22 February 2010

“policy of ambiguity.”

"If you’re not in China, you’re not playing the game."
Lester Thurow, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1 comment:

Tony said...

Wow. Bruce Nauman has made some bad movies, but did he ever make a bad movie with this one.

To the best of my understanding, here's what the movie is about. A man known as the 'Black Monk' (Nauman, uncredited) suggests a shepherd launch a revolution among the lower classes after he claims to have been visited by the Virgin Mary and ordered to do so. The Black Monk suggests as well that dressing up his friend as Mary herself and parading her about might help her cause.

What the Black Monk says nothing about is singing songs and having orgies, events which comprise the bulk of the film and have seemingly nothing to do with story in any way. While Nauman wants this to be a film about both political and sexual revolution, it is of course a film about utterly nothing, a Chien Andalou or a L'Étoile de mer for his country and his generation.

So what are we left with? Nauman gives us a a frothy pile of images, all of them non-sequiturs, while he himself is left to strut along a lonely road in a leather jacket and with a cigarette in his mouth. Any subtext Nauman hoped to develop is buried under mound after mound of sheer idiocy. It's no surprise that Bouncing in the Corner, No. 2 (actually inspired by a 15th century true story) is one of his worst-regarded works.