The Air is on Fire - DL exhibition

Discussion of all things David Lynch

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FaceInTheLeaves
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Postby FaceInTheLeaves » Tue May 08, 2007 7:31 am

You can buy everything that's available from davidlynch.com (the DVDs, the Distorted Nudes book, a Dumbland mug, an Eraserhead baseball cap, coffee). You can also buy a cappuccino set designed by David Lynch, the Snowmen book (numbered and standard), exhibition t-shirts, postcards, an Air Is On Fire Print and French books and DVDs.
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Red Room
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Postby Red Room » Tue May 08, 2007 8:26 am

ideasarelikefish wrote:Hi Red Room. Thanks for the info, I will go ahead and order from Amazon UK now knowing it includes the CDs...

You're very welcome. :-) You won't regret ordering this...
Erwin
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Postby Erwin » Thu May 10, 2007 5:56 am

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Last edited by Erwin on Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
biotron
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Postby biotron » Mon May 14, 2007 12:22 pm

Well, I just came back from a weekend trip to Paris, with the main motivation being the exhibition - to anyone who is within reasonable range, either by budget airline or otherwise : you really ought to make serious efforts to go before the 27th if you can! I'll be fairly surprised if it is reproduced anywhere else with as much success as in the FC.

A few opinions :

Overall highlight, without a shadow of a doubt, had to be the sound design and the interactive pushbuttons. The CD has just been released, and of course I bought it - an hour of meat-and-veg industrial dronescape, like an ultra-high resolution Eraserhead - I haven't come across those beautifully hollow train hoots a la Rabbits / IE on it, but they were certainly present in the exhibition space. Stepping off the streets of Montparnasse into this environment in the middle of the day, and being suddenly immersed in such high fidelity ambience and correspondingly grotesque imagery was extremely intense.

The other major highlight was the 500-odd little sketches : the minimal / geometric pieces were especially impressive, but the full range of styles and sheer variety on offer is just stunning, and a real insight into the progression of the man's creatively profuse mind and - in many cases - incredible technical skill as a draughtsman and illustrator on extremely small scales. Now while the exhibition catalogue / book does a fine job of recreating many of these, it really makes a huge difference being able to see them close up, well lit and in chronological order.

It was also really satisfying to see The Alphabet and The Grandmother on the Eraserhead stage :) And it's always nice to see dead, lacquered flies populating the eye and mouth cavities of disturbingly disembodied heads on the larger paintings...

One minor complaint would be that the sound design from the upper level penetrated downstairs and infringed upon the short films being screened, which led to certain clashes between sound and image, and slight disruption of particular moods at some points.

Another little quibble would be the hanging of western end picture "This Man Was Shot 0.9502 Seconds Ago" failing to account for serious reflections and difficulties with the afternoon light, especially now the centre closes before it gets dark, so it was quite difficult to view this piece.

But seriously - no matter how sick you may be of hearing this - if you have any chance to splash out and visit in the next 13 days, you really should spend now and think about it later!
Erwin
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Postby Erwin » Tue May 15, 2007 1:30 pm

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Last edited by Erwin on Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
fish
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Postby fish » Mon May 21, 2007 8:37 am

I finally got my preordered "air is on fire" book from the US Amazon store and it is beautiful as others have stated. of course it is in english and also has the 2cds in case anyone was curious as I didn't notice the cds listed on amazons.com's description. Quite worth the $38 i paid as the list price is $70.
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moviemaker
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Postby moviemaker » Wed May 23, 2007 1:37 am

Just got mine in the mail today too! It's a beautiful thing.
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Erwin
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Postby Erwin » Wed May 23, 2007 11:25 am

At certain points during the interview music/ ambient noises can be heard. Is this taken from the exhibition soundtrack?
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kelvah
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Postby kelvah » Thu May 24, 2007 2:17 am

Celestial Teapot wrote:At certain points during the interview music/ ambient noises can be heard. Is this taken from the exhibition soundtrack?


I think it's not taken from the soundtrack.
the soundtrack is a single 48 minutes instrumental song divided into 8 nameless tracks; there are treated keyboards and strange industrial sound effects for all the time. even though the noises you can hear in the interview cds have a similar mood, thery are different, less treated.
biotron
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Postby biotron » Sat May 26, 2007 6:15 pm

The sounds on the CD aren't the ones from the exhibition. They do mention the interview taking place in Lynch's studio, but the placement of the sounds seems a little too deliberate to me, and coincide slightly too neatly with changes in emphasis and certain themes that are discussed. Perhaps Dave had a makeshift little interactive pushbutton under the desk that he was using to trigger the noises when he considered it appropriate ;)

Having just listened to the CDs, it is interesting to hear him give a rough context to most of the works, albeit with his endearingly vague failure to be precise about some things you would think he simply has to know the answer to. The thing that bothered me the most was Kristine McKenna's contribution - you get the feeling either she didn't do much research in the first place, or was feigning delight and surprise about particular areas of his work. In the end it becomes a slightly bland waltz through the page numbers ("which page is that Kristine?" etc) - and perhaps pitched this way in order not to alienate people less familiar with his career so far.

I suppose it wouldn't have happened if a more rigid critical analyst was given the task, but it was pretty amusing to hear questions like -

K: "is this a man? she looks like she has a beard"
D: "that's just the texture"

- or remarks about the picture of the room (built for the exhibition) looking "exactly like" the Rabbits' residence as portrayed in IE - er... :? Still, a pretty comprehensive package and one of the best value art books I've seen since the Cremaster Cycle hardback.

Most interesting piece of information extracted by Kristine, imho : the process of developing the idea and creating a "world" with all of its characteristics and moods opens up after the phrase with which it is associated, and flows from these words (ie "Fire Walk With Me") which come to Lynch first.
Fall_of_Sophia
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Postby Fall_of_Sophia » Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:01 am

Track 6 on the Air is on fire Soundscape contains the music from Rabbits.

Hello by the way.
MrBungle
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Postby MrBungle » Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:51 pm

I'm surprised Lynch hasn't done more of these grand exhibitions. I guess it comes down to who wants to fund it etc. The guy has too many amazing paintings and you can't find them at any museum or gallery!
I went to Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint in SF and that was amazing. Afterwards I thought Lynch should be doing the same thing when not making a feature film. Or similar to Barney he could do shorts that go to each exhibition.
Why is it Barney gets funded such ridiculous amounts of money to make a film and Lynch has to pay for it out of his own pocket?
Anyone know if they will do a show like this one in Paris in the US?
Also there were some clips and a really cool interview with lynch inside that room they built at the exhibition on youtube recently but now I can't find them, anyone have a link to these?
Fall_of_Sophia
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Postby Fall_of_Sophia » Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:03 am

http://www.thecityofabsurdity.com/paint ... ckeye.html

One of the paintings at the exhibition and it bugged me until I read this from a book on the history of gnosticism:

"(These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range throughout the earth.)" (Zech 4:10 )

What can it mean? Who knows 8) ?
FaceInTheLeaves
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Postby FaceInTheLeaves » Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:09 pm

Doesn't Matthew Barney make flms to sell to a limited number of people and that's how he makes money? I read once that there would be no DVD release of the Cremaster Cycle because it devalues the product.

If David Lynch followed Matthew Barney's example seeing a new film would entail forking out high art prices and only a limited number of us could own a copy even if we could afford it.

Drawing Restraint was shown in cinemas and the soundtrack by Bjork (Barney's wife) was widely available.
biotron
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Postby biotron » Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:54 pm

FaceInTheLeaves wrote:Doesn't Matthew Barney make flms to sell to a limited number of people and that's how he makes money? I read once that there would be no DVD release of the Cremaster Cycle because it devalues the product.

If David Lynch followed Matthew Barney's example seeing a new film would entail forking out high art prices and only a limited number of us could own a copy even if we could afford it.

Drawing Restraint was shown in cinemas and the soundtrack by Bjork (Barney's wife) was widely available.


yep - and he justifies it because the films were sold in vitrines in extremely limited editions, and accompanied in certain exhibition spaces by sculptures relating to core themes in the Cycle... in fact, Barney claims film is just another facet within the artistic discipline of sculpture - and as such, doesn't consider himself a director of films as traditionally understood.

which might explain the interminably slow pace of Cremaster 3, for example ;)

now i do quite like Barney's stuff, but it rarely screens in cinemas. IMHO, it would be tragic for Lynch to take this route and cross over completely into artistic products geared toward the more exclusive market / gallery screenings / limited edition "film sculptures". his originality and talent lies in infiltrating mainstream cinema as far as is feasibly possible, displaying a deep love of (and equally strong disregard for) classically-defined narrative film - and despite the self-distribution of something as (relatively) challenging as Inland Empire, it still strikes me that he works to alter perceptions of what is possible from within the system, whereas Barney remains fairly aloof and is not interested in a mass audience.

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