The following is a short clip from the 1982 documentary The Burden of Dreams, which follows Werner Herzog and his team through the process of filming the movie Fitzcarraldo in the Amazonian rainforest. The narratives of Fitzcarraldo and The Burden of Dreams revolve around tasks that appear to be impossible; in both cases dragging a riverboat over a small mountain that separates two rivers and, in the case of The Burden of Dreams, doing all the other things that contribute to and complicate film production in a remote forest area, to boot.
Here we observe a clearly frustrated Herzog holding on by the skin of his teeth to his composure, sanity and film project. He practically vibrates with the force of his awful admiration of the jungle that constantly endeavors to put an end to the film and, in some cases, the lives of those involved.
What really gets me, though, is Herzog’s profound awareness of his own presence in relation to and with the jungle and all of its millions and billions of creeping, sliming, moist and fecund inhabitants.
“We, in comparison to the articulate vileness, and baseness and obscenity of all this jungle … we in comparison to that enormous articulation, we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half-finished sentences out of a stupid, suburban novel, a cheap novel.”
His expression of impotence in the face of the forest juggernaut and exasperation at laboriously scraping through this environment in an effort to realize a creative dream is eloquently humble and represents an attitude that ought to be more widespread. Not only should we all develop such a willingness to doggedly pursue the apparently impossible but also become as sensitive and open to being humbled by what bears down upon us when we are brave enough to commit to that path.
I just want everyone to know that tenterhooks was the word of the day from my Word of the Day email today. I love hooks of all kinds (shout out to Meathooks the cat – R.I.P. you little mustachioed snugglety poo). This word is particularly apt as graduation and the gaping maw of THE NEXT THING loom nearby and in the general area of every part of my life.
Also, I’ve had my first whack at creating a professional website. That is, a website for work with no swearing, very few hyphens and probably only one shout-out to my late cat.
In conclusion, here is my current cat-friend Tubby basking in the spotlight. What a jerk.
Note: This blog post lacks professionalism and coherence. Meow.
Goodness gracious! It’s your chance to see Christopher T. Wood in action! Well, not as much action as the fantastic and completely wonderful Mar(t)ch Madness show hosted by Lion vs. Gorilla a few weeks ago but, while Mr. Wood himself will refrain from athleticism, his work will do a thousand pushups on your brain!
The Beverly Arts Center will host a group show called Immaculate Conglomeration, opening this Friday, that features the work of Christopher Cannon, Ann Blaas, Joseph LoPresti and, you guessed it, Christopher T. Wood. If you weren’t already convinced by all the exclamation points in the first paragraph (above), I urge you to carefully consider the following statement: I heartily endorse this art show.
Hi guys, first let me apologize for all the exclamation points in my post titles recently. I don’t know what’s gotten into me. Secondly, let me apologize for talking about punctuation so much. I mean, what is this – first grade English class??!!
In any case – LOOK HERE! It’s an event that I bet will be sooooooo much fun in Chicago. Cheerleaders! Shady bookies! Dance party! Oh, and art.
Vote early and often for Chris Wood (AKA Christopher T. Wood) in a basketball-style bracket setting!
Without much ado, here’s Part V of my exploration of the work of Fischli & Weiss. This is the last emulation of the artists’ work before beginning a recognizable architectural project in earnest and also probably the least connected to architecture or, for that matter, the work of Fischli & Weiss. In any case, the artists made movies and now we have also made a movie.
Note: Developed, directed, constructed, shot, and edited in under a week by a team of five. Music is copyright Electric Light Orchestra and is used for a non-commercial project.
Part IV of our fantasical-like journey through the work of Peter Fischli and David Weiss brings us to the sausage photographs. This series consists of a variety of scenes composed of things one might find in or around the fridge; sausages, cigarette butts, cardboard, etc. The photographs not only share a sensibility of materials, but also a playful attitude towards narrative and a healthy disregard for scale normalcy.
While Fischli and Weiss miniaturize, I attempt to gigantify. That’s right, gigantify (read: embiggen). Using only what’s lying around the house, I give you my assemblage, House Monster.
Phase III of our little obsession with the work of Fischli and Weiss emulates the graceful sculptures of their photo series A Quiet Afternoon (currently on exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago).
The challenge here is to foster a sense of both structural and compositional tension while maintaining an attractive material palette. Joy of joys! Tension is at the core of my interest in architecture, my intellectual project, so to speak. Perhaps I should post my manifesto one of these days…
In any case, here’s my whack at having a quiet evening in the makeshift photo studio I call the attic.