"Midnite At the Plaster foundation, " on the other hand, is a real time recording of one of his performances. It is, to my thinking, one of the most important texts in the Smith oeuvre. Here are my reasons:
We hear Jack's voice and see the style of his declamation. The connection to Richard Foreman is immediately evident. Jack's influence on so many artists still astonishes me.
Jack's uncanny awareness of timing is clear in this tape. In spite of the fact that he didn't work in this medium before, he manages to create a beginning, middle, and an end with the 28 minute parameter of the Sony Portapak format. He is evidently watching the action on a monitor which seems to be placed to the lower left of the camera. He violates his own character and suddenly becomes a director, as the frame is repositioned in response to his hand commands. The acted-upon becomes the actor.
The piece evokes the recurring Jack Smith theme: FAILURE. " The tape is ruined. Turn it off. Turn it off.." The notion that Jack was a failure in art and in life is one of his primary creative tools. It creates that tension between goal and action which informs the longer films. It stimulates the sense of ambiguity in the audience which makes it either riveting or repulsive.
Oh- I'm going on - anyway, it is a really fascinating tape, and it strengthens my belief that we have barely scratched the surface in our understanding of the work so many artists.
Jerry T. [Tartaglia (jerry501@PIPELINE.COM)] 01/13/2002 10:44 AM
uh - one more thing in reference to Midi's work. When I cataloged Jack's material I found two one hundred foot camera spools of color reversal camera original of the Jack and friend at the Funnel as he prepared for the evening. Ross McClaren shot the material.
t 11:54 AM 1/11/02 -0800, you wrote:
>Those of you interested in Jack Smith stuff should know about a terrific
>5-minute 16mm film by Midi Onodera of a Jack Smith performance. It's a
>time-lapse document shot on super8 and blown up to 16mm with an Yma Sumac
>Available from Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, www.cfmdc.org
>The catalogue description is:
>"In October of 1984, the highly acclaimed New York Artist Jack Smith came to
>Toronto for a week-long performance/Halloween ritual at the Funnel
>Experimental Film Theatre. This performance, true to Smithesque form, went
>by three different titles: Dance of the Sacred Foundation Application,
>Brassieres of Uranus, and Impacted Croissants From Outer Space. Accompanied
>by the music of Yma Sumac, this short piece, completed in 1992, remains the
>last film documentation of this historic event."
>The Images Festival of Independent Film & Video
>15th Edition April 11 - 21, 2002
>401 Richmond St. W. Suite 448
>Toronto, ON Canada M5V 3A8
>T 416.971.8405 F 416.971.7412