May 24, 2012

Gestual - José Arturo Lugón (Centro Colich)

Morte a Venezia 

Luchino Visconti was one of the greatest filmmakers in history. His bold narrative, his constant questionings and philosophical reflections easily surpass the work of most directors. "Death in Venice", based in Thomas Mann's novel, is arguably one of his best films. Many could disagree, but one has to wonder, how many film directors are able to summarize the entire Western philosophical and historical approach to beauty in one single, elegant, stroke of inspiration? Only one: Luchino Visconti.
"Gestual"


What happens when a man is obsessed with beauty? As unpredictable as it may seem, what happens is that beauty is redefined in ways the man could not have anticipated. In a society enslaved to the heterosexual normative, a man should only find beauty in women. And yet, in this passionate story beauty lies in the body of a young boy.


However, one should first define what kind of beauty this Phoebus reveals. Could one find some sort of connection to Plato's thoughts in "The Banquet"? Certainly not. Here a beautiful spirit does not equal a beautiful subject, far from it, the mind and the intellect are worthless when the body is the only substance we can dare to grab; the Platonic Ideal world has no meddling with this world, the only world we know.
Vista al mar + el corredor que da a la piscina
+ interior de la cocina 

In Visconti's film beauty answers, without a doubt, to the Apollonian concept of beauty as Nietzsche would understand it: Clean lines, symmetry and harmonic design that serve but one purpose: to conceal the true horror of existence, to veil and cover the real (it's only symptomatic then that the official discourse, which belongs to the symbolic order and the reality of the luxurious Venetian hotel brings the irreconcilable real to light, id est, the subversive discourse of the people who tell Achenbach the truth about the plague and the high count of bodies, and advise him to leave before it's too late). Kant would also elaborate beauty as the intrinsic relationship between life and death, and in this correlation beauty would be that which reminds people of death, which makes people accept the possibility of death; beauty could only be found in humanity's own mortality, as so many artistic masterworks convey so extraordinarily.


One could venture to affirm that Mr. Achenbach can discern young Tadzio's beauty in two different ways. First, he is the embodiment of Classic Greek Male Beauty because his body responds to Apollonian guidelines. Second, he reminds Achenbach of his own age, therefore his own mortality. Nietzsche's and Kant's understanding of beauty can come to terms in this riveting character.


According to Lacan's theories, Tadzio also places himself as a phantasmatic recipient for Achenbach's desire. In many ways, the young boy resides only in the imaginary order, he's first and foremost an image, an image full of erotic power and seductive force, but only an image at last. It's through sheer power of desire, that Achenbach seemingly vanquishes an entire life of repressed homosexual urges. Nonetheless, this is not a love story. There is neither a single conversation between Achenbach and Tadzio nor the briefest or faintest contact between them. There is only fantasy. Fantasy driven by desire. Fantasy that encapsulates and idolizes the nubile male body more than anything else.


vista del jardín (al fondo está la cocina)
+ vista interior de la cocina
+ preparaciones para las primeras tomas
Achenbach soon finds himself immersed in a tortuous experience. He can never reach the boy, he can only glance at him from a distance. He can never talk to him, only listen to his name when it's pronounced by his mother. He can never touch him, only envy the other boys who manhandle him during boyish roughhousing. He can never know him, only imagine him. And as Slavoj Zizek would explain, fantasy becomes more powerful than reality, fantasy becomes the fundamental support of reality. Because here Achenbach's desire is not only supported by the phantasmatic Tadzio, it depends and relies entirely on this phantom.


Perhaps Tadzio is transformed in the Lacanian phallus. The adolescent is the phallus Achenbach has long lost. Because it's made clear in the beginning of the book as well as in the first scenes of the movie, that Achenbach is a man deprived of joy, of happiness, of hope. The phallic jouissance has eluded him for so long that one as a reader or viewer starts to doubt if he could ever regain the phallus. But can the phallus be recuperated in homosexual dynamics? Lacan does not concentrate his theory in homosexuality. Sometimes it would appear as if the Lacanian concept of homosexuality is an uncomfortable byproduct of people's inability to reclaim a symbolic masculine or feminine position. Nonetheless, "Death in Venice" greatest accomplishment is to surmount these theory limitations as it ascertains a new way to understand beauty, a way to understand beauty beyond the materialistic limitations of the male and the female body.


Michele Foucault wrote in "Histoire de la Sexualite" about "bodies and pleasures" as well as poli-sexuality in Ancient Greece. Wouldn't life be healthier and better if one could concern only about bodies and pleasures, without worrying about the exact labeling imposed by social constraints, without worrying about finding the right prefix to confine one's sexual desire to a hetero-, bi-, homo-, or trans- sexuality? That question may go unanswered, but one thing is evident in Visconti's film: Art and beauty share one immortal truth: the ability to move men and women hearts in unforeseen ways; the ability to destabilize society's strict and rigid laws, the ability to find its way regardless of prohibitions or dire outcomes. "Death in Venice" as the title announces, it's not a story about love, it's rather a story about death and loss, about the possibility of beauty and the failure of desire.
________________________________________
Ensayo + Jana al momento de ser maquillada
+ Jana en una pausa entre escenas


“Seré puntual como tú cuando sea haragán a tiempo completo” – Brian Power dixit. Una y otra vez, con el paso de los años, me he acostumbrado a hacerle todo tipo de bromas a mi amigo Brian. El motivo: su impuntualidad. Aunque, debo confesarlo, las últimas veces he sido yo el tardón.


El día de ayer quedamos en encontrarnos en el Bissetti, en Barranco, a las 6pm y yo llegué casi cuarenta minutos tarde. Le dije que le estaba cobrando, poco a poco, las veces que él me había hecho esperar a mí. Pero lo importante es que ambos llegamos puntualísimos al Centro Colich. He comentado aquí en el blog desde octubre del 2011 (y luego en marzo y luego hace un par de semanas) que mi amigo José Arturo Lugón presentaría su primera muestra individual titulada “Gestual” (pueden encontrar más datos aquí).


José Arturo nos deslumbra con su propuesta artística. Los suyos son cuadros en donde prima la intensidad cromática y el vaivén bien dosificado entre formas primarias y trazos netamente abstractos. José Arturo, a diferencia de otros artistas, no le tiene miedo al color. Y eso es lo que se percibe en sus cuadros, vida, viveza casi, que se conjuga genialmente con un tono siempre fresco, lúdico y joven.


Todos los que estuvimos allí ayer en la noche nos hemos quedado impresionados con su maravilloso trabajo, así que no es ninguna sorpresa que en pocas horas vendiera siete u ocho cuadros. La muestra, sin duda, fue todo un éxito. El Centro Colich estaba lleno de gente, y además de los visitantes asiduos los Velásquez Lugón estuvieron muy presentes: Rafael y Daniel Velásquez, Gonzalo Lugón, etc. También pude encontrarme con muchos de mis amigos del colegio. Por ejemplo Augusto Rey y Lucía Ginocchio, con quienes me quedé conversando un rato mientras dábamos un rápido recorrido por esta acogedora casona barranquina.


A otros, en cambio, los veo muy de vez en cuando: Santiago Joseph, Guillermo Reaño, Gabriel Reaño y Matías Cillóniz Flórez. También me encontré con mi profesor y tutor del colegio Guillermo ‘Willy’ Reaño, y con Rocío Flórez Peschiera. Aunque, sin duda, uno de los momentos más divertidos de la noche fue protagonizado por Erika Beleván y mi amigo Brian Power, momento capturado por las cámaras de Polizontes. Erika insistía en que Brian era Manuel Gold, y Brian insistía en que él era Brian y solamente Brian, y un enredo daba paso a otro enredo, cada vez más divertido. Para cerrar con broche de oro, luego de que las cámaras de televisión se fueran, una señora va y le pregunta a Brian si él era el hermano de José Arturo. Quedó tan malhumorado que yo empecé a matarme de risa. Además, después del champagne, del vino rosé, del vino tinto y del chilcano, yo ya estaba de muy buen humor.


Al finalizar la muestra, José Arturo invitó a un grupo cercano de amigos a acompañarlo hasta su taller, a algunas cuadras del Centro Colich. Allí me pasé un buen rato conversando con Rafael Velásquez. Aunque me hubiera gustado quedarme hasta la madrugada, me había comprometido a ir hoy jueves a la grabación del primer capítulo de “Recuerdos de cocina”, programa que empezará a emitirse en Plus TV a partir de mediados de junio.
mi dibujo


Mariana Silva escribió íntegro este primer capítulo, aunque yo aporté un par de ideas. En realidad, el capítulo en el que más he intervenido hasta ahora es el cuarto, que aún no ha sido grabado. En vez de de un set de televisión, “Recuerdos de cocina” tiene lugar en la casa de playa de los Velarde, los dueños del restaurante La Gloria. Es una casa inmensa con vista al mar, piscina y suficientes habitaciones como para albergar a decenas de personas sin problemas.


Para mí era importante conocer la casa, para saber en dónde ubicar las escenas de los próximos guiones que escriba. Además, por fin me presentaron a Jana Escudero, la chef y propietaria del restaurante El Grifo. “Recuerdos de cocina” se centra exclusivamente en ella o, mejor dicho, en su cocina y en sus recuerdos. Le dije que era un fan de su cheesecake de toblerone y de su lasagna de asado, incluso le comenté que la primera vez que probé este novedoso postre fue en Mistura, el 2009 o el 2010. Ver a un equipo de casi 30 personas manejando cámaras, luces, sonido, decoración, maquillaje y mil cosas más ha sido una experiencia realmente extraordinaria para mí. 

6 comments:

  1. Is that you in the pic>?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, not at all. I'm always the man behind the camera. For every 50 pics I take, I only appear in one or two of them.

      Delete
    2. Well, you know me, I hardly enjoy being the center of attention (or 'centre' as you'd say).

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Oh I will, believe me, I will.

      Delete