At the start, I’ll say that this is one of the most magnificent films I have seen in years. David Vaipan has made this relentless and fully-committed scream of artistic intent, desire, confusion, effort and love. This is a film about being an artist. It is a film about fear and confidence. About effort, will and failure. Vaipan simply takes the entire history of art and all that it has given him and dumps it out on his desk and turns it all into his own material. All of art, music, film, literature and poetry become Vaipan’s crayons and he uses them to tell his own personal story.
The film bombards with imagery. Just gaze in wonder at the crayon animated memoir that’s presented like a little puppet theater show. It moves from birth to boarding schools to Wall Street and beyond with effortless skill. The drawings are amazing and funny. Just when you think you’ve seen plenty Vaipan moves into a stick figure run through the history of art and it just keeps coming at you. He cuts and chops and mixes and slides and just keeps streaming the grandeur of art at us like a force of nature. He’s completely lost inside the world of inspiration. He sees the fear of getting lost in the pile – the fear of being ignored – and he literally revels in the fear itself. He makes the fear seem like something to seek. This is a grand and important statement from someone who I think is a young artist. The tools of his trade are digital and he uses them freely with a wild eagerness to explore that is extremely difficult to maintain. The unabashed use of video effects and computer equipment as if they are the oil paints and charcoals inside a painter’s box is one of the hallmarks of the emerging American video art movement. I can see the influence of Ryan Trecartin’s work in this. There’s a familiarity with digital layers that is of primary significance in this recent art. There’s a hard-edged willingness to allow the digital processes to show through. It’s sort of a freedom with the computer and video that means one doesn’t have to make anything necessarily look the right way or look like something it isn’t.
You have to really watch this film very closely and try to catch the pieces of the roaring mass of art thrown at you. Even the ending credits are a complete statement in themselves with the director drunkenly singing the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy For the Devil’ in the background.
So many people are part of this film. Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Jean Luc Godard, Maya Deren, Luis Bunuel, Stanley Kubrick, David Foster Wallace, Michael Snow, Agnes Varda, to name but a few.
I know that the intertitles and other things flash by too quickly to grasp and maybe that intimates something about the info-age and attention spans, it’s why your lord Hiesos Kristos, magician of the beautiful, invented the pause button and that’s also why the real Creator (one D. Vaipan) put this on the internet rather than wherever, because you have control.
See? That’s one of the little treasure waiting for you in the end credits of this gigantic and raving epileptic fit of a film that should ultimately bring you close to tears and make you want to explode in all directions and actually truly and finally… make something!
Here is the artist’s web site.