Rauschenberg, Pelican

rauschenberg pelican

Just finished reading Calvin Tomkins’ bio of Robert Rauschenberg, Off the Wall. Rauschenberg is a god of mine. A complete artistic wild man–a force of nature. He channeled chaos and the irrational and somehow processed it into very beautiful art. In the above performance, Pelican, he made these circular sail things for his and the other male performer’s back, and the two rolled around on roller skates with a famous ballet dancer of the time. At one point the two men lifted her off the floor and carried her around while they were skating. It all seems very elegant in this black and white photo but if you think about it, it’s just nuts. He had this uncanny sense of “fuck it, let’s try it” and more often than not made it work.

I forget where this picture came from–some Rauschenberg site.

  8/24/06 9:29 pm


Have you ever seen images of sets that Noguchi made for the Martha Graham company?

- joel — 8/30/06 @ 11:41 am

Nice. The top ones seem influenced by early “horizontal” Giacometti and that foreground statue in the bottom image is very Tanguy (but also Giacometti-like in its obvious sexuality). The middle one is maybe the most “Noguchi”–those pedestal-like forms could be a collection of individual later pieces of his.

- tom moody — 9/1/06 @ 7:07 am

Its so funny. A couple months ago I made a performance video where I was doing log rolls down Santa Monica Blvd. I was originially interested in how my performance was sort of in a dialouge with the goofy public sculpture on this part of Santa Monica. After looking at these dance images I began to think of the sculptures as theatrical props. Like cheesy versions of high-modern theatrical sets.

- joel — 9/4/06 @ 11:25 pm

Nice video. I guess we take our high Modernism wherever we can find it.
It doesn’t look like anyone actually uses that footpath. I’m glad you found a purpose for it.

- tom moody — 9/5/06 @ 10:50 pm

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