Bresson’s last two, The Devil, Probably, and L’Argent, remain trenchant, gimlet-eyed excoriations of modern life.
Allegory is a country for old men, and Robert Bresson lived there longer than most. Not that his allegorical figurations of good and evil, present since the beginning of his career, remained stable over time. The placid purity and timelessness of Au Hasard Balthazar’s (1966) allegorical ass can seem cloying now—a heresy for Bresson fanatics, I know—but foreshadowed in that ass are the two more virulent ends of Bresson’s allegorical career. Balthazar already circulated as Addison’s shilling did, passing from owner to owner in a vicious circle of increasing exploitation, expiring finally as the contraband convoy for the vapidly malevolent, darkly sexual Gerard.
Since at least 1966, then, Bresson’s Christ-martyrs were already marked-to-market, the black- or gray- in black-and-white. But later in his life they became increasingly ambivalent, their martyrdoms more a mulish insistence on their own annihilation than Balthazar’s self-abnegating sacrifice. Eleven years later, now in pale, seraphic color, Balthazar pubesces into the petulant, nihilistic Charles of Le diable, probablement (1977), and hits maturity in L’argent’s Yvon Targe (1983).
Your idle hands are the BOMBlog’s playground.
As part of Arika’s programming at the Whitney Biennial, Conceptual poetry assassins Vanessa Place and Craig Dworkin will read from their work, 4:45 to 5:45 PM. The Whitney website for the event warns that Place’s appropriations of rape trial transcripts are not recommended for visitors under the age of 18. Fox in Socks this is not. Leave the kids at home and go watch expressionism get put to bed.
If you’re the kind of person who prefers art in a poetry context to poetry in an art context, head instead to the Bowery Poetry Club at 5:30 PM. Here artist EJ Hauser and poet and BOMB Senior Editor Mónica de la Torre have collaborated on a work called BLIND SPOT for the Elizabeth Murray Art Wall project. An evening of text, image, and music in one of the city’s most venerable venues, plus the chance to pinpoint your macular hole? Priceless and potentially life-saving.
Sous les pavés, subMercer. Get a little art-world starfuckery two floors underground at the first of Artists Space’s four consecutive club nights, NEIN POP, with DJ Princess Julia and a guest set by Matthew Higgs.
The Poetry Project’s annual Spring benefit features poetry from erica kaufman, Dana Ward, and LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, and music from John Zorn and Thurston Moore. Proceeds from the benefit help fund the Project’s 80+ events each season, and sonically hopeful youths can try to stuff their demo tapes into Moore’s back pocket at the after-party in the Parish Hall.
The Calder Foundation’s 12 hour marathon of visual and performance art, music, film and video, Oh, you mean cellophane and all that crap, kicks off at 2 PM. The programming takes as its inspiration a 1933 sound-making mobile that “conjures into space not a tangible representation of an object, but the disquieting experience of sound and anticipation.” If you’re already anticipating this, the space won’t be revealed until tomorrow, on the Calder Foundation’s website. You can however check out the impressive list of participating artists.
Jeff Nagy on Ariana Reines’s translation of Tiqqun’s Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl.
After Tiqqun, a group of anonymous French authors behind a short-lived journal of the same name, dissolved in 2001, some members (allegedly) reformed as the Invisible Committee, source of The Coming Insurrection, much detested by Glenn Beck and beloved of Occupiers, direct actionists, and their glued-to-the-livestream fellow travelers. Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl is the latest volume in Semiotext(e)’s ongoing English-language archiving of Tiqqun, whose stock continues to rise despite the widespread collapse of OWS in the past months.
Us Americans might be said to know a thing or two about Young-Girls. En Jeune-Filles, on s’y connaît—pardon my French, I took a cours de civilisation, once. We might be said to know a thing or two, might even be said to have invented them. But despite our birthright expertise, as with so many other American exports, the Theory is Continental. Let’s pretend we didn’t already have it flat out and ask, obligingly, What Is The Young-Girl?