Things decay. Iron corrodes, reacts with the oxygen in the surrounding air, astoundingly what guarantees life on this planet destroys a metal humans see as symbol for strength, iron-willed iron-clad iron-fists ironing out any trace of irony, that’s when the heroes take over and culture, style and humanity take a break.
As I already mentioned, Plastics do rot away too, I found new texts concerning this topic, at the  The Getty and the Victoria and Albert.
Museums store things according to the material they mainly consist of – stones, wooden things, metal objects, ceramics, paintings etc. are kept in single departements where the (nearly) optimal environmental requirements can be procured.
A bit difficile are photographic materials, positives, negatives, glass plates, films, different papers etc. partly treated with an exotic mix of chemicals that in the long run can still react. Film material is not only eaten by fungi – to be correct: The gelatine layer is munched away by Penicillium and others – but the film itself based on nitrocellulose (Ger., Eng.) is highly inflammable and even explosive. If you find some film boxes and want to know what’s inside you do not have to be afraid that they will explode into your face. But you should wear gloves and be careful.

Lyrical Nitrate (Eng.) by DELPEUT and Decasia (Eng.) by MORRISON (Eng.) use such decaying materials to form something new. Searching for “Decasia” on youtube gets some interesting results, DELPEUT’s film is seemingly not there (I am not sure whether this “paradise-lost”-scene is an outtake, the children-exhibition is nice). In the end it’s only shadows on a cave’s wall.

20 thoughts on “Shadows

  1. I’m sorry, XL. Does it come together with other films by Mr. Morrison?
    Totally unrelated, but maybe you can help me with that, XL: It always was possible to have a small preview of the linked site when hoovering with the mouse over a link. I liked that, but the feature is off and I find no box to tick to start it again: Do you have any idea? I searched the wordpress settings, I searched in the browser settings – which btw I did not change in any way for ages. I simply have no clue – “as always” some say.

    The museum is a strange and impossible place, Scarlet, at least today while it lost its function as place of study and education. I think the question “what to collect for what reason?” is based on the problem of fugacity, basical non-stability, perishability and transience: A cultural-historical museum or collection will never be complete, objects and their worth are always discusable – its difficult enough to do justice to one subject or question within one special exhibition, all aspects will never be covered or illustrated by objects. Collecting art is endless, and as Volkskundler I must say that “our” collections are always eyed with staring eyes by traditional arthistorians and categorized as naive and exotic, “Kunsthandwerk” at best.
    I think museums are mankinds sad try to manifest “something” in the endless flow of time – and all the relativity must be thought or seen or understood and hence the widespread lack of understanding for installations, presentations, collections etc. – you see what you know: The music may be noise, Paik’s monitors produce pictures or grey rush and Beuys throws in some fat – Gesamtkunstwerk or nonsense … the “Röhrende Hirsch” may be easier accessible for some, but is also very enigmatic. :) And I want a coffee now. And tomorrow all will revealed, Scarlet? Shockwaves around The Globe!

  2. I dislike that hover preview feature.

    In WordPress: Appearance > Extras > (check mshots box) > Update Extras

    But. Apparently the mshots feature has been (temporarily?) removed.

  3. Dear Mago,
    It is sad to think that all this historic film footage is being slowly eaten by Dame Natures little critters. I was listening to an archaeologist the other day saying that how disturbing and damning it is to think that in years to come all that will remain for future archaeologists to dig up as “Finds” will be remnants of our age will be bits plastic left over from our dependence on fossil fuel! What a sad but at least colourful legacy…

  4. A couple of years ago, I went to see the Henry Moore exhibition. His sculptures are so incredibly tactile; he chose materials that begged to be touched, fondled and stroked (and licked if I’m honest). A big burly security guard made sure we behaved (reluctantly).

    Some things are made for touching and in being touched they decay.

    I have a wistful longing for art that welcomes touch; that is open to the changes of peoples’ acidic tactile appreciation; that believes that the long-term degradation from appreciation is part of the process.

  5. Dear Princess, plastics and some rotten data … The Gelatine eating can be averted when the right storing conditions are given, but maybe it’s just a matter of time. Positives and negatives stored in the right way can easily survive hundred and more years in excellent quality – they already do, and nothing speaks against them surviving longer. Digital preservation is a difficult thing.
    I am sorry, the pop-up-thingy is gone now, seemingly taken off the menue of extras: No extras for You, mago whuahhahaa …

    You are a haptic person, Roses, “hab’ disch ned so” :)

    Thank you for the news, MJ, I already saw Donnn’s shocking socks …

  6. Oh Mann, Norma Desmond … it’s such a touching and poetic film: The old cinema burns down because a film catches fire, Alfredo becomes blind. Years later Salvatore retirns after the death of the older man. The new (old) cinema becomes demolsihed, turned into a parking lot. Ach!

    Better than touchy, Roses!

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