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  1. #1
    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    Tummy Bug

    This is the script of the little film I've been making. A slash in dialogue (/) indicates the point at which the succeeding speaker begins to speak, overlapping with the current speaker.

    >>>


    Tummy Bug

    The characters are Dave, Jenna, Trudy, Don, and Colin.

    Int: Jenna and Daveís house, day
    Dave is sitting in an armchair reading a newspaper. Jenna comes in.
    Int: Jenna and Daveís house, day
    Jenna
    How are you, Dave?

    Dave
    Iím well thanks, Jenna. How are you?

    Jenna [SITTING DOWN]
    Really sort of queasy and shivery.

    Dave
    Do you think youíre ill?

    Jenna
    I guess so.

    PAUSE.

    I might just have something on my mind.

    Dave
    That doesnít sound good.

    PAUSE.

    Maybe you should lie down for a bit.

    Jenna
    Do you think so, Dave? I donít think Iím tired.

    PAUSE. SHE THINKS ABOUT IT.

    I donít know if itís that Iím tired. I mean, I might have eaten something, no I mean I think Iím quite annoyed about something. I mean, no, Iím not annoyed exactly. Not at all in fact.

    PAUSE.

    Dave
    Well, you should really try and look after yourself.

    Jenna
    Do you think so?

    Dave
    /Yeah.

    Jenna
    Itís just Iíve sort of got to go out now.

    BEAT.

    I think Iíll be alright if I donít sit down.

    Dave [making vague motion with finger pointed at temple]
    Of course the first thing is always going to be to sort out your mental attitude.

    Ext: park
    Trudy and Don are sitting on a lawn with a thermal flask and sandwiches.
    Ext: park

    Don
    Do you think evolution occurs in the same way on other inhabited planets, Trudy?

    Trudy [going over a printout]

    In the same way as what?

    PAUSE.


    Jenna [arriving]
    Hi, Trudy.

    Trudy
    Hi, Jenna. My god. I donít think youíve changed at all.

    Jenna
    Neither have you, really. Except for your hair of course.

    Don
    How long has it been since you two last saw each other?

    Trudy
    Different lengths.

    Jenna
    Is that tea?

    Trudy
    Would you like some?

    Jenna
    Thanks.

    Don
    Some really gummy bad taste in my mouth.


    Trudy
    Hey. Itís nice to see you. This is Don. I work with him.

    Jenna
    Hi.


    Trudy
    What have you been up to?

    Jenna
    Well, Iíve just been to a shop to get something I wanted, but they didnít have it. Itís typical really. Youíd think the point of shops would be to have things you wanted, but they never seem to have anything you want, only things you donít want. I mean, whatís the point of that?

    Trudy
    And what is it you want?

    Jenna [RESIGNEDLY]
    I donít know.

    PAUSE.

    Don
    I suppose the thing is if you want to get something you want, then itís gonna cost you.

    Jenna
    And what do you want from life, Trudy?

    Trudy [JADEDLY]
    OhÖfamily, kids, nice house.

    BEAT.

    To try to stop being dysfunctional.

    PAUSE

    I donít know.

    Jenna
    Do you think not getting what you want can make you ill?

    Trudy
    I know you can get ill from being overtired.


    Jenna
    I had a piece of plastic stuck to my hair for six months once with static electricity.

    Jenna
    Eventually I had to reverse the current using magnets.


    Ext: street, day
    Jenna meets Colin by chance

    Colin
    Hello.

    Jenna
    Hi, Colin. I havenít seen you for ages.

    Colin
    Really? Has it been ages?

    Jenna
    Iíve just been having tea with Trudy. Do you remember Trudy?

    Colin
    Do you mean Trudy Krennline?

    Jenna
    No. I donít think I know her.
    Whoís Trudy Krennline?

    PAUSE.

    Colin
    Nobody. Sheís nobody.

    Jenna
    Itís nice round / here.

    Colin
    Just someone I knew once.

    Jenna
    Sorry?

    Colin
    Nothing. What did you say?

    Jenna
    I said itís nice round here.

    Colin
    Oh. Yeah, itís OK. Itís a bit trendy.

    Jenna
    Yeah, itís a bit trendy isnít it? What are you doing here?

    Colin
    Just being trendy I guess.

    Jenna
    Itís funny.

    Colin
    Is it?

    Jenna
    Yeah, I donít know why Iím here either. I suppose you could say I was just out for a walk and I just went to see a friend whom I hadnít seen for ages. I hadnít seen her for fifteen years and uh, it ended sooner than I thought it would and I guess Iím just walking around andÖ

    Colin
    How long did you see her for?

    Jenna
    Oh, I donít know. fifteen minutes. SomethingÖ

    Colin
    Didnít you get on?

    Jenna
    Well we got on OK, but I suppose you could say that our lives have just moved on. I donít really know if weíre still friends.

    Colin
    Sounds exhausting.

    PAUSE.

    Jenna
    It was actually.


    Ext: street, day
    They walk for a while.
    Ext: street, day


    Jenna
    You know, because Iím generally quite a happy person, I always feel a bit sluggish when I have to be around depressive people.

    Colin
    I think what youíre saying there is something that depresses everybody.

    Jenna
    My boyfriendís got a lot of get up and go. He keeps going away on all these trips. Thatís the thing, you see. I havenít got anything like that.

    Colin
    Does he travel for his job?

    Jenna
    No, he doesnít have a job.

    Colin
    How does he afford to go away all the time then?

    Jenna
    I donít know you know, Colin. Thatís a really good question actually.

    Colin
    Do you ever go with him?

    Jenna
    I havenít got the money, Colin. I went on holiday with him once to La Rochelle in France, but I came down with something really weird on the first day and I didnít go out of the hotel room, not even once.

    Colin
    What was it? Some kind of tummy bug?

    Jenna
    No, it was weirder than that. I donít know what it was to be honest. I just felt really disorientated and drowsy really.

    Colin
    How weird.

    Jenna
    It was really weird.

    Ext: street, day
    They walk on for a bit.
    Ext: street, day, outside Jenna and Daveís house

    Colin
    Maybe he was poisoning you.

    Jenna
    In the end I decided it was probably an existential problem. Well, this is where I live. You can come in for a cup of tea if you like.

    Colin
    Oh right.

    PAUSE.

    Is your boyfriend gonna be there?

    Jenna
    I donít think so. I think he said he was going away today to Swanage in Dorset.

    Colin
    No, yeah, alright Iíll come in then.

    Jenna [going into the house]
    Donít you want to meet my boyfriend?

    Door slams behind them.



    Int: Jenna and Daveís house, day
    SHOT ON DINING ROOM/KITCHEN. JENNA AND COLIN ENTER [OFF] AND JENNA IS HEARD CALLING OUT TO SEE IF DAVE IS THERE, WHILE COLIN ENTERS DINING ROOM AND STANDS LOOKING TOWARDS THE WINDOW.

    Jenna [off]
    Dave? Da-ave? Da-ave?

    SHE ENTERS THE DINING ROOM

    I guess heís gone.

    Colin
    I must say, I like these blinds, Jenna. Did you buy these yourself or did they come with the house?

    JENNA LOOKS AT THE BLINDS AS IF SHEíS NEVER SEEN THEM BEFORE. THE DOORBELL RINGS.

    Jenna
    Iíve got to go and answer the door.

    SHE GOES TO ANSWER IT AND IS HEARD LETTING TRUDY IN.

    Jenna [off - surprised]
    Hi Trudy.

    Trudy [off]
    Hello.

    Jenna [off]
    This is a nice surprise. Do you want to come in?

    Trudy [off]
    Iíd like to for a bit.

    THEY ENTER THE DINING ROOM. TRUDY IS FIDDLING WITH HER SHIRT SLEEVE, WHICH IS CAUGHT UNDER THE SLEEVE OF HER COAT.

    Colin
    Trudy? Trudy Krennline?

    Trudy
    My sleeve has got stuck.

    Jenna
    Oh, let me help you with that.

    JENNA PULLS AT THE SLEEVE AND MANAGES TO GET IT DOWN.

    Trudy
    Oh thatís better. I hope you donít mind me coming round. Itís just, I thought at our meeting today you seemed a bit cold orÖ perhaps, closed off. I felt I wasnít really seeing you as you really were. I donít know if thatís because you used to be fat and nowÖ but, I know youíve been having a bit of a hard time lately and, the thing is, I donít know if you were aware of it, but I used to be quite scared of you and / now Ė

    Jenna
    I havenít been having a hard time.

    Trudy
    You see, I was just at the library and I heardÖIt was the most awful thing. There was this bird stuck in a fireplace behind where it had been boarded off and I could hear it flapping around and tweeting and I thought, weíve got to do something for this bird. Itís going to die. Weíve got to save it. But then I went to the librarian to see if she could remove the partition and let the bird out and she said it was impossible that there was a bird stuck there because it wasnít a real fireplace. It wasnít a real fireplace, so there was no chimney. And I thought this was likeÖ it reminded me / of Ė

    Jenna [drifting away]
    Oh look. Daveís left me a note.

    SHE PICKS UP A NOTE FROM THE TABLE AND BEGINS TO READ.

    Colin
    Iím seeing you in a whole new light, Trudy Krennline. Your hair, for instance, is totally different.

    Trudy
    I donít really call myself Trudy Krennline anymore.

    Colin
    Do you know something? Whenever Iíve had to type your name, Iíve always made a mistake and typed ĎTurdyí.

    Trudy
    Oh, Colin, I never meant to hurt you.

    Colin
    I never expected you to change your hair.

    PAUSE. JENNA IS LOOKING PERPLEXEDLY AT THE NOTE. TRUDY LOOKS AT HER AND THEN LEAVES.

    Colin
    Trudy Krennline. What times we had. [HE TURNS TO JENNA]

    Jenna
    I canít believe she thought I used to be fat.

    Colin
    What does he say?

    Jenna [READING]
    He says he wants to set up the synergies for a cogent exchange forum within the strictures of an environment designed for maximum mutuality.

    PAUSE.

    Colin
    I donít understand.

    Jenna [PUTTING DOWN THE NOTE, HEADING FOR THE KITCHEN]
    Do you want a cup of tea?

    Colin [INDICATING LITTLE CAKES LEFT ON THE TABLE]
    I wouldnít mind having one of these cakes.

    Jenna
    Iíd rather you didnít. I donít feel very well you see.

    Colin [SITTING DOWN]
    Why donít you sit down then?

    Jenna
    Well youíve just taken the only chair.

    Colin
    Why donít you sit on the floor then?

    Jenna
    I think that would make me feel bad.

    Colin
    Well you already feel bad.

    Jenna [GOING INTO THE KITCHEN]
    Do I?

  2. #2
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    blp--

    I'm not sure what to make of this. Is there a point to it? Is there some over-arching idea here (in the script), or does your film use setting and camera work to add layers to this?
    The mass and majesty of this world, all
    That carries weight and always weighs the same
    Lay in the hands of others; they were small
    And could not hope for help and no help came...

    -W.H. Auden, "The Shield of Achilles"

  3. #3
    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    It's filmed pretty straight, but things do seem to become clearer to some people when they actually see it. I don't really know why - it's always been clear to me what the point of it was.

    I'll try a little to explain later, when I have more time.

  4. #4
    Very Pinter-esque. But the one thing that distinguishes it from Pinter for me is that it's not consistently subtle. Like the line, "I felt I wasnít really seeing you as you really were," struck me as too obviously making this about the superficial vs. inner depth dichotomy and what makes reality. I like the idea behind it (like how our previous impressions--her being fat--affect our current perceptions of reality), and I like the "fat" transition, but this line is too overt for me. I don't know what you could do with it, though, and I don't think it damages the piece much. It's still...well, Pinter-esque.

  5. #5
    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    Thanks, Unspar. I can see your point about that line, but I'll defend it - I don't see it as something to be taken literally, but a deliberately stupid clichť, the flattest, most obvious way possible of referring to a rather standard emotional situation before undercutting it with the thing about being fat.

  6. #6
    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    I said I'd try to explain, but I'm not sure, after all, if I can. Tod, you say you can't see the point and, lame as it sounds...no, I can't even bear to say it.

    I was thinking about things that weren't literature - things like minimalist cubes or an early Damian Hirst (he's lost it now, but let's try not to hold that against him) composed of nothing but fish encased neatly in blocks of resin - things that had made me think 'why is that art?' I didn't think it would be possible to make a piece of writing work like that, but I thought I'd try, assuming I'd fail. I wanted reasonably plausible, but expressionless dialogue and I wanted to go as far as I could with that without it meaning anything, which I also didn't think was possible (Alan Ginsberg said it was almost impossible to write anything completely meaningless). And I don't think it did end up being meaningless.

  7. #7
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    Rant

    Quote Originally Posted by blp
    I was thinking about things that weren't literature - things like minimalist cubes or an early Damian Hirst (he's lost it now, but let's try not to hold that against him) composed of nothing but fish encased neatly in blocks of resin - things that had made me think 'why is that art?' I didn't think it would be possible to make a piece of writing work like that, but I thought I'd try, assuming I'd fail.
    This is something I have never understood.

    So, say you're an "artist"-- someone like Damian Hirst. Now, you go through school (or not), and you produce some works (or one work) that somebody in the field hails as "genius" or "groundbreaking" or whatever. Now, you have carte blanche-- you know that whatever you do next, be it scribbling on a napkin or pissing in the snow or casing fish in resin or whatever, will be "art". You know this, b/c you are now an "artist", which means you are eminently more qualified than your audience to judge what is "art".

    What does this sort of activity ultimately lead to?

    Well, you alienate your audience, make art appear more and more culturally irrelevant, and martyr yourself for the "cause of art" (or whatever label you want to put on it) while fewer and fewer people are paying attention to art, b/c they just don't care anymore.

    Bravo. Nice job.

    This is precisely why I believe, along with Eagleton, Berger and a host of others, that the category of the aesthetic is rapidly destroying itself. And heck, maybe it should. But one of the results of this process, for better or worse, is the elimination of the "artist"-- that is, the elimination of people whose work is "sacred" enough, a priori, to be placed in museums. Ultimately, it means the end of museums. For better or worse. (I like museums, but hey...)

    I feel bad even writing this. I dunno... maybe I need to read more Danto. Ah, well... to continue:

    Having said that, I can also say that I enjoy, and find value in, many works that I have come across that might be considered "avant garde" by most standards. So I, for one, wouldn't want to see funding yanked from the NEA (for example). But at the same time, I can totally understand the attitudes of those who would.

    I guess it's more the tension that bothers me, and the fact that I have to remain highly suspicious of "high art"-- when an artist refuses to explain his/her work, often by claiming some sort of variation on "executive priviledge", I never know whether it's in an earnest effort to better his/her craft, or a blatantly self-serving attempt to confuse me or piss me off. Being a person who doesn't like it when people who are "better" or "more cultured" than me try to keep secrets about things that are in my interest, I generally default to the latter. You alienate me, I'll ignore you, and we'll see who's the better for the exchange.

    I believe that the "artist" should bend over backward to help us understand his/her project, b/c if they're so anxious to show us their work, we're doing them a favor by looking at it. I believe, further, that in looking at such works the end question should be less "why is this art?" and more "why is this personally or culturally relevant?" or "why should I care?"-- I say this, b/c for the reasons stated above, I believe the category of "art" is little more than a hollow signifier. And I believe that "artists" have made it that way, which is a shame.

    So, my end question to you, blp, is this: why engage in a project like this at all? Do you believe it genuinely improves your writing? Do you believe you benefit from it? That your audience benefits from it?

    These are honest (dare I say, "desperate") questions, and I'm looking for honest answers. So-- please, please, PLEASE give me a reason to believe in art-- and especially the avant garde-- again!
    The mass and majesty of this world, all
    That carries weight and always weighs the same
    Lay in the hands of others; they were small
    And could not hope for help and no help came...

    -W.H. Auden, "The Shield of Achilles"

  8. #8
    Alan Ginsberg said it was almost impossible to write anything completely meaningless
    But he didn't have the benefit of seeing a Microsoft help page at the time!

  9. #9
    I liked this piece. And I can agree, up to a point, with Tod's last post. I like the way the dialogue keeps you guessing, keeps you reading (and in the case of the film, I assume, watching) right to the end. Ultimately meaningless it may be (and I'm not 100% sure on that either) but interestless it isn't. I really like the way it hints at things without resolution. Is Jenna being poisoned? Was she ever fat? What is the mix-up over Trudy's Surname all about? There is a Pinteresque element to it - tell me blp, are there pauses? And also a slight Beckett feel to my eyes (subtly Beckettsian though, if there is such a beast).

    It reminds me of reading a poem that I feel is telling me something, but not telling me exactly what. This sort of confusion delights me. Keep up the good work.

    There is a lot of "Art for art's sake" about, but I don't think this fits in that category.

    The only thing that jarred for me was the contents of the note read by Jenna near the end, "He says he wants to set up the synergies for a cogent exchange forum within the strictures of an environment designed for maximum mutuality. " It comes across like computer generated management speak and doesn't fit the very human, albeit bizarre, feel of the rest of the piece - maybe it works better in the filmed version.

    Thanks for sharing this,

    XC

  10. #10
    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    Funny you should say this, Tod. Here's what I wrote about the current Tate Triennial of British art on another site (if you don't feel like reading it all, skip down to the asterisks):


    These things tend to go in cycles I suppose. I hated contemporary art in the eighties, liked it in the nineties, now I hate it again. It was bad all over in the eighties and neo-expressionism was the seemingly willful standard bearer of badness, but England depressed in its own furrow with the deathly dull large professionalism of Helen Chadwick, Richard Deacon, Anish Kapoor, David Mack.

    I remember the first time I heard about the Goldsmiths generation, seeing Damian Hirstís fish in resin piece in a Sunday magazine, Opposing Forces Swimming in Different Directions for the Purposes of Understanding and thinking Ďwhy is this art?í and being interested in my own art moment - for the first time really. I still think they were good, the best of those people, in their day: Hirst, Lucas, Wearing, Wallinger, Whiteread, Fiona Rae, Steve McQueen, even Georgina Starr very early on, though one grows up and realizes that some of them, I mean Douglas Gordon, were just very very lucky little chancers.

    A lot of younger artists seem to hate these people now. One or two have told me that they do. It shows in the work. At some point, some general feeling seems to have arrived that something was to be said that couldnít accommodate the clean edged rectangle that defined minimalism and engendered conceptualism. Suddenly, bursting out of those straight lines, itís all baroque phantasmagoria, already patinated with the brownish grime of junk shop history.

    Adrian Searleís review of the try-anythingial talks about the stated curatorial ambition to represent art dealing with appropriation without irony or jokes. Maybe the lack of jokes is because of a lack of any intent of detachment. The idea seems to be now, if you like it, just point at it or make it again: recreate performances youíve seen in books, design things that look like the trash culture you grew up with the eighties, use film rather than video to get that Kenneth Anger look you like and, when you frame things up, use gilt and curlicues Ė anything to avoid those minimalist sharp edges.

    The lack of faith in the present Ė even in the possibility of critiquing it Ė is palpable and suffocating. Weíve had postmodernism for years and referencing the past was nothing new even before that, but supposedly avant-garde art has never looked or been so reactionary. Poundís dictum ĎMake it newí is always about a relationship with the past. The only thing new now, ironically, is revivalism Ė fashion-driven nostalgic salivating over romantic pasts. Seventies revivalism never muddied up the nineties cool school, however much it did the culture at large, but eighties revivalismís all over the current stuff like ****. There is no intent to critique and nothing to critique, the past being gone, just a desire to live out a fantasy (think of the way Michael Jackson would say the word to get my full revulsion for it). The fallacy is that, intended detachment or no, the artists are detached from what theyíre referencing whether they like it or not. Nothing ends up being revived. We just get a bunch of mummified corpses dragged into the gallery and crudely reanimated. Meanwhile, in this dimwittedly permissive theoretical environment, the door swings open to all kinds of other rigourless tat Ė even fantasy art itself.

    You could argue that, by setting up the minimalist box against this, Iím just engaging a subjective clash of tastes. But that boxiness was never just about the look of the box itself, but about the relationship of the box to the space around it and the viewer, an acknowledgement that art was not hermetic, but had an unavoidable relationship to its context, to the reality around it and a professed desire to be part of that reality. Thatís how we got from there to conceptualism. Critics such as Harold Rosenberg warned at the time of the dangers of minimalism being no more than design and, of course, later artists like Julian Opie ignored the warnings (and got rich), but it doesnít matter. The core idea was good and itís that that Iím lamenting, not some style I just happen to like better than the one around now. Whatís gone Ė arrogantly, contemptuously gone Ė is the contemplative, any sense of fascination with phenomena and, therefore, anything that might wake a viewer up. We go to sleep, instead, in perfumed rooms, and dream up monsters.

    ***

    So I may not be the best person to aks about contemporary art. The difficulty for me in addressing your distress is that I half agree with it, maybe even feel it more strongly than you do, because I feel that some of it really is charlatanery. But I also know that the other half, the half I really like, often looks like charlatnery to a lot of intelligent people. The whole thing makes me feel a bit tense, which I suppose might at least help to show that I'm not just trying to **** a snook.

    I guess that bad half gets by partly on the fact that, so often in the past, when someone seemed to be flinging a pot of paint in the public's face, they were actually painting masterpieces. There's also a market, which, as you suggest, works on brand names that, once established, can often get by on some pretty shocking rubbish. Hirst is a good example. So's his contmporary, Sam Taylor-Wood, though she was never much good. Roy Lichtenstein's an even better example because his career describes a trajectory from alleged paint pot flinging to infallible brand name success. Robert Rauschenberg said about Lichtenstein's first show at Leo Castelli in NY in the early sixties, 'I didn't know whether it was bad or good. And tI liked that feeling.' The person whom he initially showed his work to at the gallery said, 'Can you do this?' By the time he died, his work had become dull and repetitive (an awfully common syndrome), but his work was selling for millions.

    Still, good or bad, a lot of what looks like charlatenery in the artworld probably isn't. Artists are at least as vain as writers and they do want their work to be good and want people to appreciate it. At times, some of them probably even feel a sort of generosity to the viewing public - and, mixed up as that may be with vanity, that generosity, more than arrogance, may explain why some artists are reluctant to explain their work. The sculptor Barry Flanagan is a standing joke among younger artists because he makes nothing but large sculptures of elongated, somewhat anthropomorphicised hares - and sells them for a lot of money. He was asked why recently and responded irritably, 'It's not the right question. You have to walk round them'. And it turns out, from what I've experienced, he's right. Some friends and I were at a sculpture park recently and we could see one of Flanagan's sculptures, a particularly big, matt black one, off in the distance. Feeling somewhat ironical about it, we went down for a closer look. Up close, for reasons that are very difficult to explain, we were awestruck. Difficult to explain, but it felt very generous.

    Gift giving is complicated and part of the complication is that it lessens the impact if you go around mawkishly telling everyone how generous you feel towards them. So all I can tell you is that many of the art experiences I really treasure have involved hating or being mystified or frustrated by the work for a while. I suppose that might sound masochistic, but I think it's more that, by not being just what I would have wanted and even, in a sense, seeming quite wrong, they gave me more to chew over - even if their initial appearance was of less.

    I can't be sure about this particular piece. it's a gamble every time, for the reader/viewer and the writer or artist. That doesn't mean I just wrote whatever and hoped for the best. There's no point taking a risk on something you don't give a crap about. In the end, as I say, I think it does mean something, but I'm more interested in the experience of the thing - whether as a piece of writing or a film - which is why I tried to resist meaning as much as I could - a sort of zenny impulse maybe - resisting anything that gives leeway to 'the ceaseless chatter of the mind'. Partly, this is a matter of feeling caught between art, where you can be as non-verbal and experiential as they like, and writing, where the inherent verbosity generally leaves you feeling there's not much choice but to either make sense or be overtly nonsensical. I wanted an appearance of sense, but without much sense - because either of the other two would be too easy to accept or dismisss; and I think I got it and, to be a little boastful, though maybe not about something you'd see as worth bragging about, it wasn't easy!

    Hope for the avante-garde? I dunno, Tod. I want there to be some, but I kind of think contemporary art really is clapped out. I like older artists: Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman, Sophie Calle, Fischli & Weiss, Ed Ruscha, Robert Ryman, Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy. Lucy Mckenzie's an interesting younger artist. Also, Martin Westwood. It's good actually - having to think what I might find to care about in art right now. Not much is, unfortunately, the answer.
    Last edited by blp; 03-07-2006 at 07:34 PM.

  11. #11
    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamonas Chegwe
    I liked this piece. And I can agree, up to a point, with Tod's last post. I like the way the dialogue keeps you guessing, keeps you reading (and in the case of the film, I assume, watching) right to the end. Ultimately meaningless it may be (and I'm not 100% sure on that either) but interestless it isn't. I really like the way it hints at things without resolution. Is Jenna being poisoned? Was she ever fat? What is the mix-up over Trudy's Surname all about? There is a Pinteresque element to it - tell me blp, are there pauses? And also a slight Beckett feel to my eyes (subtly Beckettsian though, if there is such a beast).

    It reminds me of reading a poem that I feel is telling me something, but not telling me exactly what. This sort of confusion delights me. Keep up the good work.

    There is a lot of "Art for art's sake" about, but I don't think this fits in that category.

    The only thing that jarred for me was the contents of the note read by Jenna near the end, "He says he wants to set up the synergies for a cogent exchange forum within the strictures of an environment designed for maximum mutuality. " It comes across like computer generated management speak and doesn't fit the very human, albeit bizarre, feel of the rest of the piece - maybe it works better in the filmed version.

    Thanks for sharing this,

    XC
    Hey, XC. A pleasure. So glad you enjoyed it. There are pauses, yes, and they're in the script written as PAUSE. I may need to find a way of making them more noticeable though - or, well, you'd be surprised how diffficult it is to get actors to pause.

    I wasn't thinking of Pinter or Beckett through the writing of this really, except in a very vague way as part of a landscape of things to avoid. Nothing against them, it's just that they're familiar now - also, a lot of young playwrights write in an arch, stylised way that's obviously sub sub Pinter and doesn't owe much to observation, whereas a lot of what's good about Pinter is his ear for dialogue. So, to the extent that it sounds like them (it doesn't to me and it deliberately eschews their undertoes of violence or unease), I wish it didn't. Still, when I was replying to Tod just now, I was thinking a lot of Beckett's famous quote from his dialogues with George Duthuit, which Unnamable's quoted recently too: 'The expression that there is nothing to express, nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, no power to express, no desire to express, together with the obligation to express.' Not that I'm saying that was exactly my point.

    On that bit of management speak in the note, well, I don't know. It may be subjective, or, yeah, it may work better on film. It's sort of where I could get into the likely meaning of the piece, which is, probably, about attempts to make meaning - clunky ones - or perhaps, in a way, obstruct it. Something that interested me, and which might need more thought in another piece of writing, is the question of how resistance of meaning in art relates to resistance of meaning in contexts such as politics and the workplace. If I'm not being very clear, it's because it's a loose thread. But your Microsoft joke up there is curiously apposite.
    Last edited by blp; 03-07-2006 at 08:39 PM.

  12. #12
    To see minimalist art in its true light, you have to look at the spectrum and history of art in general. Just as an individual artist should grow and explore new things after they have mastered a particular skill, humanity in general needs to push the boundaries of existing art. If everyone still sculpted idealized human form like Michelangelo's David, what's the point. We've seen that. He was brilliant because no one else had that much skill, but in an age where we have learned the proportions and mastered the technique we need to do something new. In short we need to create, and rehashing old stuff is not creating, unless you are able to put a new spin on it--make it yours. As a culture we spent generations upon generations learning to paint and sculpt perfect idealized imagery. Then we devolped Realism, where we stopped painting the perfect form and started painting everyday scenes with everyday people--we threw away the need for perfect beauty. From there we moved on to Impressionism, where we stopped focusing on the traditional training and application of paint, to focus only on the visual sensations (i.e. sunset on the water). Move into cubism and we take away the need to acurately represent visual sensations. This evolved into moderism. Take a look at the abstract expressionists who threw away subject matter. When you get to the minimalist they have nothing left to discard, but pictorial space and finally the artists 'hand'. Ultimately you get sculpture that is about nothing but form--a giant steel cube. It is saying something and it is saying something that has never been said before. Ultimately, things like sculpture are meant to be physically experienced. You cannot truly appreciate a giant steel cube, or any sculpture for that matter, until standing next to it and having it invade your space. And anyway where else could art go that it hadn't gone before?

    Didn't Dadaism explore literature in an 'art for art's sake' kind of way?

  13. #13
    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyGoLightly
    Didn't Dadaism explore literature in an 'art for art's sake' kind of way?
    Yes - right down to sound poems with no recognisable words. But as I say, I didn't want to write nonsense. I wanted, as much as possible, to write something that sounded like sense, but wasn't.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by HollyGoLightly
    Ultimately, things like sculpture are meant to be physically experienced. You cannot truly appreciate a giant steel cube, or any sculpture for that matter, until standing next to it and having it invade your space.
    You can't truly appreciate a sculpture without touching and feeling it. Looking is not enough. Sculpture is as much about texture as it is about shape and form. Sadly, museums don't let you do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by blp
    I didn't want to write nonsense. I wanted, as much as possible, to write something that sounded like sense, but wasn't.
    And I think you succeeded. This was good enough to make me read it twice. I agree with most of the other positive comments above. I would like to see the finished movie, will it be posted online anywhere?

  15. #15
    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumbleguts
    And I think you succeeded. This was good enough to make me read it twice.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grumbleguts
    I agree with most of the other positive comments above. I would like to see the finished movie, will it be posted online anywhere?
    I don't quite know what I'd have to do to post it, but I'll definitely try. I'll post here when and if I sort it out.

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