23 May 2021

Lipstick Traces—Attention-Seeking Ain't Easy

Greil Marcus
Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century (1989)

[My notes say:]

pp. 251-252—On Isou's "way[s] of getting attention" (252), incl. fabricating interviews with "luminaries of literary Paris" and titling a publication The Lettrist Dictatorship at a time (1946) when new details of Nazi atrocities were emerging daily.

This certainly could be seen as "worse than the punk celebration of the swastika," and certainly it "worked on the same levels," but more to the point, it probably wouldn't succeed in grabbing attention today, nor would the "placing" of fake interviews. And so there is one point of historical affinity here between then and now (there were and are at least some artists willing to lower themselves to this level in hopes of gaining exposure) and also one disaffinity (there are undoubtedly more of them now, both in absolute number and proportionately, and this cannot be due solely to extra-artworld dynamics but must, IMHO, be in at least small part an inevitable escalation generation by generation).

See also p. 323, final ¶ re: dedication of a film to the masters, "thus placing himself in their company." Is this not always the case with tributes?

[from a post-it, 2017]

No comments: