revolutionary avant-garde by ghkgkyyt


									revolutionary avant-garde

     readymade auras
   & autonomous technics
enrollment: 3 spaces open (based on attend. Tues); waiting list:

   1. Nora Larson
                                    11.   Mohammed Zarif
   2. Kyle Edelberg
                                    12.   Franklin Wong
   3. Geraldine Porros
                                    13.   Travis Smith-Evans
   4. Dylan Chapgier
                                    14.   Abraham Nieto
   5. Robert West
   6. Jesse Clark
   7. Lorenzo Estébanez
   8. Sean Pritchett
   9. Peter Lane
   10. Leah Gallegos
overture (two more meaningless films)

Emak Bakia Cinépoèm (Man Ray, 1926) 14min
Vormittagsspuk (Hans Richter, 1927) 7min
overture (two more meaningless films)

Vormittagsspuk (Hans Richter, 1927) 7m

   “Ghosts before Breakfast” (literally: “before mid-day ghosts”)

   a nonsensical, absurdist “narrative”

   Richter: Berlin Dada; emigrated to US; author of reading for
      next week (Man Ray, too)
overture (two more meaningless films)

Emak Bakia Cinépoèm (Man Ray, 1926) 14m

   random collection/connection of scenes and images,
     incorporating “Rayograms”: objects “photographed” by
     placing them directly on print paper

   “La raison de cette extravagance”: the reason for this
   – seems like it will lead to a narrative development; but does
     not; returns to motion and “waking”
overture (two more meaningless films)


   keep track of

   –   formal changes, movement, repetition
   –   structure (if there is any)
   –   types of objects shown (if there are any)
   –   editing patterns; imagae framing
anémic post-mortem

As with the title, so with the film:

    – title references experience of viewing film, and vice versa
    – nearly palindromic
    – the signifiers circle back towards themselves (as in anémic
      cinéma, sick or slowed down motion)
    – self-referential formal quality: modernist
    – however, the play with language: postmodernist
anémic post-mortem

the wrong question to ask about Anémic Cinéma:

what does it mean?

the better question: how does it produce meaning?

better still: how does it evade, displace, and undermine
   meaning? the “stability, the “tradition” -- the “aura” -- of
anémic post-mortem

focus on the signifier more than the signified

   – their arbitrary relationship
   – language and/as motion, flux
   – the kinetics of language and elusiveness (illusion?) of meaning

language: opaque & material, not transparent

   – non-comprehensive, unstable relation to spectator
   – a cinematic machine recording a language machine
   – double loss of origin and authenticity (reference)
anémic post-mortem

language, and “meaning” is therefore multiple and

   – meaning is in play;
   – it is play, the play of surfaces and sounds and letters (and
   – it is not “deep,” not “behind” the signifiers
   – play is produced through visual/acoustic puns and associations;
     displaced meaning, not deep meaning; not certain; not present

   this sense of play is what makes Duchamp anticipate
      postmodernism; makes him, perhaps, “post-avant-garde”
      before the fact (he will have been post avant-garde)
anémic post-mortem

last sentence:
L’aspirant habite javel et moi j’avais l’habite en spirale.

Literal “meaning”: The officer (candidate) lives [in] Javel
    (bleach), and me, I had lived [been in the habit] in spirals
    (whirls) there [been in the spiral habit/abode].

sonic play/inversion:
    – l’aspirant habite -- l’habite en spirale
    – javel -- j’avais
semantic play:
    – l’aspirant [breath, suck]
    – habite [habit, coat, religious clothing]
anémic post-mortem

this contained self-reference and dis-placement -- the
    undermining -- of meaning might be “understood” in terms of
    l’art pour l’art (art for art’s sake) [autonomous art]

of, especially, the negative theology of “pure art” that followed
   from l’art pour l’art [affirmation/negation of autonomous

according to Benjamin…
anémic post-mortem

page 224 (section IV):

photography: coincides w/ rise of socialism (1830s)
“art reacted with the doctrine of l’art pour l’art, that is with a
   theology of art. This gave rise to what might be called a
   negative theology in the form of “pure” art, which not only
   denied any social function of art but also any categorizing
   by subject matter. (In poetry, Mallarmé was the first to take
   this position.)”

Which is also a removal from tradition. This becomes important
  in Benjamin’s next paragraph:
anémic post-mortem

page 224 (section IV):

“An analysis of art in the age of mechanical reproduction must
  do justice to these relationships, for they lead us to an all-
  important insight: for the first time in world history,
  mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from
  its parasitical dependence on ritual. To an ever greater
  degree the work of art reproduced becomes the work of art
  designed for reproducibility. From a photographic negative,
  for example, one can make any number of prints; to ask for
  the “authentic” print makes no sense. But the instant the
  criterion of authenticity ceases to be applicable to artistic
  production, the total function of art is reversed. Instead of
  being based on ritual, it begins to be based on another
  practice -- politics.”
anémic post-mortem

so, while Anémic Cinéma can hardly be seen as a political film,
   it engages in a process of the emancipation from (parasitic)
   meaningfulness (the presence of meaning)

an undermining of “authenticity” and traditional
   comprehension, through the mechanisms of language
   collaborating with mechanical reproduction

dismantling art’s “traditional” basis and clearing the way for a
   new base, a political one.

but what kind of politics?

Vladimir Tatlin, Monument to
the Third International (1919)
Victory over the Sun (Futurist opera, 1913); designs by Kasimir Malevich
Suprematism (Kasimir Malevich) paintings from 1915 “0,10: The Last Futurist
Exhibition”: non-objective art
Alexandr Rodchenko (1891-1956), Pure Red Color, Pure Yellow Color,
Pure Blue Color. Shown in “5x5=25,” Sept. & Oct., 1921

 “I reduced painting to its logical conclusion and exhibited three canvases: red,
 blue and yellow. I affirmed: it’s over. Basic colors. Every plane is a plane and
 there is to be no representation” (Rodchenko)
Alexandr Rodchenko (1891-1956), Pure Red Color, Pure Yellow Color,
Pure Blue Color. Shown in “5x5=25,” Sept. & Oct., 1921

 2-part show; Sept.: the end of “fine art”; Oct.: the revolutionary future of art in
 the post-revolutionary everyday life
Liubov Popova (1889-1924), cover for “5x5=25” catalogue (each artist
made a catalogue)

 “I don’t think non-objective form is the final form; it is the revolutionary
 condition of form” (Liubov Popova, 1921)
Kinoglaz poster (1924)
Bronenosets Potyomkin poster (1925)
cover for Vladimir Mayakovsky book, To Sergei Esenin (1926)
Assembling for the Demonstration
(AR, 1928)
Dziga Vertov [Denis Kaufman] (1896-1954)

name means ‘spinning top’

Kinoglaz (1924): taken from propaganda documentaries ‘Kino

by the time of Chelovek s kinoapparatom (1929) he had been
   marginalized in Soviet film production

   – constructivism, or “formalism,” replaced with “socialist realism”
     as official style
   – worked in studio in Odessa, further from government controls
   – Chelovek shot in a number of cities; brother Mikhail Kaufman is
     “the cameraman”
   – Boris: to France then US; Oscar winner (On the Waterfront)
Dziga Vertov [Denis Kaufman] (1896-1954)

“We: Variant of a Manifesto”

   purity and social/political function of art

   “WE are cleansing kinochestvo [camera observation] of foreign
     matter -- of music, literature, and theater; we seek our own
     rhythm, one lifted from nowhere else, and we find it in the
     movement of things” (7).
Dziga Vertov [Denis Kaufman] (1896-1954)

“We: Variant of a Manifesto”

   technical (not psychological) essence of the “new man”

   “The ‘psychological’ prevents man from being as precise as a
     stopwatch; it interferes with his desire for kinship with the

   “For his inability to control his movements, WE temporarily exclude
      man as a subject from film.
   “Our path leads through the poetry of machines, from the bungling
      citizen to the perfect electrical man” (7-8).
   cinema, a “rigorous system of precise movement” brings this about
next week’s readings

Art in Cinema
   – book published in conjunction with show at San Francisco
     Museum of Art about avant-garde film; process of developing a
     history through the writing of filmmakers
   – connected to growing American avant-garde movement
   – “primary” source

   theoretical critique of “avant-garde” (skim the first part; “autonomy”
      in part 2; emphasis on part 3)

   filmmaker and theorist; connected to surrealism

Breton: founder of surrealism

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