me and hannah went to see the new harmony korine movie mister lonely last night. as i expected, it is so so so good. strangely, there is a central plot which is a sort of love story of a michael jackson impersonator and a marilyn monroe impersonator. it's not that i didn't like the narrative parts. but, to be honest, they aren't what made my jaw drop in the theatre. it was the smaller, unconnected parts that made we go wild. the there are these incredible scenes where nuns in the bluest blue robes are skydiving in panama against the bluest blue sky without parachutes from a plane flown by a priest played by werner herzog. it is the perfect meeting -not really a balance- a shifting meeting of these two poles of unrationalized beauty, like actually sublime, and then this bizarre surreal joke. an example: in one of the scenes the nuns are riding bmx bikes as they fly through the air, flipping, turning, grinning (talk about catching some air!). the speed of their fall and the blending colors as they are spinning makes this pinwheel image that i couldn't get over. also, the abe lincoln impersonator might be hannah's favorite character in a movie ever which is really saying something.
i think what i love best about the things korine makes, his books, movies, even the name poems he and mark gonzalez make, is that what comes out is just what he wants to see. it is sheer fantasy. it is completely generated for his own enjoyment. the fantasy itself feels so personal. there is never a moment where the film tries to justify its contents. there is just a castle filled with impersonators in the highlands. the how's and why's are not important. they can't be the exact things that i am dreaming up when i fixate, eyes-closed, on an image. but, there is something great about watching someone else's fantasies materialize before your eyes. it reminds you that there are ways of making the things you want to see in the world.
the day before i went to the art institute to go to mario ybarra jr's opening "no man is an island." blake had made a replica of wrigley field for him. the whole installation was centered around the baseball and the chicano power movement in the early 70's. the song "no man is an island" was playing the whole time. fuck, that is a good song. the gallery it is in is the last room of the contemporary wing. i was wandering around and stumbled into this
holy shit! david wojnarowicz!
bizarrely, there was just this room of david wojnarowicz and keith harring. i am not sure that i love the choice to put the two of them together, or at least the pieces that were actually put together. plus, i think it would've been really great to put these late wojnarowicz works into conversation with the felix gonzalez torres pieces in another part of the very small contemporary wing... but, still! i finally got to see that print! really, it's wojnarowicz's writing that i love most. that said, some of the photographs are simply incredible; like in the aperture that he did, or, rather, was done about him. but, some of the paintings are sometimes a little simple or even cheesy.
this is is on the cover of close to the knives and i think it is still absolutely mesmerizing.
this one is an earlier work that is part of a fairly large series where he took photographs of himself with a mask of rimbaud on.
in terms of the idea, isn't that really charming and sweet? but, the photographs are so much more complex than that.
rimbaud seems to be one of those figures that people really try to embody. in the chris kraus book i love dick, she talks about david rattray moving to paris and going to the bibliotech nationale to look up every book rimbaud checked out. then he actually read them. all of them. the idea was that if he filled himself with the things rimbaud was filled with that he could be that much closer to understanding him. i love the romanticism of that, in a way. but it also grosses me out a little. do you have to become someone else to love them? i mean any other person -whether a writer or a lover. i don't think so. isn't the really gratifying part learning about the other person and yourself, the distance, the contrast, the bridging?
in some ways, it seems like the desire to be rimbaud through reading is no less bizarre and self-effacing that the impersonators in mister lonely. where do we start to think that we can be other people? not aspire to have other traits, to fix ourselves, but really be someone else?
take some time, drink some beers and get to the bottom of this: