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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathBaldessari

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its read. This return to photo-materiality releases a liberatory glee. In short, the artist uses still photos to unpack film grammar, a system so thoroughly ingrained that it ordinarily goes unnoticed. Baldessari’s reflexivity thus addresses film and TV as mass culture’s dominant signifying practices, as sites where subjectivity is most powerfully formed and transformed. The focus on subtext not only undermines the overdetermination of conventional narrative imagery, it also indicates how film and television cultivate a deeper from of apperception in mass culture.

5. Between Glamour and Boredom

Boredom in Warhol's work derives primarily from apperception, namely the generalized experience of shock in mass culture. Not surprisingly, Warhol is also a key figure in the transvaluation of Action Painting esthetics. Put bluntly, he substituted piss for paint. More discursively, by claiming he wanted to be a machine, he exchanged authenticity for a romantic inversion of it. This accounts for the fatal glamour that runs through Warhol’s films. The fundamental tragedy, of course, is the camera’s destruction of the


authentic: «The Superstars are fading.» This is exactly what confounded Jackson Pollock when Hans Namuth tried to film him painting. Namuth had asked Pollock to paint over a sheet of glass, so that he could record the action from underneath, at the point of impact. For this Pollock had to pretend to paint a picture on the glass. What pretend meant, more exactly, was to paint something he did not plan to show, to paint on glass instead of canvas. Although this posed a personal crisis for Pollock, earlier on he had, in fact, considered painting on glass as a way to integrate painting and architecture. So, it could only be the camera, the inserted technical apparatus, which was the falsifying element, that for which he performed and that which turned his gestures into theater, or a spectacle. From the more objective standpoint of film form, it is difficult to say whether Namuth’s approach was naturalistic or anti-naturalistic. Baldessari’s camera specializes in de-glamorizing. Since whatever tiny events that unfold do so in real time, this is a recipe for boredom: boredom with a trace of humor, a classic surrealist formula. The effect, however, is far from surreal, yet, if the viewer is willing to make the

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