians at play.


sexy noir

i have become a secret, profound admirer of thee, mytapeworm (the maker of the bird poisoner and this lovely little gem).
the only thing i know about you, is that you are thirty and live in crackton and that you will see me in hell and that you´ve been a member since january the 22nd of 2006. you have 50 uploads and 2642 times people have clicked on your channel. i was number 2643.
can´t wait for hell...

on poisoning birds

george kuchar


catherine millet

"Well you know, one has this expression that you learn when you’re a child:
‘Christian charity’. That is to say, to be charitable is to be attentive to others
and to pardon their faults…And I would say that this Catholic education is
an important aspect of my character. It is something that I’ve never renounced.
I am immersed in a Catholic culture and in so far as I’m an art critic what
interests me in painting and what I continue to immerse myself in is this
Catholic culture. Immersed, because for we westerners images have been princi-
pally produced by the Catholic Church."
So you’d locate the geneaology of your sexual practice; its ethical underpinning
in aspects of Catholicism?
"There is an author who is very important for me – George Bernanos, who is a
Catholic writer. In one of his novels there is a character that Bernanos is said
to have based on the character of St Thérèse de Lisieux, a young saint of the
nineteenth century in France, and what interested him in trying to invent a
character based on this figure of the saint was the question of what a modern
saint would be. That is to say, a saint for our times. And this is a book which
has interested me greatly. I have been fascinated by this character ultimately in
a way that goes beyond Bernanos’s character. Who are the people in our modern
epoch, caught up in the problems of our epoch, who are looking for this saintli-
ness but who are unable to find it of course (except for this character), and who
fail in their search for saintliness…I want to repeat what I have said earlier;
that sexuality is an empty pocket; I don’t think that there is a finality to the
sexual act (a goal) I think it is pure spending. And from the moment you don’t
search to give a sense to your sexual life you are open to everything and often,
your direction will come from others."