THE NEW FRENCH EXPERIMENTAL AVANT-GARDE
BY WALTER JANUSZCZAK, CRITIC
Nobody wants to look beyond what television shows. Some artists find transcendence about pure images to create the art revolution on her natural states, like those common places that submerge themselves in the routines we consciously create to fit into the everyday, like the streets we inhabit with the speed of moving from one fixed point to another fixed point, separating grey from black, simulating a piece of Rothko; It is essential to penetrate the foundation of that artist's work in order to deal with the simple universe of his creation, as happens in the sad and silent revolution of Antoine Carver's work. Many have tried at different times and opportunities to explain why the pause, the slowness, the delirium of the precarious, has strongly raised the spirit of creators of the stature of Pasolini, Tarr, Tarkovski, Lopouchanski, without arriving at a stereotype that personifies or mystifies the certain belief of being possessed, dominated by creative realism.
Pascal enlightens us with the sentence of the terrifying silence of infinite spaces, just as in our rhetoric we can explain the decadence of poetry and the true why that illuminates the small and impoverished landscapes of Carver's places. But this is to affirm that there is something hidden behind the minimalist sequences of his works.
In "Through a Mystical Landscape" where all that is perverse, where fear, where the psychological paradigms of a sick society, confront the narrative fiction of the most human. This film takes place in the desert and interweaves a flight between anguish and terror with dreamlike images, which, accompanied by certain references to Gurdjieff, are rowing towards the search for the repressed inner pains that perhaps or only Lévi-Strauss has been able to remedy in his shamanic appeals and journeys. Esoteric images and dream allegories seek to conceal the drama of a woman fleeing her home and her father's abuse. There are some unavoidable references to think about: as in Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby, there remains the mystery of a supposed child of the devil and a whole network of relationships between her best friend and her father to conceive this creature; Ken Russell's Altered States, with all its visual propaganda about the effects of the drug chamaca linking us to the unconscious; and perhaps in a less important case the visual structure proposed by Alejandro Jodorowsky in his Holy Mountain. Everything is ready to develop the psychological terror, the hallucinations that caress the demonic relationships between human beings by virtue of the concepts of sin and betrayal, staging that theological genesis that Goethe described so perfectly in his Faust. This film exceeds its budget with its bizarre aesthetic and concept generated in the idea of auteur cinema, while at the same time achieving its goal by immersing the spectator in a space-time similar to a nightmare or a dream of those who wake up. An audio recording of Charles Manson invokes dementia, the darkness embodied in the shaman's chants. An interesting film that will not leave you indifferent.
In "The Witches' Paradise", he easily finds a conjugation between magic and poetry, invoking in a natural way the mechanics of isolation and the close relationship of the human being with his animal being. This film leaves clear evidence that Carver was manipulated in his art studies by Walter Benjamin, by a reading, by a reiterative digital print that evokes in a colour reproduction all the aesthetics of Robert Wiene's expressionism, and also by the supposed enchantment of the spontaneous sequences of the old super 8 cameras. Antoine Carver creates a paradox of his own work when he has to confront his silence with the silence of his cinema.
In his most recent film "The Demon's Dance" he includes a systematic cinematographic memory that refers to C. Th. Dreyer and his Joan of Arc. Dreyer and his Joan of Arc, makes a moving postcard of the beauty of the countryside of eastern France and frames a nostalgia, that absence of God signalled in the boredom of the words that have snatched Quignard, Houellebecq, Soljenitsyne, Kerouac and so many disciples of our eternal existential agony into hiding, is not so easy to uproot from our cinephile souls.
Dissecting Carver's work, we find several plastic works, books, objects that are more like works of art, designs, experimental music, among others. His music has a conceptual path adapted to his creative purposes, for example, the vinyl album "Possession" gives us goosebumps with its deep-techno, in which he demonstrates his intellectuality, mixing dark techno and opera; less decipherable, his first vinyl album called "Inferno" where he invents a language to design the atmosphere of a funeral or a procession to hell, a certain resemblance to the hymns of Devil Doll or the litanies of Sopor Aeternus.
Carver has taken it upon himself to sacrifice his talent in pursuit of his creative independence, of a rehearsed search for the sacred object for the construction of an artistic trajectory: time, which secretly seems to be the soul of his scenarios. His concept of slowness or real time adheres to the treatment of the experimental, well pointed out by John Cage in his book "Silence", where Carver intermingles his experiences with music, poetry, essay and psychoanalysis to find a meeting point for his allegorical video art.
Born in 1980, he continues to construct a singular universe with respect to the Parisian artistic environment, to coexist with his existence, where he ascends from Dante Alighieri's hell to coexist with Wenders' earthly angels. Language does not have the same limits as images, images do not have the same limits as sounds, the landscape does not have the same colours as the abyss, the abyss is not only the suicidal structure with which Nietzsche adorns it, Adorno is pleased with the cultural processes of the avant-garde scenes, the avant-gardes do not resist their own manifestos, the manifestos are lost in the deserts in which Carver abandons us against our fears, that fear that has nothing to do with art, that art that only needs its own skeleton to stand on its own feet, and so we arrive at the encounter of this unknown artist, who loves as Rilke did, with his heart in his hand, until we turn off our eyes.
Poetry is at the heart of all of Antoine Carver's work and is an introspection of the desolation, of the spirit, the abandonment of places and of one's own identity in the pursuit of obtaining a character, "not demagogic" but in search of art for art's sake, perhaps the most dangerous but most fruitful personal treaty a writer can ever make with himself, the courage to face lacks and fears, to move to the most uncomfortable side, to the backyard of the wild side, a look that reveals the subject writing in friction, describing himself in his uncertainty and luminosity. Carver's less subtle, or darker, poems remind us of Francis Bacon's vital experience, countless images, atavistic elements, colours that reflect the aesthetics of demolition, of the deconstruction of himself, subtle elements that invade the territory of his writing. The search for another magnet is also essential, it is a place where disenchantment relapses and in the search for something that is not there, but is eagerly sought, the confession of building armour appears before the devotion through the exercise of losing oneself in it again, of not finding redemption.
Finaly, Carver's work reflect the author's constant inquisition with the art, the frantic desire to go beyond words using experience, as in a diary where what wants to be said is displayed, and the most primitive essences are stretched: the state of alertness, of searching, of devotion, of finding the essence of life until the mind is pressed and one remains in the silence that never ceases to howl.