verysmallkitchen

THE ALL EDIE ALL ANDY ALL ME ALL YOU ALICE IN WONDERLAND II

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 10:59 pm


THE ALL EDIE ALL ANDY ALL ME ALL YOU ALICE IN WONDERLAND II  has just published in SYNTAX #2: TOO MUCH NIGHT edited by CS Leigh.  More information on Syntax Editions is available here 

 In its content, language and form, this essay explores my response both to Warhol’s 16mm film work, and the performance style of Mario Montez and Jack Smith. In the context of  VerySmallKitchen I am interested how the methodologies of these performers, the way they position themselves in regards to space, time, and notions of self, can be applied to the acts of expanded writing practice chronicled on this website.  

My interview with CS Leigh, around and out from his contribution to the exhibition WARHOL AND THE SHARED SUBJECT can be seen here. This is how the essay begins:


…This is rumours and whispers, started by Warhol himself, a delirious dream of a phone conversation with B, pieced together from pirated extracts on You TUBE. This is about Warhol’s 16mm films providing a working language for writers and artists in 2009. This is nothing new: once the 16mm films were talked about without being seen and that was their influence.

Well I’ve seen them all, I’ve forgotten much of them, and now I’m watching illegal bits, often filmed straight off the screen, legacy gone viral via atrocious image quality. I tried the DVD collections and 13 Most Beautiful… but now I’m back at my laptop, keyword “MARIO MONTEZ.” All with the same sense of self-collapse, impossible pose, as Henry Geldzahler on the sofa…

Before this, in January, I was in Other Voices, Other Rooms, the Warhol show at the Hayward gallery. Trying on headphones, watching cable TV shows, pleasurably, blankly bored, hopefully in the hyper-productive Warhol way. I pass a video fragment of Edie Sedgwick, where she remarks, slowly and thoughtfully, that Warhol should make a film of Alice in Wonderland, partly because of their shared AW initials.

Sedgwick laughs and says she knows that lots of things have those initials. She also emphasises how, unlike an earlier Disney version, Warhol’s AW would use real people because – I’m paraphrasing – there are so many fantastic people around who could play all the parts.

Other Voices Other Room was maybe a first draft towards AW’s AW. Confused, incoherent, and incomprehensible in its totality, it tried to treat Warhol’s oeuvre as a whole, without value judgements about film or video. It ended up as a microcosm of the issues faced by Warhol obsessives, curators or not, in 2009. In the Hayward I sat and watched whole episodes of cable TV shows, before heading through a room of digitally transferred 16mm work, noticing images but not stopping to experience the duration of what, in the cinema, had absorbed me.

Warhol never made AW, at least not literally, but not to worry. This article will propose a whole series of Alice in Wonderland’s. Because selves are multiple in 2009 in a way Warhol could only say “sure” about. The all Ondine  AW, the All-Edie, or The All-Andy, with Andy played by Marie Menken, two thirds over-exposed white out. You can hear Ronald Tavel shouting the lines. You too. The All-You AW. Sneeze if you forget your lines and I’ll whisper them to you, or look in the fridge. TASK: Map the structure of Alice in Wonderland onto Chelsea Girls, assuming the 1-1 scale of AW’s (both of thems) own maps…

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