May 19, 2010

Late Night at the Circus

Last night whilst idly watching tv I stumbled across a documentary about sculptor Alexander Calder. Though never been particularly interested in his work, watching his fragile mobiles tremble and glide as silently as a kite high in the sky was mesmerising, and his sculpted wire 3d 'portraits' created a similar feeling as to peeking from behind a closed door whilst trying not to step on a creeking floorboard - as though you were at the point of being discovered, as the floating heads slowly revolve around.
Perhaps what made this documentary so fascinating was because it was in French with Swedish subtitles, and my inability to comprehend the dialogue made the visuals all the more captivating.
His early performance piece "Cirque Calder" created a similar feeling to watching Fischli & Weiss' "The Way Things Go". Cirque Calder was performed in France during the 20's & 30's to avant-garde Parisians tired of having to be so serious and obscure all the time.
The 1961 film version of Le Cirque de Calder by Carlos Vilardebó can be viewed at UBUWEB, and is strongly advised.

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