Minimal Apertures (Insert to The Western)


The Wild Bunch: Set in the Mexican Civil War, a bunch of renegades weigh-up the options in a fluctuation of allegiance typical of westerns. Untypically the wild bunch side with the revolutionaries. Though noted for its ‘sadistic’ slow motion violence the dominant theme of outlaws bored by the pursuit of loot and favouring a peasant honour was much ignored at the time. The famous suicidal sequence of the final shoot-out is both a forewarning of the heroics of revolutionary sacrifice and a glum indication of the minority position of the wild bunch’s longing to surpass instinctual cruelty.
[

The Western

1. Trees, field, forest. A drift by train. Crossing through the countryside the land is divided into a patchwork. The fields are all sizes and shapes but what unites them all is the fact that the trees, bushes and shrubbery almost always function as border-markers between fields. It is rare for a single tree, or clumps of singular trees, to have remained standing in the middle of a field. This semblance ##of order, of tidiness is initially pleasing. There is an almost industrial precision to the smooth green of the fields. Nothing seems to have been left to chance. Tractors and farm equipment are easily visualised as crossing the fields in a symmetrical and routine manner; each turn ergonomic and measured. There is nothing to obstruct this making the most of the land. No stray trees. [Read more →]




(Decoy) Politics has always been practiced by means of various techniques of deception. From the writings of Machievelli to the stage-managed Labour election victory the pursuit of power is that which is only ostensibly visible. What it shows is not necessarily what it is and, concomitant with this, the commonly assumed concept of power is itself a strategic decoy: the state may administer and manage capitalism, it may promote throughout society a notion of individual control through the guise of a primeminister or president, but, as speeches blur into journalism and the surface rituals move into docu-drama, power thrives through a process of inter-locking practices that, in themselves, are never perceived as being powerful at all. Not knowing power as a social-practice can mean that those who seek to make tangible its gradients are always in the thrall of a power that takes on occult and ever receding dimensions. This in turn is incohately communicated to the less powerful as the disappearance of power as a social-fact, a practice, a technique which they can also wield. The business of politics takes place behind such screens and makes buggings, law-breaking and assassinations a sanctifiable means of maintaining an unsuspected status quo when all other institutional means of silencing, deflection, removal and quietism have failed. [Read more →]

Pages: Prev 1 2 3