Author: Amandus Mallory

Cuore di mamma (1969)


In Salvator Samperi‘s Cuore Di Mamma the children are psychotic. Their mute and divorced mother is a zombie watching TV all day, stacking books and failing to react to her children terrorizing their caregivers. At random, she stalks a young man, following him to a group of other young people. They are extreme Left wing terrorists with vague ideas, clearly parodies of the Situationist types. It’s a less sentimental version of what Godard did to Maoists in La chinoise (1967) and the speechifying gives way to clown-theatre and bad, awkward folk singing. After a few challenges they accept her and she goes with them, blowing things up. They clearly mirror her psychotic children, who also mouth endless political rants (the children are more coherent and lucid than the adult revolutionaries). (more…)


Notes on Groys’ Art Power

“The only thing that saves us from bureaucratic subjugation, is the inertia of the bureaucracy itself.” – Donald Brittain Paperland: The Bureaucrat Observed

imagesSince Duchamp, the old distinction between artist and curator has collapsed. The creative has given way to the selective. The artist is the authorizer of a selection. What makes it art is that it is exhibited, and this status in time is what makes it contemporary. Contemporary art is the space of exhibition, one which places subjective, even arbitrary selection, into a public space. But the authority is more diffuse. Contemporary art is one of multiple authors, of institutions, curators, committees etc. It is a product of the bureaucratization of selection. Artists become identified with their CVs, not works of art. They produce less than they participate. Unexhibited works are reduced to documentation rather than works of art. “And that is the crucial aspect: the artwork today does not manifest art; it merely promises art. Art is manifested only in the exhibition, as in fact the title Manifesta already states.” (98) Museums no longer display seemingly eternal collections but temporary, transient and bureaucratically re-evaluated ones. They become, functionally, like almost any other part of the state apparatus. Their function as documentary performed makes them identical to the cultural bureaucracy that they are funded by. Effectively, budgets for doomed utopian projects are what is produced by contemporary art.

Groys on philosophy vs theory

He’s too polite to put it bluntly, but this is what his argument comes down to:

This was philosophy (the problem of reason – the history of art)


This is what critical theory is (the problem of life – contemporary art)


Canada’s erotic 80s: The Surrogate


“The Surrogate …is a reminder that the bad, old, tax-shelter days of Canadian movie-making may not be over just yet.” [i]

“The Surrogate is a porsche with no engine – a slick, empty chassis of a movie.”[ii]

Don Carmody had established his reputation in the Quebec film industry as a producer, a role he would continue to concentrate upon after his single experiment with directing. The film in question, The Surrogate (1984), was made for Cinépix and resulted in Carmody nearly having a nervous breakdown, at least according to the film’s producer, John Dunning. (more…)