Tag Archives: Salvador Dali

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER

I live in a world now where everything is “delegated” to photography. Nothing is left to memory, your own memory. What I’m interested in, instead, are things that can’t be seen, not those that can be… I have always labored under the illusion—but I also think it was true—that nobody ever photographed me. Because my face is not for sale. The real me is not photographable.Benedetta Barzini, to Beniamino Barrese

Beniamino Barrese is the son of Benedetta Barzini—the first Italian model to appear on the cover of American Vogue—and his mother’s obsessive interlocutor throughout his documentary THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER, one of the year’s best.

Summoned by Diana Vreeland in the mid-1960s to come to New York for a few weeks, Barzini stayed for a few years, a sought-after subject of Richard Avedon, Bert Stern, and Andy Warhol, a confident of Gerard Malanga and Salvador Dalí, and an acquaintance of Marcel Duchamp.

Barzini was a double-rebel. Modeling in Manhattan put a necessary distance between Barzini and her parents—heiress Giannalisa Feltrinelli and writer Luigi Barzini, Jr., author of The Italians. But the trajectory of second-wave feminism in the 1970s opened Barzini’s eyes to the ornamental condition of women, and she returned to Italy and became an activist and left-wing academic.

I asked myself this question: Why do we have prototypes of beauty? Why are models at the bow of the ship and the other women are squashed together into the stern? Why? Because men invent women… Maybe it would be better if female bodies disappeared from men’s imaginations.Benedetta Barzini

Barzani explains to her son that the camera is a dangerous liar because within its capture of arbitrary moments, it “freezes” life “within a limited boundary,” contaminating thought and inscribing conformity. “I don’t like frozen things… I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are a hundred million photos of sunsets. Frankly, they’re all the same. But they weren’t the same when you saw them.”

Barzini is by turns loving and exasperated with her son and his never-ending investment in images and their documentation. Yet Barzini still models herself—recently appearing in Simone Rocha‘s Fall-Winter 2017 show in London. Nothing if not contradictory, Barzini wants to remove herself from a world she finds deplorable, railing against ambiguity yet unsure which entrance to the void she should walk through. She explains to Barrese that their work together on this film is an act of “separation.” The filmmaker sees it differently, and together they find a sense of an ending.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER

Now playing.

Laemmle Monica Film Center

1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica.

Quad Cinema

34 West 13th Street, New York City.

Beniamino Barrese, The Disappearance of My Mother (2019), from top: Benedetta Barzini (3); Barrese and Barzini (2); Richard Avedon spread of Barzini in American Vogue; Barzini on the cover of Vogue Italia, September 1967; Simone Rocha Fall-Winter 2017 show, London; Andy Warhol, Benedetta Barzini Screen Test, 1966; Barzini and Marcel Duchamp, filmed at the artist’s Cordier and Ekstrom Gallery opening by Warhol, 1966 (2); The Disappearance of My Mother U.S. poster; Barzini (5). Images courtesy and © the filmmaker, the photographers, Benedetta Barzini, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Condé Nast, and Kino Lorber.

ANNETTE PEACOCK IN CONCERT

Artists Space and Blank Forms present pioneer composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Annette Peacock in concert this month in Brooklyn. An associate of Ram Dass, Paul Bley, and Robert Moog, she was the first to use the Moog Synthesizer for vocal processing.

Peacock’s last public performance in the city was at the Whitney in 2013.

“Peacock struck out on her own with I’M THE ONE, her 1972 solo debut, a cult classic marked by free-flowing, rock, R&B and pop-influenced jazz with Peacock’’s dynamic vocals. Equal parts moving and disquieting, I’M THE ONE—praised by such artists as David Bowie and Brian Eno——stands among the most adventurous artistic statements released by a major label, and established Peacock as a force in not only jazz, but the broader category of pop music as well.

“Pushing her sound further and further in the ensuing years, Peacock would collaborate with a diverse slate of artists including Salvador Dalí, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Robert Wyatt, Mick Ronson, Coldcut, Bill Bruford, and Alan Holdsworth among many others.”*

ANNETTE PEACOCK*

Friday, December 7, at 8 pm.

First Unitarian Congregational Society

119 Pierrepoint Street, Brooklyn.

Annette Peacock, including artwork for I’m the One, above.

DULAC AND ARTAUD

Directed by Germaine Dulac from a script by Antonin Artaud, LA COQUILLE ET LE CLERGYMAN (1927) was the first film of Surrealism, premiering a year before Buñuel and Dalí’s Un Chien andalou.

This weekend—as part of the UCLA Film and Television Archive series The Cinematic Impressions of Germaine Dulac—a screening of La Coquille will close an afternoon selection of Dulac shorts.

Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Elaine Carey Haswell and Cliff Retallick.

 

LA COQUILLE ET LE CLERGYMAN

Saturday, September 15, at 3 pm.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.

Scenes from La Coquille et le clergyman.