Friday, 25 January 2008


Ju-87 Vanity Plates was my first year first semester assessment show. I put the work and life of Joseph Beuys and the Basic Instinct, Flashdance screenwriter Joe Ezsterhas together after I'd got their biographies mixed up on the bus.

The title comes from what vanity plate Beuys might have chosen for his Ferrari had he followed a similar Hollywood career to Eszterhas (Ju-87 being the type of aircraft with which he and his Luftwaffe comrades inspired Ezasterhas' family to head out for the states).

Flashdance: Cleveland in which Eszterhas offers his message of escape from the Hellish landscapes of his childhood.

Flashdance: Cleves. Beuys a native of the Cleves "terrorlands" turning instead towards the Underworld as a part of his shamanic journey.

Aztec Camera you put your face in its hollow metal head and it takes your picture. Involved in fine art and the movies both men understood how an audience interacts with- and validates expressive work.

Thor, Loki and Dillenger were figures who Beuys and Eszterhas could both identify with. Here in Emerald City I presented the screen upon which such myths are held. The names are written as stars above the emptiness that hangs over the Grand Canyon.

Micheal Ovitz, Eszterhas's then agent once threated him, "my footsoldiers who walk everyday down Wilshire Boulevard (will kill you)". These Footsoldier Cubes - here looking a little worse for wear - where the exhibition's catalogue.

Basic Instinct
features an IVF kit and an ice-pick. Beneath it is Jagged Edge - a typewriter and surgical gloves. Both are a look at violence (both consensual and non-consensual) and creativity.

In Burn Hollywood Burn a monkey with a CCTV head surfs on the leg of a lunar landing vehicle. Even if the moon-landing wasn't faked up by Hollywood at the behest of the Military-Entertainment Complex, the main discovery was a of a dead world, and looking back one full of life - our own. At least for now. There have been few images as big as those first images of the Earth, and like the monkey's head we seem nowadays caught in an inward-looking CCTV universe.

Finally BERUFSVERBOT (the 1970s German law banning radicals from public service) and Stone Coyote Siren look at direct links between the Beuys/Catherine Tramell personas, while the art-brut Null Triptych thinks about how the Beuys/Eszterhas themes of orthodoxy's destructive power to hijack positive human experience may have been suggested in a world with neither cinema or fine art.