An excerpt of an unpublished interview with Jerry Jofen originally intended for Film Culture Magazine
This coming Sunday, I’ll be conducting a workshop on “Storytelling, Culture and Revolution” in connection with the work of Jerry Jofen. In anticipation I thought I’d post this remarkable excerpt from an unpublished interview with him originally intended for Film Culture Magazine. (Details of the exhibition and workshop at the bottom of the post.)
Jud Yalkut, experimental film and video maker and intermedia artist, came to do the interview and only got to ask one maybe two questions. Jerry spoke and a gal at his side tried to capture his words. His thoughts flowed quickly – associative, abstract, evocative, deep. She only managed to catch elements of Jerry’s stream of consciousness. These notes from the original conversation give some understanding as to why it was never published. I have left them unedited, not trying to make sense of the gaps, so as to hear Jerry’s voice more clearly. Some gleanings….
Jerry: I had ultra-violet light at the K Gallery where I worked. It turns out that a lot of wall-to-wall collages were sensitive to ultra violet light. Tommy McClendan Proteus had suggested looking at listen espair so obviously very sensitive to ultra violet. Instantly it…right then…suddenly the whole room became magical. Intuitively eliminated all the less significant colors and accentuated just such sharpness and space in ultra violet. Lime in expressively rich gem-like radiation – more like a bouquet of rubies.
Jud: You painted…earliest…just liked to talk a lot in comparison with the film-maker.
Jerry: Quite a few people literally and educationally have identified themselves with idealized contemporized opera like particularly Maria Callas. Seems to be an alchemical person of the millennium.
Today someone wrote down an observation of last year. The instant has become a year and transubstantiation of time and geometrade progressing sequence. Everything is a millennial event which is only one thing from the rest of the scene of everything being eternal of ineluctable redemption. The epiphany of the instant. By Joyce “Giacomo Joyce”…incredible photos of a puppet of his in Trieste….of cheek then 17 by 18 in periodic, elegantly dressed.
Several years later in hat with white Garbo mystique any contemporary hallucination would be protean in its disguise. Giacomo – seems to suggest the jester in the medieval court in the mystic dance of the dervishes. The sort of gamboling motor movements. The kind of lack of co-ordination of one’s motor movements which results to the elements of final gestures of mannequins or puppets.
The dance of the fool. You have in the center the grander dervish like some grand something in the Masonic who does a dance of just gyrating like in the Crock of Gold, like the Tibetan just gyrating on mountain peaks swept by Arctic storms gyrating in one point…Turn round and round, racing along, trailing tunics. And like impressing an imprint of it on the brocaded long tunic pressing their knees against the clothes, sort of two shaped pivoting. The other foot on the ground, round and round in film shot in Tibet by a wrecked group of RAF flyers spinning round and round in his own interpretation of the cosmic dance. And the foot stumbling into him as the line in the circle of a larger corps of battle divers dressed as Cossacks and accentuating the movement the sharpening of a Turkestani.
Stone Red in Mojave Deserts. Stone red in Mojave desert glaciers. Eternally repulsed and rejected by an inner court sequence of time transubstantiation, time derostraluste (derostraluate?)…Molecules of spirit in the same equative method of the theatre and the double Artaud. Presenting in a mere attesting to some chronologies, dates of his life in a preface…A biographic statement that he makes that in the first performance of some play, a Sabre on Axel’s Castle or Rimbaud romance of it was much too large for me. “All I need is a corner where I work in,” Artaud says. I thought it was a play written as a parody on Axel’s Castle by some author. Perhaps it was one of his hallucinations. He knocks on the door saying – in clashing sounds – “May I come in?”…referring to classic schizophrenia.
A rose is a tulip or
nothing at all
or a glass of water
sculpted by Giacomo
Giacometti in Addis Abbaba
some abesian Capel,
studded with sheaves of eyes in
linear endless spatial extension
She turned to Toklas.
“What’s the answer?”
Toklas could only mediate
her Superfluous presence
as a votive prayer in Silence.
She looks at her
reached the exquisite
of waiting in her or
Says then – “what’s the question?’
Toklas sitting there just
petrified or stunned and conflagrated…
…This was in relation to the two basic questions, who said you had to ask? My comments were talking at the light. That’s what we always about, even when we don’t. of all performing arts in relation to dance like very high…Don’t confuse the duende with muse or angel.
Lorca – always the tragic sense of life not daring to hope that we don’t exist.
Tale of Brother
Sister Tamar and Amnon is like Peter Z in the poetic minuet – the Luxemberg Gardens. He sees the old man as certain that no one present then getting up and doing that minuet and bowing to an imaginary audience that is adoringly with an adoration of and fan ecstasies in French de Maupassant spending his vacancies in the inhuman establishment of mental mirode and boon.
The gesture as the enlightment, complete in itself like the image as the high point in the drama, in the Greek alchemy of mimetic despair or catharsis. The image never in need of any verbal praise or cavil or logs
Innuendo palace intrigue of Lisbon
foreign express of Mata Hari’s Lasser pistol
with Xray aim of Batman miracle that’s what.
If I can contribute to silence anytime as long as it would promote more language in praise of the silence or as an affirmation or celebration of it with an endless exuberance that would be enough to plunge us in the middle age of despair. That’s the irony of impersonal despair of the most precious beings who have made that hopeless leap.
The invisible? Ronnie Tavel promised before going to Morocco to entertain on his return with 1001 tales. The thing that was most sign of one’s holiness was the ability to become among all Islamic claims us I said to him in a Lafcadian gratuitous adventure or homicide, had arrived at the secret of insensibility. All I could guess that it has the brilliance revealing itself in a formal and clear definition of itself.
Another very significant thing I mentioned to you was the understanding or grasping of all performing art the way its surrender to the libertine betrothed, the dancer inseparable from the dance waiting eternally for itself to arrive.
As he offers – who is it, or what are, or for what, or what are we looking for? For ourselves to arrive, for ourselves to be discovered by bright Madison Avenue. Medieval Ponce de Leon, a panacea preserving the atavism or physical energy exuberance…and prayer.
And the L-rd said let there be light. And there was light for ever after and all that goes with it or all that doesn’t. Good or bad, and light is the meaning between words and its oblivion and the flesh and…its assertion as word, word as word, pauses incantation, sign, cosign image, metaphor and mirror, reflected on the other side of the water, or this side of the shore, reflected in the door left ajar in the mirror, the orphic exit sign in the stage doors and paradisiac wingspread of the Cherubim in the cosmic arc of agate or window to Mediterranean texture of delight – along rivieras of the eve fruit and Carribean pearl lustre in necklace on fair skin or other pleasure express order all paid for by the underground travel agency of all tourists operated by the super tourist caterpillar moving an inch a millenium seeing the world through its out land antennas fluttering or Ginko Chinese trees, sharply outstretched pointed streamlined branch shooting straight for the sky or to the horizon of the end of the world on either side of ourselves in our child geographies.
Caterpillar or maybe snake, the most lithe and deadly dancing (fire green and moves like no other snake in Staten Island Zoo) in aviary and snake and lizards and fire eating dragons traveling at the speed of light anchored in thermonuclear solar effigies celebrating waiting and they also travel who stand and wait, in praise of blindness who also see who keep their eyes closed and tear when dumb with grief with stone audio rocks audio endurance the tortoise of the rain insisting and driving and hurling itself against the pointed resistance, the stone imprint, the impress in the rock, the give in the stone, the surrender in the fossils to the force and hammer of the elements, the reduction and abandon in the stone rock. The imperturbable give of the stone, the chipped smithereens in rock mountain, the nameless love in the surrender of the minute, the molecular, the slightest bending of the heart, the bashful or embossed curve of the eyelid, palisade hanging gardens, the Cherry Blossom rugs particular equation that makes the structure of such a physical travail as a destraction festival…
Art Exhibit at the Old City Jewish Arts Center, May 2016
Sunday, May 15th, 2016 2:00-5:00 PM.
Films, Lectures and Workshop
Curated by Rosa Katzenelson (A national winner of the Annual Art Contest of the Art Foundation, and a lecturer at the National School of Cinema)
Reception will feature both image, film, lectures and workshops by a variety of presenters: Jerry’s widow, Ellen Jofen-Gordon, and David Kurland, Jerry’s friend and collaborator will share their memories of the Artist making his art work and films.
It will also feature some of his film work, movies, “Voyage” and “We’re Getting On.”
There will be a lecture and a workshop on “Storytelling, Culture and Revolution.” presented by Shimona Tzukernik, The Kabbalah Coach.