The Blue Raccoon

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Day Late and A Dollar Short Part II

"They came to watch me disappear"

[Via: The Wit of the Staircase, August 2, 2006.]

[A version of events, as collected here, for those members of the billion-eyed audience who aren't following along, as the Rev. R. Stuart Carlton used say at Stockton Memorial Baptist, in their hymnals.]

I sat down during this holiday to watch the 1999 animated film short The History of Glamour by Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake, with additional assistance by Karen Kilimnik both this summer by predicament translated into idea and metaphor. The animated short--and such deceptive simple creations require many handmaidens--included the efforts of Eric Dyer, David Oppenheim, and Fugazi Brendan Canty, DJ Kasmir, Bikini Kill Kathy Wilcox, Clifford Le Cloyer, and, credited for the opening credits that explode and double expose in Blake-ian fashion, Matt Berninger, who must've handled some of the music.

To follow what our cosmologist Mr. Davies observed above, the past undergoes alteration as we revise our understanding of the present. Sort of like the view from a mountainside with the use of a binoculars; the further way you are, the more you can see, but without aide, you cannot glean the details. The History of Glamour seems prescient, but how is that possible since the film was produced in 1999? A self-fulfilling prophecy?

In one respect, the through line off THOG reminded me of a guilty pleasure of mine, Stardom featuring Jessica Paré.

This, too, is a mockumentary. The protagonist here is a Canadian woman hockey player who is spotted by a sleazy photography and one thing leads to another and she's celebretized as a fashion model. The benefits and deficits of the limelight life are encapsulated, but my favorite parts are when Paré's Tina Menzhal uses her hockey battle training to take down annoying paparazzi and men who become abusive.

Duncan's singer-songwriting protagonist is given the androgynous name of Charles Valentine. She doesn't have hockey skills, but other idiosyncratic behaviors.

She stages an art provocation by crashing a performance art piece by Alicia Boobcraft (see Vanessa Beecroft) at the Googenheim Museum. Past a line of "serious intellectuals" there are dozen women, naked, or wearing "cootchie bikinis" standing "still and tall. Lovely art workers swaying."

Charles decides a missing element is her. Her clothing designer friends, Osage and Orange, rush the arts provacateur to their studio, put her in a tiny bikini, outfit her
with teetering high heels and an aluminum baseball bat. She returns to the Googenheim and with her trusty metal slugger proceeds in her anarchic way to shatter the high church of art. Thus, she critiques what is supposed to be shocking by throwing a punk act of hooliganism into the works.

Life in a way imitated art during a 2005 Beecroft exhibition in Berlin; except there, audience members trying to get closer to the poker-faced participants
instead scuffled with police. Thus, the static performance was interrupted by reactions to action.

Charles becomes the prettiest resident ever of the city jail and this is the scene depicted in the textbook illustration at the top of this post; a sensual, languorous Charles lounging on her bunk.

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