The Air Is On FireMarch 19, 2007 at 1:21 pm | Posted in art, spectacle | 5 Comments
Friday I joined what seemed like all of Paris for the David Lynch exhibit at the Fondation Cartier. Earlier in the week, I had prepared for this experience by seeing Lynch’s latest movie, Inland Empire, but I was somewhat disappointed to see that there wasn’t much relationship between the film and the exhibit. I guess, deep down inside, I’d been hoping that the exhibit might provide a key to making the movie a bit more comprehensible, but who was I kidding? This is Lynch we’re talking about: there will be no clues.
Instead, there were three or four big rooms full of paintings, drawings, and photos, mostly undated and unlabeled, but apparently drawn from Lynch’s entire creative lifespan. Of particular interest were the three long walls filled with many years’ worth of painstakingly archived doodles and sketches — for a man as visual as Lynch is, scanning his doodles feels almost like reading his diary. My personal favorite was a scrap of note paper on which was jotted: “Blue Velvet. Pleasant beginning, ear, nude woman, tumor on brain.” Ha!
As for the actual art works, they were more or less what you would expect: dark, creepy, incomprehensible, but with a strange Jungian undercurrent that makes everything feel like you might have seen it before in a dream. You know those psych tests people give kids sometimes, where they tell them to draw a tree, and a house, and Mommy and Daddy, and supposedly the shrink can tell if the kid’s being abused from what his drawings look like? If Lynch were a little kid, he’d be going straight into foster care.
This one, for example, is called “That’s Me in Front of My House.” Another, similar picture was labeled, “Shadow of a Twisted Hand Across My House.” The house shows up again in a painting labeled, “Oww God Mom The Dog He Bited Me!” I tell you, it gave me the jeeblies.
All in all, though, it was a pretty satisfying exhibit: as haunting and disconnected as your average Lynch movie, with the main advantage that, if things started getting dull or repetitive, you could just move a little faster toward the end.
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