2007 03 22
Angle of Incident #46: Seminar 8, Vermin And Other Irritants: Part 4
on Peter Grenaway’s Tulse Luper Suitcase Project:
posted to Flikr: 2006-01-23 as Turin Monument 1 by Kevin Hutchinson
image by georgia ydreos
The Rive(r), Subconsciousness/Unconsciousness and Texts of the Open Variety
by way of
The Tulse Luper Suitcases by Peter Greenaway
as set in the Mole Antonelliana in Turin
Peter Greenaway's openwork spans five forms of media: TV, cinema, book, DVD and internet. It is a meta-mapping of an alter-ego who has appeared in two of his earlier films. It embodies a kind of obsession to face the place where inevitability meets rapaciousness, as Greenaway suggests in his explanation of the project's title: "Tulse rhymes with Pulse, a vegetable fed to cattle; Luper is vaguely a translation from the Latin for the wolf."
An architectural experience is implicit in this project to reconstruct something as tenuous as the ever-receding hinge between consciousness and unconsciousness:
"One description of The Tulse Luper Suitcases is to describe it as the autobiography of a professional prisoner." ..... "Of course as author, I am Tulse Luper's jailer, just as I am his prisoner. But I get to choose the prisons. The whole of The Tulse Luper Suitcases project could be said to be an indulgence for me to film in many of those most exciting architectural situations I have enjoyed. The Mole Antonelliana in Turin is one of those situations. The building was not conceived as a prison, but consider its origins, its history and its present function, from a place of worship to another place of worship. From a synagogue to a Museum of the Moving Image. Dedicated to a Jewish God and secondly to Cinema, maybe two sorts of prison. Tulse Luper certainly, in the total project of The Tulse Luper Suitcases, spends energy fighting battles relevant to the Jewish God and his fight is certainly relevant to the conditions of Cinema. But the mole is a tower and from the top of the tower you can see for miles and miles - a sort of metaphor that needs perhaps no further explanation - it is a prison with a view - perhaps that is what - spiritually - prisons can be. Tulse Luper tries to make all the prisons of The Tulse Luper Suitcases, prisons with a view."
-Peter Greenaway in his introduction to the book Tulse Luper in Turin
The mole in an architectural sense is defined by the OED as "A massive structure, esp. of stone, serving as a pier, breakwater, or causeway.
Also: the area of water bounded by or contained within such a structure, esp. forming a harbour or port".
This architectural experience of amassing seemed to form a form of inverse of the subtractive quality of a the hollows created by the dormant Maligne River in Jasper, Alberta. The chamber was carved out by the force of the glacier melt water that resurges and returns to fill the Maligne Canyon each spring.
To rive: to part asunder; to cleave, split, crack, open up, etc. is at the root of the word river.
As I continue my research about the underground rivers of Toronto, I am spurred on by Greenaway's unflinching look into the Underworld as described by Walter Benjamin in The Arcades Project:
"Our waking existence likewise is a land which, at certain hidden points, leads down into the underworld—a land full of inconspicuous places from which dreams arise."
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Posted by Gary Michael Dault on 03/22 at 04:53 AM
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