Afterall Books, 2008
Part of their brilliant One Work series http://www.afterall.org/books_onework.html
I think we're really getting into an interesting period of Warhol scholarship and this book is just one step in that direction. Warhol left a lot behind. There is a lot to deal with but in what has been dealt with, much has been overlooked. This type of focused approach to a single work is the best type of contribution to writing on Warhol since differences and minute details are integral to Warhol's practice. He left many clues but many remain to be found or deciphered to the extent of their full complexity. Gidal sets out a careful and thoughtful analysis of Blow Job while offering exciting jumps to connections between the film and Velazquez's Luncheon or Three Men at a Table as well as Duchamp's Large Glass. I love the MCA bookstore in Chicago and I was particularly excited to see that they had this new release.
Select notes/passages of interest:
1- Warhol's classic figment quote
-exploration of duration
-projected speed, flares, edge numbers, time for reel breaks
4- "...his courage in being prepared to act without denying his sexuality was no mean thing, then or now."
5- four agents in the space
7- Gertrude Stein
8- "no less real for not being seen"
-"The real world is appropriated by the film..."
11- "unendurable durations"
12- the paradox
15- "...not about time regained but time lost. 'In search of...' means not that you find it but that you don't."
18- "existing only in its absence"
22- "making nothing materially present"
26- Warhol's time
-"The fear of death doesn't need more than a moment."
28- shadows "understanding the state of suspended or arrested recognition"
"Warhol's works are emphatically not iconic"
31- real time during the viewing
32- Proust again
-"extreme light can create an absence of image"
36- "We are unable to lose ourselves in the series of acts represented....'realism' of another kind."
37- machine and body
-"In that re-viewing, the repetition becomes a memory."
-"the taking up of time, its being filled, is what obliterates it"
-"Thus the subject of the film is never just what you 'see.'"
-silkscreens and squeegee marks
41- Warhol titles
46 (Warhol film) "you are left bereft"
59 Henri Bergson (via Bertrand Russell)
60- the subject and where it exists
61- adequateness and language
61-63-discussion of leaders
63- The Chelsea Girls- silent screen, indexical
64- Empire- "the skyscraper can be both itself and an image of a stable structure and fragile evanescence."
-printing of Sleep
-discussion of time and death towards the bottom of the page
65- "'You don't have sex with a name.'"
66- "So what."
69- time held- Suicide silkscreen
71- "In Warhol's films, meaning is, in the end, always determined by production not consumption. And in the beginning too."
73- Duchamp's Large Glass
73-74- concept of Marcel Duchamp
76- uttering a word- "no sooner spoken than unspoken"
78- moments only