The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Movie of the Week #6


Andy Warhol's Silver Flotations
(Willard Maas; 1966)

In April of 1966, the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York opened an exhibit by the true Jay Gatsby of American art, Andy Warhol. Silver Clouds, as it was called, consisted in its entirety of a roomful of silver, metalized plastic pillow-shaped balloons inflated with helium and oxygen. They floated . . . that's all they did . . . held aloft by the gallery's own air vents. In comparison to Warhol's yellow and pink Cow wallpaper exhibit then-ongoing in another part of the gallery, this was a dynamic work, but it was not without its charm for some.

Willard Maas, the poet, filmmaker and off-camera star of Warhol's 1964 film Blowjob, was so taken by the installation that he decided to put these inflated bags of air on film (perhaps, who can say, sensing a theme in light of his fellatory participation in the earlier work). The result, Andy Warhol's Silver Flotations was his enduring contribution to the Warholian ether all New York seemed to be floating in in those days, and it is our offering today.

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