Constellations and Influences: Yanira Castro
October 8, 2014
“Every passion, ultimately, has its spectator…(there is) no amorous oblation without a final theater.”
– Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse
Robert Irwin’s “Black Line Volume.”
This influence is a fiction.
“Black Line Volume” was created in 1975 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. I was 4. I never saw the work. The influence is in the myth of the piece: Everything I have read about it and this grainy photo that is all that we have left of it.
The installation consisted solely of a single length of 4 ½-inch-wide black tape that Irwin placed across the floor to form a rectangle with an existing black border at the bottom of the other three walls.
“I couldn’t make any decisions until literally two days before the opening,” he [Irwin] says, “because the room was filled with boxes from the last show. It was a very precarious situation. I was looking at it, having no idea what to do–there was a square column in the middle but otherwise it was just white floor, white walls, a white ceiling–when suddenly I became very conscious of that black line, something that was put there so the janitors wouldn’t get the walls dirty. When I put down the tape, suddenly the whole room was energized. I added lights in the ceiling to fill the room up with a bit more light, which gave the room a volume of its own. The funniest thing was that about half of the museum employees asked me why I’d put the column in the middle of the room. And people would stick a hand out before stepping over the line, as if there were a scrim there or something.”
– Carol Diehl, Art in America, “Robert Irwin: Doors of Perception” (1999)
When you are stuck: Economy. The solution is gaffer’s tape.
Claude Régy’s direction of Sarah Kane’s 4:48 Psychosis performed by Isabelle Huppert in French for an English speaking audience and no subtitles. I understood not a word. The experience was excruciating. Régy was unforgiving. Kane was unforgiving. Huppert was unforgiving. I sobbed.
Language is a mess. Be uncompromising with it.
Claire Denis’ “Beau Travail”
After a restrained, highly choreographed, austere 86 minutes, Denis releases us in the last four with a burst of un-choreographed movement.
A reminder for freedom.