Saturday, August 16, 2008

This isn't a novel, this is a film. A film is life.


decomposition said...

Thinking about this Godard film (one of my favorites) made me remember one of the more inspiring things I read this year: Artforum's May 2008 issue featuring essays, interviews and reflections on the 40th anniversary of the May '68 Paris riots (and their influence elsewhere).

The articles included:
-Arthur C. Danton on the 1968 student revolt at Columbia Univ. (he was a professor at the time & on the Ad-Hoc Faculty Group)
-feminist philosopher Ti-Grace Atkinson on aesthetics & radical politics
-Chris Kraus on Suck magazine (which Fluxus artist Willem de Ridder co-published), which came into existence in '69
-an interview w/Michael Callahan about USCO (radical art group in the mid-late '60s in Garnerville, NY)
-Sylvère Lotringer, founder of Semiotext(e), on the May '68 riots in Paris, including an interview w/Antonio Negri on the Situationists' influence & involvement and their effects in Italy
-Benjamin Buchloh on the '60s French art collective BMPT led by Daniel Buren
-Tom McDonough on Henri Lefebvre's The Explosion (Lefebvre was affiliated w/COBRA and the Situationists - he wrote Critique of Everyday Life in 1962)
-Sally Shafto on the experimental, radical French film collective Zanzibar Group
-an essay by artist Liam Gillick on multiplicities (of perceptions of that moment and of knowledge)
-Tom Holert on radical art & education in Germany at that time and Joseph Beuys' influence
-an essay by philosopher Gerald Raunig on Claude Lefort & Gilles Deleuze...Semiotext(e) published Raunig's Art and Revolution: Transversal Activism in the Long Twentieth Century

Gillick sums it up pretty well:
"1968 is not just a symbolic moment or subject for academic study...The revisions of 1968 were both instrumental and personal in nature...Some individuals believed that a better set of human relationships would emerge from the permanent reassessment of positions, rather than from any singular event. That is what was fought for: a multiplication of sensitivity and doubt. And so 1968 extends beyond its boundaries, reaching out in both directions, past and future, at the same time that it cannot be discussed in political or aesthetic terms alone."

richjensen said...

In Weekend groovy rock-and-roll hippies live and party in the woods. They build roadblocks on the highway, capturing unsuspectng bourgeoisie and, as I recall, eating them. The sentiment reminded me of a Raymond Pettibone drawing I encountered about the same time (1983?). It involves a shotgun in the hands of a Charlie Manson-ish hipster apparently directing an older, normal american couple, to remove their clothes. I think there are some other groovy/bedraggled young people in the frame. The caption reads, "Let the Hippies teach you how to live."

How much of '68 led into the groovy cannibal wilderness? How much remains a relevant axis in the current crisis and confusion? Do dead oceans and the internet establish a new dynamic?