Dienstag, 31.01.2012

Cattelan – Bresson ?

In einem langen Artikel zu einer Ausstellung von Maurizio Cattelan nimmt der Autor Barry Schwabsky am Ende Bezug auf zwei Filme von Robert Bresson. Die Filme sind in NY gerade gezeigt worden und werden offensichtlich reflektiert.

The Nation, Jan 30, 2012
(….. /end of article:)

At times, while looking at this exhibition, I couldn’t help thinking of Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar, a strange film in which a long-suffering donkey is finally shown to be a kind of saint through its endurance of work and pain. I know this allusion will seem absurd to those who revere Bresson as a saint of cinema, a paragon of formal and spiritual purity, whereas Cattelan seems to be a mocker, a wiseguy. But when I look at that Novecento hanging in the Guggenheim—it was once the hide of a living thing named Tiramisu—I can’t persuade myself to believe that Cattelan is kidding, no matter how sophisticated I might be if I could. The same goes for Not Afraid of Love (2000), the sculpture of a baby elephant trying to hide under a white sheet with tiny eyeholes and one great big hole for its trunk. Its alarmed little eyes—do artificial eyes really have expression, or is this my illusion?—can only, I imagine, be those of a certain Cattelan in the moment when it occurs to him that his art of evasion, his eternal Torno subito, can never disguise him for long. For Spector, the white sheet with the holes conjures up visions of the Ku Klux Klan and their robes. I see her point, but I can’t quite see it like that. I think of the similar-looking robes worn by Catholic penitents, most notably by the Nazarenos of the Holy Week processions in Seville. Cattelan’s art is full of the imagery of Catholicism, just as Bresson’s was. His mother’s piety must have left its mark on him.

In another Bresson film, the main character, a self-righteously rebellious young man, gets into a political conversation with someone on the bus, and passengers nearby chime in with opinions. “It’s the masses who determine events,” says one. Another asks, “So who is it that makes a mockery of humanity? Who’s leading us by the nose?” A third passenger responds, “The devil, probably,” as the bus crashes. Cattelan may have stepped off the bus just in time.

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