January 2, 2010

Neto > Bloc > Klein

While poking around last night looking for more films and videos made by Ernesto Neto, I found this clip, a black & white making-of short for Looking for the end, an installation Neto made in the southern Paris suburb of Meudon in 2007.

For Looking for the end Neto filled Andre Bloc's 1964 Habitacle with a construction of giant Octon-shaped elements cut out of strandboard

The look of the film--by Benjamin Seroussi, who grew up in Bloc's house, and whose dealer/collector mother Natalie Seroussi commissioned Neto's piece--echos very nicely with the Habitacle's most famous on-screen appearance, in the opening scene of William Klein's awesome 1966 debut feature, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?

Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? is a Cold War fashion satire, the freakishly beautiful lovechild of a post-protest march hookup between Funny Face and Dr Strangelove. It's bizarre to think it came out the same year as Blow-Up.

Klein used Bloc's post-constructivist brick pile as the stage for a ridiculous fashion show, where models inserted or bolted into creations of razor-sharp, polished metal [by Paco Rabanne, of course] paraded in front of magazine editors perched on scaffolding. In the post-show scrum of designer adulation, the Diana Vreeland character proclaims, "Je suis galvanisée!"

The opening's on YouTube, but it turns out Criterion released Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? in 2008 as part of a 3-title box set, Eclipse Series 9 - The Delirious Fictions of William Klein.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: January 2, 2010.

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