Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Friday, August 17, 2007

hiraki sawa, and the guy with the oxygen machine

discovered the haunting work of a japanese artist named hiraki sawa at the fort worth museum of modern art.

he makes films like screensavers full of surreal imagery moving in mundane places.

if you have real player, you can check out the video that was showing in the fort worth museum of modern art (this website is in french):,CmC=369062.html

here's the artist's website with snippets and tastes of some of his other films:

whilst at the fort worth museum of modern art, i also caught a film. i sat down in back. i waited patiently.

then, this old man walked in and sat next to me in the empty room - not RIGHT next to me, two seats were between us - and he had a device in his hand that connected with tubes to his nostrils. every two or three seconds the machine made a whooshing whir of a noise, at the decibel level of a loud whisper. WHOOSH.... WHOOSH.... WHOOSH...

i don't want to kick him out of the theatre for his medical device, no matter how annoying. i do wonder why he sat down next to me in an empty room. he wanted me to move? he wanted to test me, somehow? what was he trying to prove?

i do not know. i got up. i moved to the other side of the room. still, i heard it in the air. WHOOSH... WHOOSH... WHOOSH...

the movie started, and i couldn't stop hearing it until about halfway through the film.

i don't know if it was a guilty noise, or an accusatory noise, or just some symbol of death on a friday evening. decrepitude walks among the young and hip. he carries his single lifeline in his hands, making annoying noises and warning of the time to come, when we will not be young or hip. we will have new hips that do not work as well as they used to. we will slouch not because we are pretending to have a reckless attitude, but because we cannot hold our own shoulders up.

gather ye rosebuds while ye may. death comes for us all someday.

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