April 7, 2012

This piece is resolved by combining two very un-combinable thoughts:

“And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” Jonah 2:10


a scene from the Thai film, “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”,  involving a princess, pillow talk, and a catfish.

You can catch…

… a good review here.


In the movie, a blend of meditative – nearly religious – sublimity meets the course detritus of culture and weave into a surprisingly touching story about death, transformation, and extinction. The character Uncle Boonmee is a dying man and he is visited by his daughter’s ghost and a son who, with cool calm, tells of how he was transformed into a beast of the forest after he had mated with one of them.

A very interesting movie.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the director, said the film is primarily about “objects and people that transform or hybridize.”

In my art, I hope to coordinate my own hybridizations of haunted memory with dreams of a biological future; of ancient tomes and halting lifespans. In “Jonah”, the art work I posted above, I abused our own cultural bin of memes and myth by using the bible verse to overlay a projection upon the blue area when I was drawing of a man and a sea. Immediately, the prophet was seen being swallowed up by a great fish, as in the old testament when he wouldn’t “cry out” against the city of Ninevah.

But the story required my own take and direction. Whether or not my inherent antagonisms towards the medium through which these stories are usually transmitted came out (anger & idiocy), I do not know. But I let the phrase, painted in my work, above, stand as a testament of humor for the place where I think such stories come from in the first place: myth. And this is where I believe they gain their power; not lose it.


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