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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Reflections of the Golden Triangle / Robbe-Grillet

Art lit at its most uncompromising, largely unintelligible without explication by an academic (in this connection Koch C. Smith is first-rate) but, still, somehow captivating, the descriptions of people, scenery and material objects, as usual, razor sharp, multiple narrators merging into one another, disappearing, returning, one location dissolving into another, chronology turned inside out, trick after narrative trick filing past, the atmosphere cold and dehumanized, his customary gratuitous sexual sado-masochism popping up here and there as this tyro of the extreme avant-garde, this superhero of metafictional obsessives, continues his exploration of the meaning of the fictitious.

It's diverting, but what does it do for one's soul, other than soiling it? What does it do for one's sense of solidarity with the economically exploited and abused, other than making it appear irrelevant? As for the political utility of bizarre narrative contortions performed for the enjoyment of literary specialists only, there is none.

How far over the edge can innovation carry one? Consider this note from ArtNews on Robert Wilson:

"Many of his plays go on for several hours. In the case of Ka Mountain, Wilson’s 1972 production atop a mountain in Iran, the running time was seven days, and many performers were hospitalized for dehydration and exhaustion." 

He should have cast Diana Ross!

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