'The Movie Is Called Eden Rock...'

It's all in the book, so you could definitely buy it and read about it in depth, but it didn't occur to me until Brian Dupont tweeted about it ["Aspen : #OccupyWallSt :: St. Barts : Canal Zone. Every apocalypse needs a last stand."], that there might be a connection between the Occupy Wall Street protests and Richard Prince's movie pitch.

See, in defending his Canal Zone paintings against Patrick Cariou's copyright infringement claims, Prince and his lawyers repeatedly cited The Pitch, a 1.5 page text for a post-nuclear apocalyptic movie called Eden Rock in which Cariou's Yes Rasta photo subjects were one of several tribes. The strategy--failed so far--was apparently to demonstrate how completely Prince had transformed Cariou's work, thus obviating the infringement claim.


Prince included the The Pitch text in Eden Rock Show, a brief 2007 exhibit of a large collage/painting made up of pages from Yes Rasta at St. Bart's Eden Rock Hotel. It was included in court exhibits in Cariou v. Prince and, like I said, is in the Selected Court Documents &c. book.

When I started typing this, the way I had remembered The Pitch had me thinking it is occasionally starting to sound like a future documentary, minus the global thermonuclear war part, anyway. Now that I've re-read and typed it all in I don't think that anymore. But I'm not so sure Prince agrees with me. But as the view from his position as a pessimistic artist in the lower reaches of the 1%, but not of the 1%, it does have a certain authenticity, and so I thought The Pitch is worth posting:

The Pitch

Charles Company, his wife, son and daughter arrive at the St. Barts airport, late afternoon two days before Xmas, he's meeting up with his brother and sister-in-law... staying on the island for a couple of weeks...vacation...

As he's landing, he sees out the window a lot of people running around...general commotion.

As the plane taxis up to the gate he asks the pilot what's going on...
As the Company family disembarks the plane, there's more pandemonium...
People grabbing, shouting, some hysterical...it's a tiny airport, but there's an overload of people waiting to get thru customs and many people literally "crying"...they're "crying because there are no planes going out...no planes returning to St. Martins...returning to Miami...returning to NYC...returning to London...returning anywhere...
There are no returning flights because these cities and many other major "areas" in the continental U.S. and Western and Eastern Europe have just been obliterated by nuclear attack.

Charles Company and his family are informed of this fact and seemed to melt into the tarmac under 88 degree temps...holding their bags, their backpacks...what will come to be as all their worldly possessions.

They hook up with Charles's brother, who will fill them in with a bit more detail on the events "round" the world. "What are we suppose to do?" is Charles's wife's first question...

"There's nowhere to go", is the first answer.

A good part of the world, "most" of the world, has been nuked and they are here on a tiny French island in the middle of nowhere...which in a year's time will become part On the Beach, part Lord of the Flies.

Background: Charles is 55, has no military background, is pretty much out of shape...makes his living as an architect.

To make this pitch even shorter I'm going to cut to a year later...

People on the island have broken up into "tribes"...most of the houses have been ransacked and all of the hotels occupied.

Charles Company is now Charlie Company. He has been exercising. Hes also learned to load a weapon, field dress a wound, cook without a fire. His daughter is the #1 scavenger...

He his wife, son and daughter, brother and sister-in-law, (along with several followers) have taken over the Eden Rock Hotel. It's headquarters.

Stockpiled. A Mini-Mart. As best a fortress as can be under the circumstances. Everything is rationed, everything is "used"...

Next: Charles's son is standing lookout. Thru his telescope out in the ocean he sees what appears to be a periscope...he sounds the alarm...

The movie is called Eden Rock...

[from an October 2008 email prepping for the Canal Zone show at Gagosian]

Additional Eden Rock/Pitch Material written MARCH 2008--

More on Eden Rock

1. Rastas and Reggae...they escape from one of the Cruise ships, (they were the band aboard the ship) three days after the bombs went off. They go to the Hotel Manapany. Six band members, two roadies and a manager.

2. The Backpackers...these are college kids, use to spring breaks, know nothing of responsibility or the real world.

They gather first in bars then take over a small hotel just above Shell Beach. They keep partying, drinking, smoking..they are the first to "go native"...the first to smear "war paint" on their bodies...they're also the first to get wiped out...

3. The Amazons...Four Lesbians who escape a second Cruise ship, who bring along part of hte crew and take over the Guanahani Hotel. These are large well built women along the lines of Shena Queen of the Jungle, Wonder Woman, Cat Woman, think Raquel Welch meets Linda Hamilton in the Terminator. Their outfits, hair and make-up remind us of Road Warriors...

4. The Ultimate Ones...this tribe is made up of rich, affluent masters of the universe...these are guys who own the huge private boats parked in Gustavia...they have the loyalty of their crews, they have their own weapons and in the beginning access to food and water. They quickly make deals with the local St. Bart police force. They stay on their boats at first but then take over the Ill de France hotel...these guys are use to privilege and shaping the future...they don't take "no" for an answer...they believe they "own" the island and everyone is their subject...several come to be assassinated, held hostage, and hanged upside-down...in an opening scene one of them is pictured buried up to his head in the sand at Saline Beach with the tide coming in...

These are the four main tribes along with Charlie Company...

Charlie Company represents "family"
Rastas and Reggae represents "The disenfranchised"
Backpackers represent "alternative"
Amazons represent "sex"
Ultimate Ones represent "power"

Richard Prince

----- End of Forwarded Message

[spelling and punctuation original]

Previously: Canal Zone Richard Prince Yes Rasta: The Book

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.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

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first published: October 11, 2011.

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