Friday, February 29, 2008

THE REAL THING AND ITS REPRESENTATION

This is my reply to Matthew Hunt in my blog with some added information:
http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2008/02/film-wish-list-slow-slidings-of.html

I didn’t understand ONE AND THREE PANS (1965, Joseph Kosuth) when I saw it in ARTSPACE GERMANY. Fortunately, someone wrote about it and her writing makes me appreciate this work much more than before.
http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/monnita/2008/01/26/entry-1

This is what Monnita wrote:

“His work of 'One and Three Pans' appears to echo his other work of "One and Three Chairs" made in the same year. Here, he displayed a photograph of a pan, an actual pan, and a dictionary of the word "pan". The piece distinguishes between the three aspects involved in the perception of a work of art: the visual representation of a thing (the photograph of the pan), its real referent (the actual pan), and its intellectual concept (the dictionary definition). Reality, image, and concept: the three "sides" of a perceived thing. ”


--I haven’t seen anything like ONE AND THREE PANS before—the juxtaposition between “the real thing”, “its representation” and “its concept”. However, the juxtaposition between the real thing and its representation reminds me of many things I like, including:

1.RE-PRESENTATION (2007, Chai Chaiyachit + Chisanucha Kongwailap, A+)

This short film is about a man gaining some knowledge on arts and Thai politics. Since I have no knowledge in these two areas, the film introduces me to some ideas which I find very interesting. This film makes me wonder if “Thai democracy” is the representation of “something essentially undemocratic”.

2.DESIRE (2001, Fred Kelemen, A+)

This is a stage play directed by Fred Kelemen. The videotape of this stage play was shown at Thammasat University Library last year. One interesting thing in this stage play is the difference between “the real thing” and “its projection” (I don’t know if I use the right English word or not.) In this play, Eben hates Abbie whenever Abbie appears as a real person in front of him. But sometimes Abbie appears on some giant screens hanging on the stage. Whenever Abbie appears on the screen and talks to Eben, Eben seems to like her. In conclusion, it seems as if Eben hates Abbie as a real person, but he loves her projection and desires her projection.

3.THE ALL-ROUND REDUCED PERSONALITY (1977, Helke Sander, A+)

There’s one scene I love in this film. It is the scene in which three woman carry a giant photo of a part of the Berlin Wall and place this giant photo next to that exact part of the Berlin Wall. We see two doubling images at the same time, side by side—the real Berlin Wall and its photo. I don’t understand what this scene means, but I love it.

--Talking about Joseph Kosuth reminds me that I have no knowledge at all about conceptual art. As for some concepts or ideas found in films, I think I like some ideas or concepts in the films of Tulapop Saenjaroen. I think you saw one of his films last year—WHEN THE MOVIE LISTENS (2007, A+). The idea of this film is to let each viewer talk anything he/she wants to talk to the film, and the film will listen to us. I just saw his new film several weeks ago. It is called 2008, and lasts about 3 minute. In this film, we saw nothing except some strange sentences in “the ending credit”. At first I misunderstood that this film is the ending credit of another short film shown before it, but after the film ends, I got to understand that “the ending credit” is actually “the film”.

--Talking about some concepts in art, I like the concept of an artwork by Rirkrit Tiravanija very much. I saw a videotape recording of his artwork last year. In this video, he presented “rice” at an art exhibition and treated the rice as if the rice was a very precious diamond.

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--You can see the image from my favorite scene in THE ALL-ROUND REDUCED PERSONALITY here:
http://www.umass.edu/defa/filmtour/redupers.shtml

Timothy Corrigan described this great scene in his book called NEW GERMAN FILM: THE DISPLACED IMAGE (1983).

This is a quote from the book:

“At another extraordinary point, however, the women carry the photo into a cinematic frame that replicates the very scene and angle of the photo, setting the image against the same wall that divides the center of the photographic space. The result is much more than a postmodern play with mise-en-abyme; it becomes rather a temporary but trenchant measure of imagistic difference as depth. Here the empty geometry of this street scene—which had developed a certain dynamic across the tension of the wall dividing those spaces—receives a critical turn through its doubling in the hands of the three women. What is added in the difference between the two representations of the scene is the self-consciousness of the image as always dramatizing a distance from a “real” scene or another image of it and the presence of a specific time and point of view (these three women again in this place) as the determination of the “depth” which that particular temporal and spatial position creates in distinguishing itself.”